June 17, 2009
In truth, this is probably Zizou's fourth reincarnation in recent years. His name tag has rather carelessly been placed on several other rising Frenchmen who, regardless of talent and performance, just haven't the same attributes as the Algerian born wizard.
Nasri, Ribery, and Benzema have all been heralded as his heir yet despite showing ability, none has the silk laden grace and intuition of the former European and World Champion.
Yet in the modest surroundings of Bordeaux, a young man, hastily let go by AC MIlan is making the headlines. Yoann Gourcuff, a lean, athletic forward, has set the Aquitaine region alight and brought with it the almost inevitable Zidane comparison.
This time though, the physique is there and more importantly so are the qualities. Adept with both feet, able to slalom through opponents and find the net with regular consistency, Gourcuff has all the makings of a formidable number 10.
But as both the 98' World Cup and subsequent European Championship proved, one man does not take a team to glory. Messrs Nasri, Benzema and Ribery will all be part of this French Renaissance, spearheaded though by Zidane nouveau...
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