Playing master of the France team, Zinedine Zidane has bad memories of this France-South Korea of June 18, 2006. Where he did not digest a decision by Raymond Domenech.
Zinedine Zidane definitely does not have good memories of his clashes against South Korea. In 2002, in a preparation match, he came out injured against the South Koreans (2-3), which had greatly mortgaged his World Cup, and that of the Blues. In 2006, “Zizou” had another difficult night against the Taeguk Warriors.
On June 18, after an inaugural draw against Switzerland (0-0), the Blues hoped to bounce back against South Korea. Everything had started well, with an early opener signed Thierry Henry (9th). But the meeting changed with the equalizer of Park Ji-Sung, the Korean star, who was then playing at Manchester United (81st). And the end of the match went badly for Zidane, who received a yellow card (85th), synonymous with suspension for the last pool match against Togo. And in the process, Raymond Domenech found no better than to release his No. 10 and captain (90th + 1).
Zidane and Domenech’s “bad coaching”
At that moment, it was Zidane with his head down, in cold anger, who returned to the sidelines. A few years later, he will return to this episode in the columns of France Football. “I never said it, but I will explain to you why, in fact, says Zizou. I give a ball to Titi Henry who, alone against the goalkeeper, misses the opportunity. It happens to everyone, that’s not the problem. But in the continuity of the action, I take a yellow card which deprives me of the following match against Togo. And five minutes later, the coach takes me out to bring in Trezeguet. There, I have the rage! »
For Zidane, Domenech made a big mistake deciding to take him out to start Trezeguet, as the Blues pushed to win. “Who can score a goal apart from Trezeguet? »And who can give him an assist, if not me? I am here for this !, Zidane recalls. It’s more than bad coaching. I felt great frustration. Afterwards, well, everything is back to normal…”
The Blues will win without him
Casually, this game against South Korea could have been the last game of Zidane’s career. After two matches, the Blues were in third place in their group, with two points, ahead of South Korea and Switzerland, with four points each. In other words, a victory against Togo was imperative for Domenech’s men, under penalty of elimination… and retirement for Zidane, who had announced that he would hang up after this World Cup.
We know the rest: the Blues beat Togo (2-0) thanks to Vieira (55th) and Henry (61st), before regaining their superb form from the round of 16, with victories over Spain (3 -1), Brazil (1-0) and Portugal (1-0), in the wake of a great Zidane. The hatchet with Domenech was buried, and the Blues took the opportunity to play the second World Cup final in their history, against Italy. With Zidane, again, as the main protagonist.
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