Talking Points: Zidane & China

There are a lot of great things happening in football that everyone is talking about at the moment, so I’ve decided to chime in on a couple of the most interesting talking points.

Zidane

First of all, it’s hard for me to say anything wrong about one of the greatest legends in football history.

I’ve learned so much from watching Zizou play and I had the chance to play against him a couple of times in my career and it was a joy! I even remember buying the DVD where he explains his famous roulette trick. The second thing was something I would always advise any youngster to do.

He said the quicker you have the ball under control the faster you can do what you want with it. It’s easy but you still see people trying to dribble a bouncing ball and when they lose it or it goes out they are upset. I get it, but Zizou was one of the best at it. Get the ball under control first then dribble, because then you don’t have to look at the ball but you can look over the ball to see your opponents and teammates.

Now seeing him excel as a top coach is great because I’ve witnessed a lot of top players finding it hard to make the transition from a great player to a great coach.

He’s made Real Madrid play great, attacking football. In his time as a player the Galacticos were great and a joy to watch but sometimes struggled to defend. Of course they didn’t need to worry bout that because Zidane and his colleagues would always score more goals than their opponents.

His Madrid are defensively stronger and are a strong force going forward as well. I mean it also helps having a machine in the team that doesn’t break down like Ronaldo.

China

You’re probably wondering what I’m going to say about the Chinese Super League because everyone has their own opinion, so that’s why I’m giving mine.

It’s hard these days for players to say no to the huge deals that are being thrown at them. That’s why China has broken the market and they knew they would. They came in and attacked the football market from every angle. They started with interesting names, people where you can see why they said yes. For example players like Pelle – he knew that offer would not come again so he must have thought I’ll take this offer and my family will be set for life.

Then Tevez came and I thought wow, that’s crazy, but again it’s understandable because it’s probably his last move. I know he said he was going home and wanted to retire in Argentina but then China came and he must have begged his wife. I imagine she must have thought very hard and long, slept on it for 2 weeks and then gave him a wink: ‘ok you can go’.

The surprise for me was with Oscar because he’s such a great talent in his peak. I know he wasn’t playing at Chelsea so it could be that he thought his price had gone down as a player, and he still managed to get an offer so he better take it.

But I would have loved to see him shine in a league that currently has more prestige. China could have in the future but I can’t be upset with him for taking it. If you think of it from his point of view, you sit on the bench, and even though he makes great money, players want to play! And bear in mind if the coach doesn’t like him at all, the club will maybe buy a new midfielder very soon and he won’t be playing at all.

Have we thought about that? Because it’s easy to judge if you aren’t in their shoes and never will be.

I don’t want to see more young players going there too early. Be patient, enjoy your football in the top leagues so the likes of me and the rest of the fans can keep enjoying your best years on TV and in the stadiums closer to home.

Did I retire too early? No, and the game has changed big time. That’s why you should enjoy your time, never be greedy or jealous of somebody else’s success. And when it’s done, enjoy watching the ones who are living it after you and making the most out of it in their own way.

#mmlove