How Pep Guardiola fell victim to Zinedine Zidane at Euro 2000

How Pep Guardiola fell victim to Zinedine Zidane when France beat Spain in Euro 2000 quarter-final clash

  • Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City face Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid in Europe 
  • Champions League last-16 clash will be the pair’s first meeting as managers 
  • However Zidane’s France beat Guardiola’s Spain in Euro 2000 quarter-final 

Pep Guardiola has never faced Zinedine Zidane as a rival manager but the legendary Frenchman broke his heart as a player.

Despite winning everything as Barcelona captain, Guardiola remained unfulfilled on the international stage where he played 47 times for Spain.

His best shot came at Euro 2000 when a strong Spanish team headed by Raul were considered dark horses. Guardiola, then 29, starred in midfield as Spain topped Group C before running into France and peak-Zidane in the quarter-finals.

Zinedine Zidane helped France beat Pep Guardiola (L) and Spain in Euro 2000 quarter-final

Zidane, a World Cup winner two years earlier, turned in one of his best-ever performances For Les Bleus. 

He opened the scoring in Bruges with a stunning free-kick and though Gaizka Mendieta levelled from the penalty spot, France went through 2-1 after Youri Djorkaeff’s winner.

While a majestic Zizou ran the game, a heavily-stubbled Guardiola cut an increasingly frustrated figure and was booked for kicking out at Djorkaeff.

Zidane (L) and Guardiola (R) have never faced each other since moving into managerial roles

Raul missed a late penalty and as Guardiola and Zidane embraced at the final whistle, the Spaniard knew his last realistic chance of an international trophy had gone. He won his last cap the following year with injury preventing him from going to the 2002 World Cup.

The Zidane curse struck again for Guardiola in 2014. Zidane was part of Carlo Ancelotti’s coaching staff when they thrashed Pep’s Bayern team 4-0 in Munich to complete a Champions League semi-final victory 5-0 on aggregate.

Guardiola never won Europe’s biggest prize with Bayern. He will hope for third time lucky against Zidane when Real Madrid meet Manchester City this week.

France went on to lift the Euro 2000 title after beating Italy in the final of the tournament


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