Zidane offers to coach Bangladesh team

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:37 IST

Crowds at the Bangabandhu stadium cheered legendary French footballer Zinedine Zidane as he played the junior sides of the country's top clubs.

Zidane offers to coach Bangladesh team

Dhaka:

It was the Zidane effect in Dhaka.Crowds at the Bangabandhu stadium cheered legendary French footballer Zinedine Zidane as he played the junior sides of the country's top clubs. Zidane is in Dhaka at the invitation of the Grameen Bank founder and Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus. Born of Algerian immigrants, Zidane made a name for himself playing in Italy and Spain.He won not just a world cup but also France's highest civilian award and will possibly be the next coach of Bangladesh.Zidane inaugurated a $1 million food plant, a joint venture of Grameen Bank and the French food giant Danone, on Wednesday. "Its great to share the pleasure of the people of Bangladesh," said Zidane."Zidane is big hero in Bangladesh. Like he is a hero all over the world, next to God in France. He was mobbed by football fans, the media and autograph hunters," said Prof Muhammad Yunus.Zidane came, he saw and he conquered. The village of Itahata, which is 40 km from Dhaka, had never been so charmed by a celebrity.Extensive travellingNDTV accompanied Zidane as he travelled to the village connected by kuchcha roads to see the Grameen Bank's micro credit programme. The Zidane effect was in force as over 5,000 people turned up to see their quiet and smiling hero face to face.When asked by the women why he could not bring his wife and four sons, he said they had to attend school. When Shamsun Naha, a local, asked him about his world Cup final head butt, he said he had talked a lot about it and didn't want to comment anymore. Zidane retired from soccer after being sent off in the World Cup final for head butting Italian Marco Materazzi. Fight racismIn an exclusive interview he told NDTV he would fight racism in football. "There is racism in football just as in society, although it is in a minority. We have to fight this so that football can remain a feast and a celebration," he said.But the most enduring image was his impromptu match with the barefoot footballers. Zidane presented the children of Ithahata village school with a football. He told NDTV that he connected with those in a difficult situation and that he would be proud to do something to help the children of Bangladesh.



Topics : Football France
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