In July 2001, Zinedine Zidane left Juventus to join Real Madrid, against the sum of 500 million francs. An amount that will remain a record for many years.
July 9 is a special date for Zinedine Zidane. It marks the sad anniversary of the end of his career, of this 2006 World Cup final ended on a whim against Marco Materazzi and a red card. It also corresponds to the day when the playmaker of the France team switched to the France team by joining Real Madrid.
Zidane was already great, world champion in 1998, Ballon d’Or in stride. He became Galactic by joining the Real Madrid of the ambitious Florentino Perez, whose project was to afford one superstar per year. In 2000, the Merengues paid 400 million francs to steal Luis Figo from FC Barcelona. In 2001, Real Madrid put 500 million francs on the table to recruit Zidane, then at Juventus.
A record transfer that will last eight years
“I have already said that some players are born to play for Real Madrid and correspond perfectly to the characteristics necessary to play in this club and Zinedine Zidane is one of these players”, will say at the time Florentino Perez. This record transfer, for the equivalent of 77 million euros, will last for many years. It was not until 2009 that Zidane lost his title as the most expensive player in history, with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo at… Real Madrid for 94 million euros.
Zidane has found a home
It was on July 9, 2001 that Zidane was presented as a Real player, posing with the famous white jersey, flocked with the improbable number 5. The French playmaker will play the last five years of his career in Madrid, with a record not necessarily up to expectations (only 1 Liga in five years, 1 Champions League), but the trace left by “ZZ” is unforgettable , like his goal in the Champions League final against Leverkusen in 2002.
Above all, Zidane found a home, a club of which he would later become the coach with an ultimately better record: two titles in La Liga, and of course three victories in the Champions League. Florentino Perez will never regret breaking the piggy bank to make Zidane a Madrid player.