It was 10 years ago on Saturday that Zinedine Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi in Berlin, ending his career and his reign as Europe’s best footballer. Thierry Henry had been substituted minutes before and, having passed his peak at Arsenal, could no longer claim that title either. Within a few months a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo had claimed that crown for himself.

What is so remarkable, 10 years on, is how Ronaldo still has a grip on that same title. No European player in the modern era could claim to have been at the top for so long. Over the last few years, since turning 30, Ronaldo has managed to hold off the challenges of the next generation of European players. Time will eventually catch up with Ronaldo, but so far Gareth Bale, Antoine Griezmann and Eden Hazard have not.

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