The Eternal Cult of Zinedine Zidane

“This story first appeared in Eight by Eight magazine’s World Cup issue. ICON (also ikon) 1. A devotional painting of Christ or another holy figure, typically executed on wood and used ceremonially in the Byzantine and other Eastern Churches. 2. A person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration: ‘this iron-jawed icon of American manhood.’ So says the Oxford English Dictionary. ‘Zinedine Zidane’ would be a tempting addition: ‘regarded … as worthy of veneration’yes, certainly. When your face is beamed on the Arc de Triomphe on the night of France’s greatest-ever sporting exploit, of which you’ve been the undoubted hero, how could you not be? To acknowledge Zidane’s iconic status does not necessarily mean, however, that it was bestowed on him by a nation united in gratitude, as I was recently reminded in a Paris cab.” New Republic

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