Enzo Zidane: The Growing Pains Of Real Madrid's Zizou Jr

Real Madrid are set to give Zidane's son his senior chance and will be integrated in the Real Madrid C squad this season but it's not been a straight forward journey for the talented youngster.
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Real Madrid are set to give Zidane's son his senior chance and will be integrated in the Real Madrid C squad this season but it's not been a straight forward journey for the talented youngster.

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It was a dazzling little run with some sweet moves and Real Madrid fans were salivating at the possibility that they could soon be enjoying the second coming. Enzo Zidane became a YouTube sensation with a little twist and turn routine that his father made famous. Add in the fact that the fifteen year old did it against bitter rivals Barcelona and the future looked good for Zidane junior. A call up to a first team training session, under the watchful eye of José Mourinho, attracted lots of the world’s media but since that summer day back in 2011, things have gone off the boil slightly for the midfielder.

In 1995 Kenny Dalglish met with Blackburn Rovers owner Jack Walker. The Liverpool legend wanted to sign a young Frenchman called Zinedine Zidane. Walker’s response became famous: ‘Why do you want to sign Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?’ Back in France Zidane wasn’t paying that much attention as he was getting to grips with fatherhood. His son Enzo was born in March and Zidane was starting to make waves with some great performances. When he was old enough his oldest son would follow in his footsteps and signed up with Juventus, at just the age of five. It was a short stay and few years later he was on the move again when his father moved to Los Blancos. In 2004 the youngster was signed up by Real Madrid himself and set about making a name for himself in football.

Going under the name Enzo Fernández, he has a similar style to his famous father. A central midfielder with a habit of finding space where no one else can and he can also pass a ball. Real Madrid have been accused in the past of overlooking their Cantera and preferring to sign Galatcicos. While this was the case, and ironically the reason why Zidane ended up a Real Madrid, attention has now turned to the youth Academy. Whether it is because of the current recession in Spain or the fact that Barca continue to mock them for not producing their own players is beside the point, in Spain most clubs are now determined to develop their own players.  Right now Real Madrid have some highly potential stars coming through and Enzo is considered to be one of them. Or at least he was.

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After the Barcelona video, he had fan’s attention. At just 15, supporters had seen his potential and what is a common scene in Spain, and the world, things got exaggerated. Fans began to wonder how quickly it would be before he would make his first team debut and also the debate over which country he would represent started. He is eligible to play for three countries, Algeria, France and Spain. He has played for Spain’s under 15 side and made a big impact. His father has said that he will not interfere and will respect the decision of his son. At 15, everyone wanted an answer but right now his international future has taken a step back as he is currently in the international wilderness.

On Real Madrid’s website he describes himself as ‘A player with technique.’ He lists his favourite player as his dad but the chance of a good old clip around the ear may have forced his hand there. Real Madrid have 3 sides that play under 18 level and Zidane Junior is in the B team. Many felt that he would have been fast tracked into the reserves but so far Real Madrid seem to be keeping him grounded. While he has shown that he has his father’s skills, he has also shown that he has his father’s famous temperament.

In a tournament in Qatar he made the headlines this January. After a challenge, he kicked out against his opponent. He was given a red card and suddenly a game that was not so important was getting headlines across the globe. Images of his father’s head butt and his kicking out were played simultaneously. He may play under his mother’s name to avoid the stress of being compared to his father but for Enzo there is no hiding, everyone knows his face and his father.

Right now he is under the tutelage of former Real Madrid and Liverpool striker Fernando Morientes. Morientes knows all about the difficulties of breaking into the first team and Enzo could not be in better hands. His father avoids questions about his future, allowing his son to develop in his own way. A move away from Madrid may be on the cards and Liverpool were said to be considering offering the youngster a trail in the summer. Should he announce that he is open to a move more clubs may voice their interest. Last year Jese Rodríguez agreed a deal to join Arsenal but changed his mind at the last minute after Real Madrid made an improved offer. While he is a few years younger than the defender, Enzo may consider a similar move to see if Real Madrid really do believe he has a future at the club.