Zidane delivers for France Heads-up goals put host country over top

July 13, 1998|By CHICAGO TRIBUNE

SAINT-DENIS, France -- When he was growing up in La Castellane, a low-income area of Marseille that is home to many immigrants, Zinedine Zidane used to help a hardware store owner with deliveries. The store owner paid Zidane in candies, and it seemed like a sweet thing to do.

"One day," Zidane thought, "maybe I can become a delivery truck driver."

Yesterday, he delivered the goods for an entire nation.

Zidane, who had been ejected earlier in the World Cup for dragging his spikes over a Saudi Arabian player, scored France's first two goals of a 3-0 victory over Brazil in the most lopsided final since 1958.

"I badly wanted to score in this World Cup, and I had only the final left," Zidane said. "It's amazing. Two in the final, and with my head of all things. I'm not very good with my head."

He used it twice in 19 minutes on corner kicks taken from opposite sides of the field. Zidane first headed in a corner by Emmanuel Petit in the 27th minute, then one from Youri Djorkaeff in the first minute of injury time at the end of the opening half.

After Zidane was suspended two matches for his intemperate action in the second match of the first round, the French sports newspaper L'Equipe headlined an edition, "Big Trouble." Zidane missed the second-round struggle against Paraguay, which France survived on a goal in sudden-death overtime.

Even though he missed 2 1/3 matches, Zidane still took more shots than anyone on a French team whose forwards failed to score in the final five matches of the tournament.

"His influence is so important," French captain Didier Deschamps said. "We expect a lot from him, and he can make the difference."

Pub Date: 7/14/98

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