top 50 Champions League goals

Leading pundits from across the UK were asked to compile a top 50 Champions League goals for a TV special this week.

And Zizou’s goal that gave Real Madrid a 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 was rated the finest ever seen in the world’s top club tournament.

The Frenchman’s turn and rifled shot with his weaker left foot started the party for thousands of travelling fans in Glasgow’s South Side on a memorable night.

I don’t have much to add to this except: Watch the video!

Oh, and one more thing: I miss Zidane.

Most of the world outside the United States thinks of Zinedine Zidane as one of the greatest - as in, top five all-time - soccer players. Most of the U.S., if they recognize the name at all, know him as that guy who head-butted an Italian player in the 2006 World Cup final, possibly costing France a title.

Ultimately, Zidane's legacy for future generations might be contained in the film "Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait," which premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and plays in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts beginning this week. (It is not available on DVD in the United States.)

It is, no kidding, one of the best sports documentaries ever made - certainly one of the most original.

What makes the film, directed by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, so special is its experimental concept: The entire 92-minute movie, which utilizes 17 cameras, focuses on Zidane during the course of a single game.

No interviews, save for an occasional voiceover by Zidane. No biographical background. No reactions from other players. Simply Zidane, often filmed from the waist up, with and without the ball (there is a nice score from Mogwai, a Scottish rock band).

The idea is to observe a top tier athlete and not only his physical ability, but his decision-making process, his interaction with teammates and how he handles fatigue. It is an up-close study of an athlete at work.

It's hard to see this concept working in an American sport, with the possible exception of basketball (It'd be fun to follow Baron Davis around with 17 cameras during a playoff game).

Baseball's best bet would be an elite National League pitcher, say Greg Maddux, who is involved in every pitch on defense and still bats. Barry Bonds standing around left field for most of a three-hour documentary wouldn't be too interesting.

In the NFL, probably a quarterback who audibles, such as Peyton Manning, would be best, but half of that documentary would be looking over formation photographs while his team is on defense.

The NHL? Too many line changes.

The game depicted in "Zidane" was between his club team, Real Madrid, and Villareal in a Spanish league game played before 80,000 fans in Madrid on April 23, 2005. Gordon and Parreno's cameras are so zeroed in on Zidane that many of his famous Real teammates - David...