This Saturday marks 10 years to the day since Zinedine Zidane started his very last Clásico as a Real Madrid superstar: 79 minutes of action in a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou on April 2, 2006.
Saturday also marks Zizou’s first go at Clásico glory as a coach, the first time Madrid is scheduled to face its bitter rival Barcelona since Rafa Benítez’s sacking this past January.
Over the course of his prolific playing career, Zidane featured in 11 Clásico matchups, accumulating an overall record of four wins, four draws, and three losses with three goals to his name.
His best golazo? This screamer at Camp Nou en route to a 2-0 first-leg Champions League victory, no doubt:
His Madrid went on to hold the Barça boys 1-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu, advance to the final, and win its ninth European Cup. Mito.
Zizou also struck in a 4-2 home victory during the 2004-05 campeonato, but his contribution in his side’s 2-1 win away in 2003 was much more important and noteworthy; not only did he score, he and Luis Enrique – Barça’s current manager – actually fought battle royale style.
Tensions will surely be high AF in their first meeting as coaching foes, especially given the fact that the Catalan club destroyed and demolished madridista hopes and dreams with a 4-0 master class at the Bernabéu last November. Now’s your time, Zizou. Show Lucho what you’re made of.
Zidane also suffered his fair share of terrible Clásico defeats, including but not limited to that time when Ronaldinho earned the applause of the Madrid faithful after absolutely lighting up the home squad with these blissful golazos:
Zizou has got to be feeling pretty good about his side’s chances on Saturday. They’re rested; they’re clicking. Casemiro is in the defensive hole to provide cover for Modric and Kroos; Vázquez, James, and Isco are available for speed and creativity through the middle. The BBC is in much better form, and well: Keylor Navas. Here’s hoping he can reverse last time’s result – or maybe he can just take the pitch instead?