Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane’s status as one of the greatest footballers of all time has been attributed to the 1990s obsession with irony, it has been claimed.

Experts are saying that the French midfielder, who won the World Cup with France in 1998, was actually no better than current star James Milner, and that pundits from twenty years ago were ‘actually taking the piss’.

Writing for The Huffington Post, journalist Henry Winter said: ‘While there is no doubting the man had bags of ability, with the passing of time it seems obvious that he was no Scholes. He was barely a Sherwood’.

BT Sport commentator, and former team-mate of Zidane, Michael Owen tweeted: ‘Zidane a great player? Mega LOLZ!!!!! #hesnopatrickberger😉

The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg, one of the newer generation of football writers, said: ‘To be honest, I never got the irony thing back then. I just thought The Mike Flowers Pops were genuinely shit, not an ironic take on smooth 1960s easy listening. So I guess I never got the whole Zidane thing anyway.

‘Anyway, he’s no Patrick Berger’.

Despite this, one thing has remained consistent throughout this time – the overbearing sense of dread at the mention of the name Andy Sinton, which continues to stand the test of time.