Birthday special: Lesser known facts about Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane, one of the greatest footballers the world has ever seen turns 44 today. On his birthday, we bring to you some astonishing facts about the French football star.

Zidane. Pic/ AFP

>> Zidane is considered a hero in France

>> He is also a 'non-practicing Muslim and was voted amongst "Top 10 Greatest Muslim Athletes of All Time"

>> Zidane met his future wife Veronique Fernandez at age 17. They have four sons together - Enzo, Luca, Theo and Elyaz

>> He holds the record for being the oldest player to win the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball. He was aged 34 years and 17 days at the time.

>> He also is a joint-record holder to score most goals in a World Cup final.

>> In his final World Cup appearance in 2006, Zidane was sent off with a red card by the referee for headbutting Italy's Marco Materazzi during the final.

>> After his brilliant performance in the '98 World Cup, his 'monk' hairstyle became a trend worldwide and was sported by many men, women and children.

>> Zidane would attend weekly boxing sessions with Frank Bruno, prior to his World Cup stint.

>> Zidane is the first known footballer to break the sound barrier with a football kick.

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