After turning his back on the Blues for a year, Zinedine Zidane made his grand return to the France team on August 17, 2005. The adventure towards the World Cup final was launched.
The month of August 2005 marked a turning point in the history of the France team. It was on Wednesday August 3 that Zinédine Zidane announced his comeback with the Blues, a year after announcing his international retirement.
“I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I come back to something very important for me: having stopped the France team, he said in an interview posted at the end of the afternoon on his website. I decided to come back to the Blues. A year later, I go back on a decision on which I was categorical. »
A capital return for the Blues
Zidane’s return to the Blues was anything but trivial. After Euro 2004, the FFF appointed Raymond Domenech to rebuild the France team, after the departure of many executives, Marcel Desailly, Lilian Thuram, Bixente Lizarazu, Claude Makelele or of course Zidane. It was going badly. At the time, the Blues were in a bad position in group 4 of the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, fourth in their pool, behind Ireland, Switzerland and Israel. The Tricolores had four matches to seek first place in their group, directly qualifying for the World Cup in Germany.
In this context, Zidane’s return was a real breath of fresh air. “Yeah, I know I’m coming back to something where a lot of people might say: ‘Why didn’t he do it before? Why now ? Why did you wait so long ?’ added on Wednesday, August 3. I told myself that I didn’t have much left to play football. And I want to make the most of it. But I don’t want to come back as Zorro, as the savior. »
Scorer on his return
It was on August 17 that Zidane found the jersey of the France team. And he wasn’t the only one. Makeleke and Thuram, in the wake of the famous No. 10, also made their comeback with the Blues, in this friendly match against Didier Drogba’s Côte d’Ivoire at La Mosson. France won 3-0. And after the opener from William Gallas (27th), Zidane scored the coup by finding the net from a corner, with a recovery from the left at the far post (62nd). Thierry Henry will add a third goal to make the party even more beautiful (65th).
History was on. Boosted by the return of Zidane, the France team pockets 10 points out of 12 possible, and qualifies for the World Cup. After a difficult start to the World Cup, the machine started to turn in the round of 16 against Spain (3-1). The magic operates in the quarter-finals against the great Brazil (1-0), with a “Zizou” at the top of his game. Winners of Portugal (1-0) in the semi-finals, the Blues qualify for a new World Cup final. Which will be the very last match of Zidane’s career.