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Zidane Scores Final Goal at Enemy Land

Posted April. 25, 2002 09:11,   


`2002 World Cup star is here now…`

First match of 2001 – 2002 European Professional Football Champions League semifinals took place at Spain’s Barcelona Nou Camp on the 24th. In the midst of fierce battles a month before the 2002 World Cup, Spain’s renowned Real Madrid beat its rival FC Barcelona with the world’s best offensive midfielder Zinedine Zidane (France) at its head.

As Real Madrid sought its 9th victory in total, it overcame the disadvantage of a out-match and crushed FC Barcelona by 2-0. Zidane’s perfect control over the game even led to the final goal.

Zidane, who transferred last July with the world’s highest transfer deal (65.5 million dollars), dominated on the field as a double playmaker along with Argentinean midfielder Santiago Solari, who replaced Luis Figo.

The day’s victory broke Real Madrid’s jinx that it never has won a single game at Nou Camp since 1983, and it also put the team on an advantage for the finals. The second game will be held on May 2 at Real Madrid’s home, Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Real Madrid is in anticipation of celebrating its 100th anniversary by winning both the Champions League and the Spanish professional football league, in which the team is currently running second.

Zindane scored the finalizing goal at 10 minute in the second half. After receiving the ball from Raul Conzalez at the left corner of the other’s zone, he saw Barcelona’s goalkeeper Roberto Bonano coming out and just chipped the ball beyond his height into the net. Although Bonano reached out to touch the ball, it went through the goal over his head.

In counterattack, Barcelona reduced defenders and let in Brazilian striker Geovanni to catch up. However, absence of its 5 starting players, including Rivaldo, and Zidane’s midfield play made it difficult. Consequently, Barcelona even allowed an additional goal during the second half’s loss time.

FC Barcelona let down its 90,000 home fans, who were awaiting the tying goal, as it allowed English player Steve McManaman score the additional goal.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com