Zidane scores as 'most popular Frenchman'

9th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 9 (AFP) - Champion footballer Zinedine Zidane was chosen as the most popular Frenchman in a newspaper survey Sunday, despite his decision last year to leave the national side.

PARIS, Jan 9 (AFP) - Champion footballer Zinedine Zidane was chosen as the most popular Frenchman in a newspaper survey Sunday, despite his decision last year to leave the national side.

The 32 year-old Real Madrid star got top billing in the annual poll in Le Journal du Dimanche, ahead of singers Michel Sardou and Francis Cabrel and the former tennis ace Yannick Noah.

"What is wonderful is that I have kept people's support even though I no longer wear the national strip. It's proof they don't hold it against me," he said.

Zidane, who has 87 caps for France, also said he may not see out his contract with Real Madrid which ends in 2007.

"This may not be my last season, but to say that I'll keep going to 2007 ... maybe I won't get that far. I'll soon know. My performance depends on the pleasure I get from playing. I have to rediscover that pleasure, which I lost in 2004. The first days of 2005 are already something of a relief," he said.

Also performing well in the poll were screen star Jean Reno at number five, Moroccan-born comic Jamel Debbouze who rose to eighth position, and 80 year-old crooner Charles Aznavour who came in at 11th place.

The only politicians to feature in the top 50 were President Jacques Chirac at 11th place, right-wing party chief Nicolas Sarkozy at 42, and the prominent Socialist Segolene Royale at 48.

French popularity charts have for years been dominated by the 92 year-old priest and campaigner Abbe Pierre, but he recently made known that he no longer wants to be considered.

The highest-ranking woman - at number six - was the 96 year-old nun Sister Emmanuelle, who spent much of her life fighting poverty in the Middle East.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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