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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
The frustration of Zizou
"Why me?" was Zinedine Zidane's typical response to two artists who wanted to make a film about him.

Turner Prize winner Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno spent years trying to track down the now retired player, having first discussed the project in Jerusalem in 1997.

Zinedine Zidane
The film comes to a familiar ending against Villarreal

And his response proved that despite being one of football's greatest, there is still much to reveal about him even after the release of the film Zidane: A 21st Century portrait.

For those that do not know him Zinedine Zidane has achieved everything in European football having won the World Cup, the European Championship and the Champions League.

The talismanic Frenchman has graced football fields across Europe for the past decade or more, many comparing his languid style and speed of thought to the greatest South American players who have graced the game.

Unlike many British footballers, much of what we know about Zidane is confined to the football field and this is reflected in the film.

Zidane, or Zizou as he is known, is a deeply private man, one of the reasons why the film took so long to make.

Gordon and Parreno first tried to approach him whilst he was at Juventus but it is in the strip of Real Madrid that we get to see the motions and tics that make up his fascinating character.

Sometimes when things are not going so well... it is almost as if the script is written

Zinedine Zidane

The film is simply a football match between Real Madrid and Villarreal which took place on April 25 2005.

17 cameras are entrained on Zidane during the course of the match giving an insight that is rarely seen during televised football matches.

Player-cam this is not. You often don't see the ball, even when he has it.

What is striking is how little he says and maybe even how little he moves. To begin with he is a periphery figure.

The music by Scottish band Mogwai provides a dreamy soundtrack which is interspersed with noise of the 80,000-strong crowd in the Bernabeu and some of what Zidane says, almost whispers.

Much of the focus is on Zidane's eyes, something which pleased the player when he first saw the film.

Gordon explained that Zidane had told him that his eyes were 'true' and that he looked like his brother talking to his mother in the kitchen.

The concentration etched on Zidane's face during he film is rarely broken. He looks tough and smiles only once when joking with Roberto Carlos.

According to Gordon, Zidane didn't like the moment.

Zinedine Zidane
Was Zidane's frustration part of the cause of his sending off in the World Cup?

It also says something about the player that he refused to re-record a 'grazias' that he ironically says to the referee during the course of the match.

He is also scathing of the referee when he says he should be ashamed of himself for awarding Villarreal a penalty.

Gordon and Parreno were fortunate in choosing the match. Even though Zidane knew he was being filmed he said that he forgot the cameras were there.

But there is one moment which questions whether that is entirely true. It is much the same with the conclusion of his career.

Why did he choose to let an insult get to him five minutes away from the end of his career in the World Cup final?

Was it a perfect way to end the story?

Overall the film become quite mesmerising after a while. It is almost trance-like watching a player in such detail from so many angles and distances.

Zidane explains some of his thought processes on the field which perhaps reveal most of all about his state of mind when the game took place.

"Sometimes when things are not going so well...it is almost as if the script is written," he says.

France players have admitted in the past that when they didn't know what to do, they just passed to Zidane. For such a talented player, this is an admission that he has less control of a game than he used to.

His face is one of frustration during the picture and as a record of his talents, it doesn't do him justice.

Gordon claims that Zidane was forced to play for Madrid for a season longer than he wanted to so how much did this frustration grow?

We all know how he signed off against Italy. This portrait offers a glimpse of the journey he endured to get there.

SEE ALSO
Zidane's red mist
09 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006
Zidane off as Italy win World Cup
09 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006


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