After denials of a move from Juventus his agent two weeks earlier, Zinedine Zidane’s move to Real Madrid became official on this day in soccer history in 2001. The midfielder signed for a then record transfer fee of £45.8m.
“It is a great honour to come here to this great club,” Zidane said at Real’s presentation, before being handed the club’s famous all-white shirt by the club’s honorary president Di Stefano. “I think that after five years at Juventus it was the right time to make a move and I hope that I will be able to do as well if not better than I did at Juventus.”
The Frenchman became the second ‘galactico’ signing for club president Florentino Perez in his first term as team president. Luis Figo was signed the year before from rival Barcelona in another record setting move.
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In his five seasons with Real Madrid, Zidane helped the galacticos win the 2002 UEFA Champions League title, scoring the winning goal, as well winning a La Liga title. In 2002/03 Zidane was named the FIFA World Player of the Year for the third time.
And it was on this day in football history when Zidane retired with a bow (or head butt) in the 2006 FIFA World Cup final having announced ahead of the quadrennial tournament it would be his last in uniform.
1955 – Steve Coppell, English football player and manager
1964 – Gianluca Vialli, Italian football player
1968 – Paolo Di Canio, Italian football player
1974 – Gary Kelly, Irish football player
1982 – Alecko Eskandarian, Armenian-American footballer
1985 – Ashley Young, English footballer
1986 – Dominic Cervi, American footballer
1990 – Fábio Pereira da Silva, Brazilian footballer
1990 – Rafael Pereira da Silva, Brazilian footballer