France maestro Zinedine Zidane turns 40 today; omen?

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Personally, I don’t believe in spells, hobgoblins, witches or things that go bump in the night.

Nor do I put much stock into omens, not of the dark variety or even the more benign set.

But I know a lot of people do, so let’s talk about a particularly ironic birthday: France’s Zinedine Zidane turns 40 today – on the day his country happens to play in a European Championship quarterfinal. Said quarterfinal is against Spain.

So I supposed I’d have to confess that it is interesting that Zizou has such a personal history of inflicting harm and heartbreak onto the Spanish.

He was personally brilliant as France eliminated Spain from the Euro 2000 quarterfinals.

Six years later, having emerged heroically from international retirement, his goal helped an allegedly aged and fallen French side knock out the Spanish in extra time. France came withing a whisper of winning the World Cup, but Zidane himself played the villain role as things fell apart in about the oddest way possible.

(FYI, that 2006 World Cup happened to be the last major championship Spain did not win; so how about them French apples?)

So, I still don’t believe in forces unseen. Of course, it’s not me that matters. It’s the players on the field. If they buy into this mess – well, I do believe in the mind’s ability to shape things through self-fulfilling prophesy and the like.

At the very least, it is interesting happenstance worth mentioning, I suppose.

So there, I have.

(Enjoy highlights of his masterful performance against Spain in 2000, including a free kick goal:)

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld-ibIEap80&w=420&h=315%5D

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