No one who watched his spectacular winner in the 2-1 victory at
Cesar Sanchez, who started the game in goal for
“There were other players in that team that you always expected would go on to coach, but we didn’t really see Zinedine as one of them. What he has done since then is extraordinary.
“To win the Champions League, then the league and reach another Champions League final is huge. And all this after taking over in a difficult situation.”
Marca’s match report of the game in 2002 described his goal as “the ball dropping down from heaven and God himself getting on the end of it”.
Roberto Carlos’ pass was slightly behind the Frenchman, but he left Bayer Leverkusen keeper Hans-Jorg Butt with no chance.
“His management of the group has been fantastic,” adds Sanchez of his old team-mate. “There have been tactical variations that he has come up with, so he has the ability to do that too. And don’t confuse this (relaxed) management style with being soft.”
Zidane has handled the world’s most expensive dressing room just as a one-time 78 million-pound world-record signing ought to be able to. His own big-money move started badly in 2001, and he was even booed by the Bernabeu.
Del Bosque told El Pais: “It’s true he is shy – the hardest thing for him to deal with was the popularity – but it is an attractive shyness, you know there is a big personality behind it.”
He has shown that character in the dug-out just as he showed it on the pitch in 2002.
Real Madrid went into the Glasgow final having finished third in the league, and suffering the ignominy of losing the Copa del Rey final 2-1 to Deportivo la Coruna on the day of their centenary in their own stadium.
That made it more important than ever to go home from Hampden with their ninth European Cup.
Raul scored after nine minutes, but Bayern were level three minutes later when Claude Makelele brought down Michael Ballack, and Lucio headed in Thomas Brdaric’s free kick.
Then came Zidane’s guided missile, right on the stroke of halftime.
It would be 12 years before
The 12th is now within his grasp, and back on British soil, the omens are good.