Zinedine Zidane: the top 5 greatest goals of his career

Today’s Top 5 greatest goals list comes from French icon, Zinedine Zidane.

France’s talisman for many years, “Zizou” led his country to international success like they had never seen. With Les Bleus, he won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championships, scoring crucial goals in both tournaments.

Meanwhile, at club level, he did not do too badly either. Zidane picked up countless personal accolades during his career across France, Italy, and Spain. He won Serie A titles with Juventus, plus numerous trophies and a Champions League with Real Madrid.

Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said: “Give me ten planks of wood and Zidane and I will win the Champions League.” If that doesn’t indicate the maestro’s genius, I don’t know what will.

Here are five of the best goals that he ever scored.

#5: vs Deportivo La Coruna, 2001/02 La Liga

First up on the greatest goals from Zinedine Zidane is an example of the Frenchman’s legendary footwork.

Zidane regularly bamboozled defenders throughout the 90s and 2000s, none more so than in this strike.

After some nice interplay from his Real Madrid teammates, Zizou received the ball on the edge of Deportivo’s box. He dribbled left across the box before cutting back with his left foot. Then, in one incredibly elegant movement, Zidane had rolled the ball back in the other direction with his right foot and nudged it out from under his feet.

As the defenders tried to untwist themselves, Zidane had created enough room to fire a shot past Jose Molina in the goal.

His wonderfully effortless piece of skill restored Los Blancos’ lead during this La Liga clash. Madrid ultimately went on to beat Deportivo La Coruna 3-1.

#4: vs Reggina, 1999/00 Serie A

During his time at Juventus, Zidane was arguably the best player in the world. He won the 1998 Ballon d’Or whilst with Juve, alongside two “The Best” FIFA men’s player awards.

Many who were fortunate enough to watch the Frenchman in Serie A know that he scored some fabulous goals – and this one against Reggina is arguably the pick of the lot.

From a throw-in, Zizou played a quick one-two with star teammate Alessandro Del Piero. Following this, he drove across the pitch outside the 18-yard box, shaping to shoot on his right. Instead, though, Zidane cuts back onto his left – beating three defenders with one dummy.

Once he had shuffled the ball between his feet, the Frenchman launched a rocket into the top-left corner. The keeper, despite his best dive, was absolutely powerless to stop the shot.

This strike helped Juventus secure a crucial 2-0 win in the 1999/00 Serie A title race. However, the Old Lady came up short in the end, losing the Scudetto to Lazio by a single point.

Despite this, it is undoubtedly one of the greatest goals that Zinedine Zidane scored in Italy. Therefore, it has to make our top five.

#3: vs Real Betis, 1995/96 UEFA Cup Round of 16

What is truly remarkable about numbers three to one on this list is that Zinedine Zidane scored some of his greatest goals using his “weaker” left foot.

The Bordeaux star produced an otherworldly effort just minutes into a UEFA Cup tie with Real Betis. A long goal kick was knocked forward, eventually dropping in front of Zidane. After one bounce, and knowing the Betis goalie was off his line, Zizou instinctively shot a stunning volley.

His left-footed effort flew toward the goal, dipping fantastically over the backpedalling keeper into the net.

This strike gave Bordeaux a 1-0 lead after just four minutes, which gave them a 3-0 lead across both legs. As it turned out, they needed Zidane’s moment of genius; the French side lost 2-1 on the night, therefore needing the star’s goal to scrape through on aggregate.

Zizou led Bordeaux all the way to the 1996 UEFA Cup Final, where they met Bayern Munich. Sadly, the Bavarians proved too strong, beating Bordeaux to the trophy.  

#2: vs Czech Republic, 1994 – France debut

Zinedine Zidane announced himself to the French national team with one of the greatest debut goals ever. Unsurprisingly, it takes the runner-up spot in our top 5 Zizou efforts.

Coming on at 2-0 down, the maestro turned this friendly against the Czech Republic on its head. Zidane scored twice in three minutes as Les Bleus managed to take a draw from a seemingly hopeless game.

The midfielder’s first goal was what really stood out, though. A pass from midfield found Zidane, who did a devastating stepover to leave an opponent on the floor. A quick hesitation beat another defender, leaving the Frenchman with a lot of space, 30 yards out.

Again, Zizou’s trusty left foot came through for him here. The Frenchman struck across the ball sweetly, allowing it to gently curl outwards as it went toward goal. Zidane’s shot eventually nestled in the left side netting – a ridiculous effort to turn the game’s momentum.

He followed this up with a bullet header in the 87th minute to finish with a 27-minute brace. From here, Zizou became virtually un-droppable from the France side.

#1: vs Bayer Leverkusen, 2001/02 Champions League Final

One of the greatest goals in Champions League history, Zinedine Zidane raised the roof at Hampden Park with a stupendous volley.

Roberto Carlos hooked a cross into the area, which seemingly hung for hours in the air. As the ball eventually came down, Zidane awaited its arrival on the edge of the box. The Frenchman then met the ball with perfect technique; his leg arced high off the ground to volley home via the laces of his Adidas boots.

Really, the ball had no choice but to fly into the top-left corner past Hans Jorg Butt.

This legendary goal put Real Madrid 2-1 up at half-time in the 2002 Champions League Final. They would not relinquish this lead, going on to win a record ninth European Cup.

Los Blancos star Zidane not only scored the winner but also picked up the Final’s Man of the Match. He always knew how to turn on the style for the big occasion – a true legend of the game.

Featured image credit: Getty