Zidane Goes Home for Qatar

By | January 19, 2011

I found this video, produced by the Qatar bid, to be a fascinatingly constructed piece of work, transforming Zidane’s biography into an endorsement of the need for a Middle Eastern World Cup. In it, Zidane returns to his childhood home and talks about his career, and repeatedly refers to the difficulties he faced because of  “his origins” as a child of Algerian immigrants. The video was, according to those whose opinion truly counts — bookies — enough to push Qatar’s bid over the top. Zidane, meanwhile, apparently netted 1.9 million pounds, or about $3 million dollars, for his role as ambassador for the Qatar bid. Once a symbol of a now seriously tattered vision of the emergence of a tolerant multi-cultural France, Zidane is transformed here into a spokesman for the “youth of the Middle East,” of their hopes, and of their need for “an event like the World Cup” to show them what possibilities lay ahead. “Football belongs to everyone,” declares Zidane at the end of the video. And now 2022 belongs to Qatar.

Category: Qatar World Cup Zidane

About Laurent Dubois

I am Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University. A specialist on the history and culture of France and the Caribbean, notably Haiti, I am the author of Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France. I founded the Soccer Politics blog in the Fall of 2009 as part of a Duke University course called "World Cup and World Politics," whose students helped me develop the site.

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