Twenty five years ago this very day, a promising monobrowed young prodigy by the name of Zinedine Yazid Zidane opened his professional goalscoring account at the tender age of 18.
After muscling his way up through the youth ranks, Zidane finally broke into the Canne senior set-up in 1989 aged just 16, just two short years after leaving home to chase down his dream. He was carefully nurtured by club director Jean-Claude Elineau, who even invited the burgeoning but volatile young midfielder to stay at his family home while he found his feet in Ligue 1.
As was inevitable, Zidane scored his first goal for Cannes in February of 1991, in a league game against Nantes – the team he’d made his debut against some three years previous.
The goal game in one of only two appearances he made that season, but it did help Cannes to a 2-1 victory…
Zizou’s first ever goal also earned him a brand new car, a token gift that Cannes president Alain Pedretti had promised him while still in the youth team. Legend has it that Pedretti went out and brought a red Renault Clio especially for the occasion.
He went on to make 31 appearances for Les Dragons Rouges in his first full season, propelling them to fourth place in the top flight – still the club’s highest ever league finish since ending the 1931/32 campaign as runners-up.
Zidane then moved on to Bordeaux where he really began to stamp his authority before making the hop to the big time with Juventus in 1996 and then Real Madrid in 2001.
Oh, and he also won a World Cup and a European Championship with France along the way too.
Indeed, he wasn’t a half bad little player, as it happens…