In 1996, Zinedine Zidane was a young and talented midfielder playing for French Ligue 1 club Bordeaux. Continually improving and closer to reaching his prime, Zidane was ready for a move to better competition. As a result of remarkable performances and winning the 1996 Ligue 1 Player of the Year award, Zidane caught the attention of several top clubs in Europe.
Zidane was heavily linked with a move to Newcastle United, however, he was rejected because the club apparently felt that the 24-year-old midfielder was “not good enough” to play in the English Premier League. Shortly after the 1996 Euro, Zidane left Bordeaux to join Italian Serie A club Juventus. Juventus had just won the Champions League and was the perfect club for the young midfielder. After a few good years in Juventus, Zidane eventually joined Real Madrid for a fee of 77.5 euros, which was a world record fee at the time.
Zinedine Zidane. What a player! pic.twitter.com/b9qhrs2B5h— 90s Football (@90sfootball) November 9, 2020
What If Newcastle United Had Signed Zidane?
Zidane’s career certainly would have turned out different. No doubt, he’d have had some success playing alongside Alan Shearer. Surely, Zidane and Shearer could have developed a brilliant and dominant offensive attack. No doubt, Newcastle United would have won a few Premier League titles and make deep runs in the Champions League. The success of a Zidane and Shearer duo could have brought written some positive history for the club and it would have been profitable for the club.
One theory may suggest that had Zidane got to Newcastle, he never would have won the Ballon d’Or in 1998. In addition, his transfer to Real Madrid never would have taken place. Another may suggest he would have remained in the Premier League and would have gone to Manchester United, Arsenal, or even Liverpool. All those theories could be true, however, they’re merely just theories. A simple hypothesis will not solve a great historic mystery. Quite frankly, anything could have happened.
Unfortunately, in Newcastle United’s case, the club has a history of missing out on big players. The list includes Wayne Rooney, Rivaldo, Luis Figo, Luka Modric, and Mohamed Salah. This rubs salt to the wound. In addition, all these names just bring more what-ifs. Very tough pills to swallow for the club and its fanbase considering the club went to a complete downward spiral in the mid-2000s leading to relegation in 2009. The club has had no success in the past ten years and is still struggling to become a competitive club. The club’s future remains bland. And there’s no potential.
As far as Zinedine Zidane goes, it’s unclear how his career would have gone had The Magpies had signed him. The club’s rejection of the midfielder is just one of the many mysteries of life for not only Newcastle United, but for the sport of soccer. What’s certain is that The Magpies didn’t want Zidane so Juventus took him and the rest is history.
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Image