Editor’s note: Every day from now until the start of the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 on November 20, we will reveal a different memory from the history of the World Cup. The the countdown from 101 continues with Zidane’s stellar performance in the 1998 World Cup final.
It was the final that every neutral, not to mention everyone in Brazil and France, wanted to see.
Led by superstar forward Ronaldo, four-time World Cup winners Brazil entered France ’98 as favorites and defending champions. The host nation, led by midfield dynamo Zinedine Zidane, were looking to become just the seventh team to lift the trophy and the sixth to do so at home.
With five goals on the way to the final, Ronaldo had lived up to the tournament’s best player. But he suffered a seizure hours before the decisive match and was temporarily removed from Brazil’s starting line-up. Ronaldo played, but Zidane stole the show, scoring twice in the first half to seal the final 3-0 triumph for the Bleus.
The impact of the victory for the French team, made up largely of players whose parents hail from the country’s former colonies in North Africa and the Caribbean — Zidane himself has Algerian roots — went far beyond the sport It was also credited with uniting a changing nation behind a common cause.
Zinedine Zidane’s brace against Brazil
The Real Madrid star scored twice against Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final.
Doug McIntyre is a football writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a writer for ESPN and Yahoo Sports and has covered the US men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @By Doug McIntyre.
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