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"I never saw Zinedine again," says Marco Materazzi on famous headbutt incident in 2006 FIFA World Cup

Published at :April 1, 2024 at 9:15 PM
Modified at :April 1, 2024 at 9:15 PM
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Rajarshi Shukla


Italy went on to win the World Cup on penalties

Before the historic headbutt confrontation in the World Cup final, Marco Materazzi informed Zinedine Zidane he would “prefer his sister” to his jersey.

17 years ago, Italy defeated France in Berlin on penalties, but the night is most known for the altercation between the two players, which resulted in Zidane’s dismissal in his final game. The talisman of Les Blues, the player departed the pitch in humiliation.

People started to wonder right away what may have enraged Zidane. Although Materazzi thinks the 1998 Ballon d’Or winner’s remarks were “very minimal,” the athlete had a tendency to lose his cool. He had done so before in his career.

Marco Materazzi on the Zidane headbutt moment: “I don’t like it, because it doesn’t do justice to what my career was.”

“That episode should never have happened. In the tension of that final in Berlin, amidst the bickering and insults, Zidane offered me his shirt, and I said no, that I preferred his sister.”

“Then he turned around and reacted as everyone remembers. I never saw Zinédine again.” (The Times)

He had given France the lead in the match with an outrageous penalty from Panenka, but not only did his dismissal from Les Bleus mean an untimely end to his career, it also prevented him from taking part in the penalty shootout that followed after Materazzi had equalised for Italy.In addition, Zizou earned the unpleasant distinction of becoming the second player in memory to receive red cards in two different World Cup tournaments.

The legendary player from Juventus and Real Madrid apologised but stated he “didn’t regret” the incident in a well-watched solo interview that was shown on Canal Plus following the occurrence.

In addition to being featured on global media front pages, the conflict was also immortalised in a five-meter bronze statue that debuted at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2012.Described as “an ode to defeat,” the work of art is presently on display at the Arab Museum in Doha.

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