France laments Zidane's exit

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> France's Zinedine Zidane got a send off he certainly wouldn't have wanted.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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France's Zinedine Zidane got a send off he certainly wouldn't have wanted. The best player of his generation, Zidane was always prone to the odd rush of blood. He had also received a red card in the 1998 World Cup, for stamping on a Saudi Arabian player. That his Coach and President stood up for him after that incident showed just what his contribution means to the people of France. Having converted the penalty, Zidane was one step closer to immortality, and would have been spoken of in the same breath as Maradona and Pele, as one of the greatest players in World Cup history. Unfortunately for him, his emotional countrymen will always remember the World Cup red card as the biggest blemish in his career. Having scored over 30 goals for his country, and become one of only four people to have scored three goals in the title round of the world cup, Zidane's last match should ideally have been the crowning glory for a man who defied all odds to lead his team to their only World Cup triumph. A three-time world player of the year and the best European player over the last five decades, surely Zidane, the footballing legend, deserved a better farewell.

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