Mohamed Zidan's surname sounds familiar to that of a footballing legend, and while it would be an injustice to compare the Egypt striker to Zinedine Zidane, he did emulate the French great on Monday. Moreover, by scoring twice against Brazil, something Zizou famously managed in the 1998 FIFA World Cup France™ Final, the 27-year-old earned himself the Budwieser Man of the Match award - an admirable feat considering he had shared the Free State Stadium turf with Kaka, Robinho and Luis Fabiano.
Zidan honed his scoring touch in Europe, where he has spent much of his career, with time at Danish side Midtjylland preceding spells with German outfits Werder Bremen, Mainz, Hamburg and Borussia Dortmund, his current employers. And although he is principally a goal-getter, he admits he strives to learn from his near-namesake, who was a majestic playmaker.
"Zinedine Zidane was the best player in the whole world and I always try to learn a lot from him," said Zidan after the 4-3 defeat by Brazil. "I usually watch a lot of the matches that Zidane played and look to learn from his skills and moves.
"However, I want to improve my own game and show that I'm good enough. I always try to make a name for my own career. It's really nice to have a similar name like him and I hope that I can be as good as he was one day."
Zidan and Zidane have something else in common. While the latter is married to former French dancer Veronique Lentisco, the former recently announced his engagement to Egyptian actress Mai Ezzidine. "I prefer not to talk about this issue because it's private and I keep that to myself," said Zidan when asked if his recent engagement to a national celebrity would affect his career.
When questioned about his future at club level, Zidan revealed he is happy at Dortmund. "I'm happy to be playing in Dortmund," he said. "I had a good season because I played several times and scored seven goals. I have three years left on my contract and I hope that I can make a name for myself a club level too."