When Zidane suffered at Anfield

There will be no public at Anfield, but Zidane already knows what is suffered at the Liverpool stadium. He was lucky enough to play on the stage where Madrid will settle their position in the Champions League semi-finals after falling in the round of 16 in the last two editions of the top continental team competition. He did it with his team, France, at the Eurocup in England in 1996: this summer will be 25 years of that tournament. And he did it in a game that, like tonight, was eliminatory.

The 1996 Euro Cup was held in England, which was once again hosting a football tournament. This time it was the final tournament of the European teams. 'Football's coming home' was the motto chosen for this championship. And so it was: more than 47 European teams played in the qualifying round. Quite a record. One of the cities chosen to host matches was Liverpool, where one of its stadiums, Anfield, was the scene of three matches of the first phase, the three belonging to Group C: Italy-Russia (2-1 in favor of the azzurri), Czech Republic-Italy (2-1 in one of the great surprises of the tournament and that in the end would be fundamental in the elimination of the Italians) and a tough exchange of goals between Russia and the Czech Republic (3-3).

Coat of Arms / Flag France

Holland Shield / Flag

The fourth match already belonged to the knockout phase. In the quarterfinals, and on the same day that Wembley was the scene where England and Spain played for the semifinals, at Anfield, Holland and France faced each other to obtain another place in the penultimate step before reaching the final. And in that France that Aimé Jacquet was training with a view to the World Cup that would be held two years later in Gallic lands, Zinedine Zidane stood out, who had already sealed his departure to Juventus in Turin.

The game was not showy, with more fear of losing than courage to win. Dominated by a divided Dutch team (there was continuous friction between the members of the dressing room while Hiddink wanted to convey a false serenity). The French hardly dared to visit the Van der Sar area. After playing the regulation 120 minutes, the pass was played from the penalty spot. Holland started the batch. The first French pitcher was Zidane. His shot, low and corner, was about to be stopped by Van der Sar, but he began to pave the pass from Les Bleus. It would be Seedorf, then a recent Real Madrid signing, who would miss his launch. O Lama hit the shot from Suriname, depending on how you want to see things. Today, Zidane does not want to repeat that afternoon. He hopes that Madrid will resolve in regulation time …