Picture the scene, if you will.
It is 2025, and Real Madrid have just named their starting lineup for the final of the Champions League: Presented by Facebook and Google.
In midfield, the four maestros: Zidane, Zidane, Zidane and Zidane.
Okay, so it is not technically very likely that four Zidanes will occupy the midfield for Los Blancos in that exciting contest at the Twitter New, New Wembley—indeed, it is almost impossible.
But it is certainly not inconceivable that four of them could be on the pitch together by that time.
Because this season Eliaz Zidane, the fourth and youngest of Zinedine Zidane’s sons, officially followed in the footsteps of his three brothers and joined Real Madrid’s academy.
Real Madrid have four sons of Zidane on their books now. Surely one has to make it! pic.twitter.com/RB5wwCKPsm— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) October 29, 2013
Now, there may be an element of nepotism in the arrival; Zidane Sr. remains one of the most revered players in the club’s history and is currently both a sporting director and member of Carlo Ancelotti’s coaching staff.
It’s fair to say he has the political clout to get his son into the academy, should such persuasion be needed.
But that seems unlikely considering seven-year-old Eliaz has already been put into Real’s Under-9 side—moved at a faster pace than some of the siblings that came before him.
Born in Marseille on Boxing Day in 2005, Eliaz will be able to call upon a lot of advice as he plots his way through the ranks at Real’s Valdebebas training complex.
Marca brings the information on the rest of the Zidane clan. The oldest brother, Enzo, will face the most pressure when he turns professional, which could be very soon. Currently part of the Under-18 Juvenil A squad, he has been with Real’s academy for nearly a decade—working his way through the ranks after leaving the Juventus setup at the same time his famous father is.
There have been some concerns about Enzo’s development (and, much like his father, his temperament) in recent times, but he remains a highly regarded prospect, especially after embarrassing Barcelona in a video that became something of a YouTube sensation.
The second son, Luca, is a goalkeeper—currently plying his trade in the Under-16s. He joined Real’s setup at the same age as Eliaz, moving into their Under-8s. He lists his favourite player as Iker Casillas, which surely can’t go down well at the family home (Enzo, on his profile on Real’s website, toes the family line).
The third son is Theo, who plays as an attacking midfielder and classes Cristiano Ronaldo as his favourite player. Again; the youth of today—no respect for their elders.
Historically, it has proven difficult for the offspring of talented footballers to follow in such illustrious footsteps—especially if their father happens to be among the greatest players of all time.
A comparison might be drawn between the Zidanes and the Cruyffs—with legendary player Johan Cruyff and his son Jordi.
Cruyff Jr. enjoyed a career that saw him play for Barcelona, Netherlands and Manchester United—a great effort by any other standards—yet he never truly managed to escape the vast shadow cast by his father.
In a recent column for the Daily Mail, Jordi noted:
There are two types of football players – the legends and the mortals. My father is a legend and I am a mortal.
The legends like my father—they come, they do and they remain. I am part of the vast majority of mortals—we come, we do and we die. I never had a problem with the pressure to live up to my father’s achievements.
It was more the media who were dreaming that my genes would be identical to my father’s. To my pain, it was never like this!
Zinedine Zidane is undoubtedly one of the legends. But, with four offspring now training at one of the best club’s in the world, there appears to be a good chance at least one of them might make a name for themselves in their own right.