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Why Zidane isn't Coming

You can't blame anybody with a vested interest in the soccer business for allowing themselves to believe that former France and Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane might actually come out of retirement to play in MLS alongside David Beckham next season. It wasn't too long ago that we didn't believe Becks would ever arrive, either.

Well, you can stop crossing your fingers, writes Ives Galarcep for ESPN Soccernet, because it isn't going to happen. Zidane, on tour in Thailand, has repeatedly played down rumors linking him to MLS, insisting he's quite happily retired. Skeptics now are wondering where Beckham's reinforcements are. If Zidane came over, the media splash could be even bigger than Beckham, Galarcep says. Hollywood might not care, but everyone in soccer would: even at 34, Zidane proved at last year's World Cup that on-form, he's still one of, if not the, best players in the world.

But that's neither here nor there, because he's not coming. Why? No one can afford him for starters, and the likes of Philip Anschutz won't be eager to make another big gamble before seeing whether the first one pays off. We may never know if the talks really got anywhere at all, but sources of the Washington Post say the Zidane camp wouldn't listen to anything less than $15 million a season. Incentives aside, Beckham's not even making that much, but he's a long-term investment whereas Zidane couldn't have more than a year two left in him, tops.

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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