It’s almost a decade since the German coach started working in Africa, managing the likes of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Mikel Obi but he once was the boss of a more celebrated star
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has gone down memory lane to recall the technical, physical, and mental attributes of Zinedine Zidane when the future great was just taking his first professional steps in the beautiful game.
Zidane began his football career at Cannes before joining Girondins Bordeaux, where Rohr was the manager at the time.
Zizou’s elegance, vision, passing, ball control, and technique made him one of the best players in the French Division 1.
The attacking midfielder was voted Ligue 1’s Player of the Year in 1996, earning himself a move to Italian giants, Juventus.
After winning two Serie A titles, among others with the Old Ladies, the retired French international switched to the Santiago Bernabeu when Real Madrid coughed out a then-world record fee of €77.5 million in 2001.
The three-time FIFA World Player of the Year, presently managing Real Madrid, is considered one of football’s greats.
Rohr is not surprised by the successful career Zidane forged for himself, noting that he had all the essentials in place from a tender age.
“We immediately saw his technique, his skill with the ball. We also saw his mind, which was that of an ambitious young player who wanted to make his place,” Rohr said, as quoted by Girondins4Ever.
“He was 20 years old at the time. We saw him arrive with all his qualities and we immediately saw that he was a player of the future.
“He was one of the best on the team. We had a very young team. There were young players like Christophe Dugarry, Bixente Lizarazu. We had a young, winning team, and this young Zizou, as we called him, was very promising, from his arrival.
“He had this technical facility, which is not only innate. This talent for football that he had, it is also the fruit of work.”