Coming from a middle-aged man who’s literally obsessed with football – watching, playing, living and breathing the game, 24 hours every day, it might not come a as a surprise to hear that my hero has to be Zinedine Zidane.
The legendary French midfielder epitomises how the game should be played in my eyes. Watching him on the football pitch is like watching an artist at work. He’s enigmatic, brooding, powerful, elegant, intense, its hard not to be mesmerised when watching the maestro on the pitch marauding around and ripping teams apart at will.
To some the footballer is a bit too much for their own likes, when considering his occasionally rash behaviour on the pitch. People remember him for what happened in the World Cup Finals against Italy, but to me to remember a footballer like Zidane in this way is as mad as his last big act on the footballing stage.
Zidane was pure footballing genius, a real pure talent who, like all artists and other highly talented individuals had his own pitfalls. You don’t get to play at the level he does, with the intensity that he has, without having to make some kind of sacrifices in your life. Sure he’s got the wealth, the trophies and the status that goes with his fame, but to me he’ll always be remembered simply for his ability on the football pitch. A pure, genuine, hero of the game.