French Soccer: Zinedine Zidane
French soccer legend Zinedine Zidane briefly came out of retirement this past weekend to play in a charity match in Thailand. The match was organized by Adidas, one of Zidane’s many corporate sponsors.
In France, the icon’s celebrity has barely tapered off since the infamous head-butt in last year’s World Cup final. Despite Zidane’s seemingly violent streak, he continues to be the focus of several marketing campaigns. These include a relationship with French corporate heavyweight Danone. “Zizou” is a staple on highway billboards, TV commercials, and on both the sports and tabloid pages.
These days in France, Zidane is known for his humanitarianism, celebrity, football legend, and philanthropy. Everywhere else, it seems, he is known for one, wild, ram-like head-butt.