When I played competitively (in school), I never noticed the silence that permeates the field. Perhaps it’s an extension of playing the game for so long, that calm that settles with experience, or merely the sound of an athlete thriving on the grass that made him.
Zidane’s calls stick out from the quiet, his only connection with the rest of the world being short jabs of, “Hey! Hey! Aquí!” The only other time you hear him speak a sentence is when he condemns a referee for a poor, game-changing call. The importance of this moment is implied with its rarity.
The wall is broken in the end, briefly, when he find himself in a heated, violent altercation and is ejected from the game. His teammates comfort him and urge the crowd to applause his effort, but his mind is clearly elsewhere, their words silently ignored as he seethes on his way to the locker room. In this way, we see the impact Zidane has on the game; he doesn’t appear to do much, as his frustrations surface with missed passes and his perseverance refuses to relent until the play out of reach, a patient, agitated master of his trade, quietly affecting the flow of the game until a chance shows itself and he capitalises, contributing to a goal. Then he goes back to quietly manipulating, calling his teammates, clicking his boots, spitting his saliva, waiting for the next chance to materialise, this time allowing him to capitalise in a negative way.
Ultimately, as his teammates disperse and he begins to descend down the lonely path to the future, he muses that he will miss the green grass when he retires, and we are left with the portrait of a man that lives and dies on that silent, green pitch.