It seems no one is talking about the polemics that centered around Zizou in this summer’s World Cup Final any more. Nevertheless, his absence is definitely noticed in the Bernabeu. Let’s remember Zizou with these videos:
Category Archives: Zizou
Read this excellent op-ed piece, En honor de Zinédine Zidane, by Darío Valcarcel from the Spanish daily ABC (ironically from one of Spain’s most conservative newpapers). I guess I think it is excellent because it follows much of my line of thinking on this issue. In any event, it is nice to see someone offended by (i) intolerance and (ii) winning at any cost. Don’t worry, I have come to terms with the whole thing. Soon we’ll be back to jamón conspiracy theories and other digressions. Take a deep breath, we’re almost there . . .
I have decided to end my political activism and radicalism with regards to Zizou’s famous cry of “basta ya“. It has been loads of fun. I encounted my alter ego as a soap box orator. Yet, now my past three sleepless nights of indignation have concluded. But before retiring completely, I would like to thank the Men in Black for their support in their recent post, William for his disucssions on this matter, Waya for her empathy, Berga for running the political campaign, and my brother for his “Rage Against the Machine” inspiration. Finally I would like to conclude with the following thoughts:
When I was a kid we had this saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” But, that is an easy lesson for those who grow up as the majority class, who are not immigrants, or who have never been discriminated against. We may never know exactly what Materazzi said to Zidane, but my guess is that is was something racist or xenophobic. So, what lesson do we have to learn from this? In my mind, there is a very clear lesson. It doesn’t matter how great you are, insults still hurt. The World Cup which celebrates tolerance, multi-culturalism, and internationalism should not dethrown Zizou, but understand that even the greatest of the world’s stars is still subject to cheap, insenstive insults. The world is converging (just look at the make up of the French team), but there is still a long way to go. What is a horrible shame is that today the news media have depicted Zidane as someone who lost his cool under pressure, and yet Materazzi is a national hero. What are we valuing in society? How would you have reacted? Which side of the fence do you want to stand on? This is the sad reality of a politically incorrect Europe that permits racist remarks because it is always the offended that bears the responsibility for not being offended and the offender? Is clever? . . .
It doesn’t matter whether France wins another game in this World Cup. What matters is that Zinedine Zidane has demostrated once again what he is all about. Where was Ronaldinho? He may be the future, but Zizou is still Zizou. Zizou showed the Brazilians what it’s like to play Samba….during his last tango in Germany. Let’s enjoy what’s left of his final matches. Don’t retire him yet.
And by the way, I am rooting for France. Not because I particuarly like the French, but because I love that the French team is made up of immigrants. Rarely do immigrants triumph in Europe, and this French team (like the one in 1998) is an example of immigrants succeeding and becoming national heros in xenophobic Europe.