Arsenal blogger ‘flees for his life’ from Marseille municipal football star Zinedine Zidane was raised in

An Arsenal blogger has been forced to flee the French estate where Zinedine Zidane grew up after being bullied by a group in balaclavas.

James McNicholas, the man responsible for Gunnerblog, has entered the incredibly dangerous area of ​​Marseille where Zidane grew up.


Zidane grew up in a difficult housing estate in MarseilleCredit: AP
It is known as one of the most dangerous areas in the world


It is known as one of the most dangerous areas in the world1 credit

However, he was not aware of the reputation that the city La Castellane has, that of overpopulation and poverty.

And he received quite a hostile reception when he set foot in the region.

He explained about his instagram story: “I’m in Marseille, doing sports journalism stuff. And one of the tracks I’m working on is about the upbringing, the childhood of one of the most famous footballers of all time, Zinedine Zidane.

“I’ve read a few books about Zizou and they say he grew up in this area north of the town called La Castellane.

“So I thought I’d bite over there and take a look. It’s supposed to be a pretty tough field. I mean a field is a field. How hard can it be? be bad? Turns out it’s pretty bad.

“I take a metro and I take a bus and I go up that hill and I arrive at La Castellane. A few looks from people.

“There’s graffiti on the wall that says this is our house [in French] which is nice, welcoming I guess. Sort of like having ‘live, love, laugh’ or something like that.

“Sorry, what is it?” Are all entrances to the estate blocked by makeshift barricades made from the debris of wrecked cars and motorbikes? Yeah, yeah, actually. .”

He continued: “So I’m walking around and then I notice sort of perched around the estate, a number of guys, all wearing balaclavas.

“Pretty worrying in itself, especially when I tell you it’s a very sunny day. It’s not really balaclava weather.

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“Besides, most of these guys, they have little radios. And they look at me, and they’re pointing and they’re chatting into their little radios. And I don’t think they’re going ‘oh look, there’s Gunnerblog’.

“One of those radio guys, he calls me, and I give him my best ‘hello’. Don’t think he loved it.

“Anyway, on I’m loafing, you know, be confident. And then another guy, he’s yelling at me.

“They all have balaclavas on and then about four guys on scooters come out of nowhere and well, start circling me.

“Once I’m sort of surrounded, one of the hooded guys comes over and we have a little chat in French.

“The kind of thing you imagine, all the big questions – ‘what are you doing here? ”

“I tell him about Zidane, I don’t mention I’m a journalist because I don’t want to die and so I say I’m just a football fan and I heard Zidane lives here.

“He doesn’t offer any sort of trick. The balaclava explains to me very politely but very firmly that I can’t be there and that I have to leave immediately.

“And do you know what? I know. I leave, call my editor and say ‘sorry, I didn’t actually take any pictures.’ No selfies with the guys”.

“And I think I’ll just have a quick Google of La Castellane, like I said, I’ve read the books, but let’s have a Google of what’s on there.

“A lot of that stuff, executions, obviously a lot of drugs, gang stuff. Literally as I walk away I find this video.”

McNicholas then mocks Ross Kemp for a clip of him entering the same estate before fleeing when he and his film crew are chased by people on scooters.

Gunnerblog continues to call him a “coward”.

Zidane exploited the difficulties of his upbringing and became one of the greatest football players of all time.

He won two Serie A titles with Juventus, before winning the La Liga crown and the Champions League with Real Madrid.

He also inspired France at their first World Cup in 1998 and helped them reach the final again in 2006 – before being sent off in the final game of his career as they lost to Italy on penalties to goal.

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