Considered the most popular Frenchman of all time by the Journal du Dimanche, Zinedine Zidane's successful career is linked to moments as unforgettable as the 1998 World Cup Final.
The clothing she wore during that epic encounter has gone down in history as one of the most emblematic of all time. Not surprisingly, Zidane's World Cup 98 jersey is one of the most sought-after by fans even today.
But before his magnificent performance against Rivaldo's Brazil, Zidane had already surprised the world while playing for Juventus in Turin. Even when he was in the Cannes Youth Division, the Frenchman showed unusual skills. But it was his time with Les Bleus that immortalised the Marseille star.
In the following lines we will delve into the history behind Zidane's 98 World Cup jersey. Why was the number 10 so important in this edition of the World Cup, how was the design devised by Adidas, did you really get to pay almost 90 thousand euros for an original model? Discover it!
Zidane's World Cup 98 T-shirt, an outfit for the history of football
Despite his sad and embarrassing farewell to the pitch at the 2006 World Cup, Zidane will always be remembered as one of the icons of world history, thanks to his role in the 1998 final: "My life changed with that match, even though I didn't know it at the time," the Frenchman would explain.
And of course, Zidane's World Cup 98 jersey was the most memorable of that FIFA World Cup on French soil.
Adidas was responsible for devising a design that surprised locals and strangers alike. He managed to combine the traditional colours and motifs of the Les Bleus team with stylistic innovations that made it unique and inimitable.
So much so that the local Zidane World Cup 98 shirt is one of the most beautiful. It had an electric blue design as the dominant tone, with three horizontal white lines and a thick red band, on which were placed the shield of the French Football Federation and the logo of the German manufacturer.
But it is also surprising the presence of small details, which gave a great attraction to this clothing. We are talking about the high collar with the French tricolour and the sinuous white lines that run through the short sleeves.
As for Zidane's second shirt of World Cup 98, its design was identical to the main one, but in white, which forced to retouch some tones. For example, the three white lines on the chest became red and the same thing happened with the details on the neck and sleeves.
Why Zidane's 1998 World Cup shirt was synonymous with success for Les Bleus
But what would a sports apparel be without its sporting successes? To understand the importance of Zidane's 1998 World Cup jersey, it is necessary to put it in context.
Although the hosts did not have their best debut at the 1998 World Cup, their game improved as they progressed through the tournament. Les Bleus had the likes of Bernard Lama in goal, Laurent Blanc, Patrick Vieira and Didier Deschamps in midfield and Robert Pires with Thierry Henry, accompanying Zidane on the attacking line.
Thanks to this gala eleven, the French improved through their group, defeating South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Denmark before facing more serious teams, such as Paraguay and especially Italy, who they surpassed by a whisker in the penalty shootout.
In addition to beating the Azzurra, Zidane's France had a really tough time against Croatia, whom they defeated in one of the most controversial matches in living memory.
However, the finale to this World Cup would come on the Stade de France turf, in a flaming final against the Canarinha in which played Rivaldo, Cafu, Ronaldo Nazario, Dunga, Leonardo or Claudio Taffarel, among others.
That 12 July would forever change the history of football, marking the first FIFA World Cup victory of his career. The French team defeated the Carioca 3-0, a very convincing result made possible by a genius named Zinedine Zidane.
The Marseille player managed to score two of the three goals that went up the scoreboard, immortalizing forever Zidane's 1998 World Cup jersey with the iconic dorsal 10 on his back. In addition, Zidane was named the Player of the Match, which further enhanced this feat.
Zidane's original shirt from the 1998 World Cup, sold for 88,000 euros
Therefore, it is not surprising that Zidane's World Cup 98 shirt is one of the most coveted among fans and collectors. Without budgetary limits, how much would you be willing to pay for an authentic model of the Marseilles player?
A Zinedine Zidane shirt worn during France's 1998 World Cup triumph was auctioned off in 2016, surely the most valuable jersey of all the jerseys worn in that mythical final.
After the shirt was authenticated at Adidas headquarters, Olivier Demolis, a specialist collector of football shirts, disbursed an enormous sum of money to collect such a precious treasure: no less than £78,000 (approx. 88,000 euros in exchange).
Fortunately for the less affluent fans, this collector donated the shirt to the FIFA World Football Museum, which can be visited in the Swedish city of Zurich.
Zidane and his 1998 jersey with the French team are part of the football world heritage. If you want to get your hands on this and other World Cup outfits, you'll find a host of vintage national team shirts at The Football Market.