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

PELE – MOST PROLIFIC BRAZILIAN STRIKER

EARLY CAREER

Edson Arrantes de Nascimento by his full name, Pele was born in Tres Coracoes in Brazil, in a family that loved soccer, his father being himself a player for Fluminese (his father was known as Dondinho). In this sporty atmosphere, the young Pele learned to enjoy the game, despite the poverty he grew up in.

The family’s situation was even harder when his father had to quit playing soccer professionally due to a knee injury. Thus, for young Pele, soccer was what he regarded as the only way out of poverty and he started training daily, but since he had no money to buy a real ball, he used a stuffed sock instead.

After forming up a “shoeless team” with his street kids, Pele and his team participated in a youth tournament, with Pele ending up as top goalscoarer. He was immediately noticed by former Brazilian international Waldemar de Brito, who called him to the youth squad of Baquinho, whom he trained and, for the first time, offered Pele money to play soccer. During his year at the club’s youth team, Pele managed to win the championship after a dazzling performance: 148 goals in just 33 matches.

SANTOS

At just 15 years of age, Pele was bought by Brazil giants Santos, where he would later team up with some of Brazil’s finest players of that era and future World Cup winners, such as Zito, Pepe or Coutinho. Just one year later after he joined Santos, he became the youngest player to start in the Brazilian first division at age 16 and even more incredibly, he became league top scorer at the end of the season! Talk about starting with the right foot.

As it was not yet the era of Brazilian players running for European careers, Pele remained at Santos for almost 20 years, time in which he scored (read carefully) 1087 goals in 1120 matches. Even if you’re not that good at maths, I’m sure you can acknowledge that as an astonishing goal per match ratio.

1000TH GOAL

One of the milestones in the history of Pele was definitely his 1000th goal scored in all competitions. It was both a highly anticipated moment and an emotional one. On November 19th, 1969 Pele already had scored 999 goals in his career, either for Santos or Brazil’s national team. Playing on the Maracana Stadium, Brazil’s “cathedral of soccer”, against arch-rivals Vasco Da Gama, Pele managed to score from a penalty kick and broke all records standing in front of him.

NATIONAL TEAM & RECORDS

Throughout his 15 years spent at the Brazil national team, Pele managed to break hundreds of records, but we’ll just follow up on those that are deemed most important:

  • He became the most prolific striker in Brazil’s history, with 77 goals in 92 matches.
  • Pele, the footballer who used to shine shoes in order to raise money for a real soccer ball, scored 12 goals in different World Cup matches, being beaten only by Ronaldo.
  • He is considered by FIFA the most prolific scorer in soccer history, with 1281 goals in 1363 matches in all competitions.
  • He is the only player to have won three World Cups (gasp!), although he did not receive a medal for the one in 1962, since he was injured in the final (he played on several other matches throughout the campaign though)
  • He is one of the few players to achieve the performance of scoring in two different World Cup finals, sharing this record with Paul Breitner, Vava and Zinedine Zidane.

Checkout the ASCII Art of Pele 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/wHIlKMmK/Pele_ASCII.html