France Football Icon Zinedine Zidane Opens Up on How He Agreed to Join Real Madrid on a ‘Piece of Paper Towel’

France Football Icon Zinedine Zidane Opens Up on How He Agreed to Join Real Madrid on a ‘Piece of Paper Towel’

  • Zinedine Zidane, who turned 50 today, took a journey down memory lane to relive one of the watershed moments in the history of world football
  • The 1998 FIFA World Cup winner smashed the world transfer record in 2001 when he completed a move from Juventus to Real Madrid for a fee of €76 million
  • Zidane enjoyed five successful years at Juventus, during which he won two Serie A titles and reached two Champions League finals

Legendary French footballer turned coach Zinedine Zidane has recounted the circumstances leading to his world-record move to Real Madrid 21 years ago.

Zidane eclipsed the world transfer record when he swapped the Italian Serie A for the glitz and glam of the Spanish top-flight.

The then-29-year-old mercurial attacker smashed the world transfer record by signing for Real Madrid for €76 million, where he will go on to further etch his name in the folklore of the Spanish giants for five glittering seasons.

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Florentino Perez, World record, transfer, Real Madrid, Juventus, Zinedine Zidane, Paper towel, negotiations
Zinedine Zidane swapped Juventus for Real Madrid on Jul 9, 2001, for a world-record fee of €76 million. Photo credit: @goal
Source: Twitter

The three-time World Footballer of the Year recollected the negotiations he had with Madrid chief Florentino Perez.

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“It was in Monaco. The first time we saw each other, everything was decided. There was no second or third date to make things happen. The first was good. We said okay." Zidane told L’Equipe as quoted by Football Transfers.
He continued: “Florentino Pérez is a man who does not joke. When he says, ‘We're going to do it’, he does it. I even have an anecdote that still makes me laugh today.
“We were at a large table in Monaco for a gala dinner. We weren't next to each other. I was invited to receive an award. There, he hands me a towel. It was written inside: ‘Do you want to come?’

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“And I answered him on a piece of paper towel: ‘Yes’.
“I still wonder why I answered him in English! I could have put ‘oui’, since he speaks French, or ‘si’ in Spanish, but I put ‘yes’.
“It went from there and I spent five years at Madrid.
“Five years at Juve, five years at Real."

Zidane breaks silence on his managerial future

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Zinedine Zidane has finally broken his silence on his managerial future amid reports he could be headed to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Frenchman has not been in the dugout for a year since quitting his Real Madrid boss role in 2021.

The 49-year-old had two successful stints at the helm of La Liga giants but twice walked out on them as he took a break from football.

Source: Sports Brief News