Zinedine Zidane, for over half a decade, was the best player in world football.
Not only did he possess graceful majesty controlling and running with the ball, but he also had commendable bottle - as England would attest at Euro 2004.
But it was at the Holland and Belgium finals of Euro 2000 where his influence on the imperious France national team was most keenly felt.
In the quarter-final against Spain, he struck a magnificent free-kick to give Les Bleus the lead, before offering a masterclass against Portugal in the semis.
France's second Iberian opponents had won all four of their matches, scoring nine goals. They made it 10 when the potent Nuno Gomes gave them the lead in the Brussels semi-final, but Zidane's calmness made a French retort inevitable.
Although it was Thierry Henry who equalised, Zizou's movement, composure and indefatigable running troubled the Portuguese most.
So when a controversial penalty was awarded in the 116th minute, with a shootout looming, there was only one man who was going to step up to conclude a virtuoso display.