blackbirdonline journalSpring 2010  Vol. 9  No. 1


Bresland’s Commentary
One of the greatest ever to play the game, Zinedine Zidane retired from soccer after his ejection from the 2006 World Cup final against Italy, an event Claudia Rankine and John Lucas illuminate here. The circumstances that led to Zidane’s ouster have always been in dispute, but what few would deny is that, through Zidane, the celebrated son of Algerian immigrants, the nation of France came to see itself a degree or two differently. Eight years prior to that violent ejection, in the 1998 World Cup final against Brazil, Zidane scored two goals, angling both shots off his head in ways that defy physical laws. The hopeful national narrative that emerged after that thrilling day (and it was thrilling—imagine tens of thousands of Parisians running out of their apartments, flooding the streets with joy), was that the face of France had changed to reflect its colonial past. With Zidane, Rankine and Lucas explore, among other things, some of the wrinkles in that narrative.  

return to top