Zinédine Zidane is a retired French football player who won all the major international and European trophies. He is one the most loved icons in France and worldwide.
Faithful ambassador of the Danone Nations Cup since it began, he stands alongside the younger generation to encourage them to believe in their dreams, pass on his unique experience of the game but also team spirit, fair play and a passion for football.
Each year, France’s celebrated number 10 tries to be there on the pitch with the children to kick off the World Final.
Interview with Zinédine Zidane:
You have been the ambassador of the Danone Nations Cup for over 10 years now; how does it inspire you now?
Quite honestly, this is an amazing event, so much more than an international football tournament, it’s an unforgettable experience for these children who come from all over the world! It’s impressive to see how the language barrier disappears when they are on the field, all they need is sport and passion to understand each other. The Danone Nations Cup is just that: sharing of a passion for football, respect, beyond the borders, it’s a dream for any child. I would certainly have loved to have taken part in it when I was their age. Football has given me a lot and I want to pass on my experience to the younger generation, not just from a technical point of view but also a state of mind. At the age of 12, football is, and must remain, a game between friends!
What advice would you give to the teams taking part?
Nothing other than enjoy, share and continue to play fair! Each year I am struck by the bond that is created between all the children from all the countries. I love to see them play and chat; it’s amazing.
Fair Play is a cornerstone value of the Danone Nations Cup; what does it mean for you?
Fair Play, like respect, is obviously the core and central value of sportsmanship. It is particularly relevant to football. I feel very strongly about it. It is therefore essential that the Danone Nations Cup is exemplary in this area because good habits should be rooted very early.