Zinedine Zidane

REAL MADRID and France playmaker Zinedine Zidane, the son of Algerian immigrants, has offered to help the African country following its worst earthquake in more than 20 years.

Zidane said he had been unable to contact relatives in Algeria where telephone lines were broken in some of the areas worst hit by the earthquake, which has killed more than 1,750 people.

"Today I feel immense sadness and a lot of emotion," Zidane, who scored twice in France's 3-0 win over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final, said in Le Parisien newspaper. "Algeria didn't need this."

Zidane said he was ready to play in a charity soccer match to help the Algerian people, if one were held. "Whatever the event organised to help them, I'll be there. I'll always be there," he said.