When a footballer reaches a certain level of stardom, he automatically becomes the focal point for the rest of the world to follow. Players like Raul, Paolo Maldini, Luis Figo and the likes were such figures of the previous generation.'
And there was another named Zinedine Zidane. The Frenchman inspired an entire generation of young footballers and to this day, we see players labeling the former France midfielder as their idol.
A lot of players, too, have been dubbed as the next Zidane and while many of them failed, some of them actually had pretty successful careers – and here are three of them.
3. Mesut Ozil
"When I saw him make a move, I would look for it on YouTube. I'd write 'Zinedine Zidane' in the search box and watch the videos. I told myself, 'I have to do that on the pitch'. And I would end up trying to mimic his moves as soon as I could."
Such is the admiration that Ozil has for the French legend, and to be fair to him, he did end up becoming a very good player whose passing often reminded people of the legendary World Cup-winner.
Ozil’s career, too, has done him justice. He won the league with Real Madrid and was one of the best player’s at the club during his time in Spain. He won the World Cup with Germany in 2014 and while he might not be enjoying the best time of his life right now, he could look back and be quite happy with what he has achieved as a player.
2. Luka Modric
When Luka Modric was wowing the Premier League with his dazzling displays for Spurs every week, most thought that he is the closest thing to Zidane that the league could have.
As it turned out, he left for Real Madrid in 2012 and the rest, as they say, is history. He now has four Champions League titles to his name along with a World Cup runners-up medal and a very prestigious Ballon d’Or award, which must be the greatest personal achievement for any player that played in the Ronaldo and Messi era.
1. Andres Iniesta
Andres Iniesta is perhaps the only one who went from being dubbed as the next Zidane to being labelled as better than Zidane. He is won everything and then some more. If there was anyone that was dubbed as the next Zidane and perhaps outdid the great French magician, it had to be the Spaniard.
At his peak, he was the best midfielder in the world and his magnificence is what allowed Spain to lift the World Cup title in 2010. He has almost won every title that both club and international football have to offer and is one of the biggest legends that the game has ever produced.