ZINEDINE ZIDANE – THE FRENCH SOCCER STAR

Zinedine Zidane was born June 23, 1972, in Marseille, France. Zidane got his start in football (known as soccer in North America) at an early age, when he joined the US Saint-Henri club.

He moved on to Septemes Sports Olympiques after the coach convinced the director of the club to sign him. After leaving Septemes at the age of 14, Zidane participated in the first year junior selection for the league championship, the same year he was discovered.

OFF TO CANNES

He was called in for 3 days at the sport regional centre in Aix-en-Provence, where Jean Varraud, Cannes’ recruiter, noticed the French/Algerian player. He ventured off to Cannes for what was intended to be a six-week stay, but remained even longer. Playing with professionals at the age of 16, it would only be a matter of time when he too would turn pro, and he knew he was on his way to realizing his dreams.

Showing the determination of an athlete who wants to exceed expectations, Zidane had played his first game in First Division at the age of 17, and it was from then that football went from an ambition to a passion. The Cannes midfielder scored his first goal on February 8th, 1991 (he received a Clio as a promise from the Cannes President, who promised him a car when he scored his first goal as a professional), and his first season with the club was marked by a qualification for the UEFA Cup.

Zidane’s second season with Cannes wasn’t as promising, but on the non-professional front he met his future wife Veronique, a Spanish dancer. After a lukewarm 91-92 season, Zidane felt it was time for a change and switched to Bordeaux after he was asked to sign a four-year contract. Marseille also wanted Zidane, but Bordeaux proved to want him more.

KICKING & SOARING

His beginning with Bordeaux was hard on 24-year-old Zidane, as it forced him to adapt, but once he did, he did so with flying colours. Not only did Bordeaux qualify every year that Zidane played with the team, but Bordeaux also qualified for the UEFA Cup through Intertoto and went to the final in 95-96, Zidane’s last year with the team.

At the same time, Juventus sought out Zidane, and after his four crucial seasons with Bordeaux, he moved to Torino. Again, Zidane was forced to adapt to the Italian way of playing as well as to the lifestyle, but after his first year, he was a bona fide star.

It was with Juventus that Zidane won titles, as Winner of the 1996 European Super Cup, the 1996 European/South American Cup, Winner of the 1997 League Super Cup, named 1997 and 1998 Italy Champion, and Finalist of the 1997 and 1998 Champions League. His individual awards include the Golden Ball in 1998, and he was named Best Player of the Year by the FIFA in 1998 and 2000.MOST EXPENSIVE FOOTBALL PLAYER

In 2001, Zizou became the most expensive player in football history when Real Madrid acquired him for 46 million pounds (roughly $66 million US Dollars). Even if he does have to adapt to the Spanish way of life, he certainly won’t have to adapt to being the star player, nor the award winner.

Zinedine and Veronique have two sons, Enzo (named after Enzo Francescoli) and Luca. In addition to promoting a slew of sports products, Zidane is also Christian Dior’s first male model.

Checkout the ASCII Art of  Zinedine Zidane in the below link. Please use Lucida Console font to view the art in Notepad. Before that in Notepad go to Format and Uncheck the Word Warp and then Go to Font and Reduce the Font Size to 3 to 4 pt. Use only Lucida Console Font.

http://www.4shared.com/document/iDP9th5V/Zinedine_Zidane_ASCII.html

RONALDO – THE BRAZILIAN STRIKER

YOUTH CAREER

Ronaldo Luis Naz├írio de Lima was born on September 22, 1976 in Bento Ribeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Born in a poor neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, he started playing soccer on the streets, with the rest of his neighborhood friends. At age 14, he decided it’s time for a little organization in his life as a soccer player, so he went on to train with the Social Ramos Youth Club for one year. His next youth team, Sao Cristovao is where Ronaldo made a name for himself, being spotted by Brazilian World Cup winner Jairzinho as a future talent.

Jairzinho, who played for Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, recommended the young Ronaldo to the club and they signed him when he was 18 years old. His first and only season as a professional soccer player in Brazil was extremely successful, as he scored 12 goals in 13 games, quickly attracting the eyes of Europe.

PSV EINDHOVEN

The first club to spot Ronaldo and make Cruzeiro an offer was Dutch PSV Eindhoven. Admittedly, not one of the mammoths of Europe in terms of soccer, but nevertheless a powerful club where a young player like Ronaldo could hone his skills and get some experience in Europe. His 2 seasons at PSV were extremely successful, scoring 42 goals in 46 matches at just 21 years of age. His performances could not remain unnoticed and FC Barcelona moved in with a heavy offer to take the Brazilian on.

FC BARCELONA and INTERNAZIONALE MILANO

His only season with Barcelona would be one of the best of his career, scoring 47 goals in 49 matches in all competitions for Barca and helping the Catalan club win the UEFA Cup Winners Cup (He actually scored the winning goal in the final) and the Spanish Cup. This great season confirmed him as an outstanding player and a goal scoring machine and Internazionale Milano moved in to take the Brazilian to Italy.During the 5 seasons in Milan’s shirt, he managed to score 50 times, but his efficiency was a lot lower than for PSV or FC Barcelona, due to several problems.

First of all, the tough defensive air of the Italian Serie A reduced his ability to use his lethal dribbles as often as he could at FC Barcelona or PSV.His personal issues with his girlfriends and wife, as well as a string of injuries also kept him from being as prolific as before. Nevertheless, he was loved at Inter and he helped the Italian club win the UEFA Cup in 1998, which is actually his only trophy with the club. In 1997 however, he became the European Footballer of the Year, European Golden Boot and after the UEFA Cup success, he was named UEFA’s MVP that season.Still, in 2002 after no league titles with Inter, it was time to move on and Real Madrid took him on to form the so called “Galacticos” team of super stars.

REAL MADRID

For Ronaldo, Real Madrid was angel and devil alike. Used to the Spanish league and escaping the Italian one’s defensive toughness, he regained his scoring pace and in his 5 seasons with Real, he scored no less than 127 goals in 83 league games.He helped Real Madrid win the league twice, in 2002-2003 and 2006-2007, as well as the European Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup in 2002. Although he played well for Madrid, his past with FC Barcelona, his numerous injuries and news of him partying before and after matches, created a gap between the Brazilian striker and his fans. He also gained a few pounds, which decreased his stamina, speed and agility attracting the anger of Real’s supporters, after a poor 2005-2006 season. Not finding his pace at Real Madrid anymore, he decided to move back to Milan, but this time for Inter’s arch-rivals, AC Milano.

Checkout the ASCII Art of Ronaldo in the below link. Please use Lucida Console font to view the art in Notepad. Before that in Notepad go to Format and Uncheck the Word Warp and then Go to Font and Reduce the Font Size to 3 to 4 pt. Use only Lucida Console Font.

http://www.4shared.com/document/ryuKf6sC/Ronaldo_ASCII.html