How did you find out that the one vs Sevilla was his first hattrick? Anyway, to add more details, that Sevilla side was pretty good considering that they also went on to challenge for the league title till the last day of the next season. And ofcourse, as you mentioned, that Real Madrid was not so good and was even missing R9 as well as Raul I think, for that game. And Zidane definitely seems to be a target for a lot of posters. For instance, the performances of Ronaldinho and Romario that you point out are not the only ones like that, coming against weakened RM teams. Xavi away vs Real Madrid 08/09 is also similar. And other things can be found to nitpick other performances, like Real being down to 10 men when Messi scored his 2 goals in the 10/11 CL SF first leg. It just seems to me that essays are written pointing out such aspects and how they thus take away from the dominating nature of the performance, more often than not if it's Zidane, but not so much if it's any of these others. Regarding rankings though, I'm not so sure we can dismiss anyone's opinion. Everyone has their own criteria and while someone who upholds Club success would put club legends at the top, another who feels that NT tournaments are more important would do the same with NT legends. Same for consistency vs clutch performances, so on and so forth. There is a topic in the Players and Legends sub-forum created by @PDG1978 with all time lists from various sources and posters collated together, with higher placements getting more points, and it has Zidane at number 10 currently. I personally never was able to share my list since I couldn't decide on one, but the consensus seems to indicate a higher position for him than what many here would like to see him at. Maybe that is the reason for the kind of scrutiny that he is put under, in which case it's nothing but agenda driven nonsense IMO. Since understanding this, I've basically started ignoring most of it.