Zidane doesn't regret retirement

Zinedine Zidane, The 35-year-old former France international, may enjoy his charity matches, yet has no regrets about retiring from soccer.

updated: April 22, 2008 17:26 IST
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Zinedine Zidane may enjoy his charity matches, yet has no regrets about retiring from soccer.

The 35-year-old former France international was the main attraction on Monday in a charity match at the Stade de Geneve, which will stage three matches during the European Championship June 7-29.

"Not at all. It is going to be a great tournament but I have been there and done it, and I have to do other things now," Zidane said before the match.

Zidane helped lead France to win the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship, but ended his career at the 2006 World Cup final in Germany, ejected for head-butting Italy defender Marco Materazzi in the Azzurri's victory.

Still looking fit, Zidane was lured into action again through his friendship with Switzerland midfielder Fabio Celestini, who plays for Getafe and has launched 442, a children's charity.

Zidane was named a United Nations goodwill ambassador during his playing career and now makes occasional appearances for charitable causes.

Zidane lined up for a star-studded 442 Foundation team, including strikers Eric Cantona, the former Manchester United favourite, and Real Madrid's Raul - both of whom wore their trademark number seven shirts - and former internationals Michael Laudrup of Denmark and France's Bixente Lizarazu.

They faced a team of past and present players from French club Olympique Marseille, including Robert Pires of France, Italy's Fabrizio Ravanelli and Uruguayan Enzo Francescoli.

A crowd of around 18,000 helped raise money for a school in Cuba and youth football in poor areas of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.