'Not Proud of What I did': Zinedine Zidane on Headbutting Marco Materazzi in 2006 World Cup Final
09:34 GMT 20.06.2022 (Updated: 11:44 GMT 10.12.2022)
© AFP 2023 / DESKThis TV grab taken 09 July 2006 on French TV channel LCI shows France's football team captain Zinedine Zidane (L) butting Italian defender Marco Materazzi during the World Cup 2006 final football match between Italy and France at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. Italy won 5-3 on penalties after the final had finished tied 1-1 after extra-time
© AFP 2023 / DESK
The 2006 FIFA World Cup final is best remembered for Zinedine Zidane headbutting Marco Materazzi, resulting in a red card for the French star. The referee's decision went on to change the entire complexion of the match, as Italy shocked France to be crowned world champions. Sixteen years later, Zizou has revealed his position about the incident.
French legend Zinedine Zidane has opened up about his infamous headbutt that occurred during the 2006 World Cup final and ended in disaster for both France and the then superstar footballer.
The headbutt involving Italian forward Marco Materazzi brought Zidane's illustrious career to a close as Italy went on to defeat France on penalties.
"I'm not at all proud of what I did, but it's part of my past," Zidane told French broadcaster Telefoot.
Zidane had made a perfect start to the match, scoring from the penalty in the seventh minute to put France ahead in the title clash. But Materazzi levelled the proceedings at 1-1 with his 19th-minute strike.
Both teams subsequently failed to score in the second half and extra time, forcing a penalty shoot-out to decide the winner. Unfortunately for Zidane, the champion wasn't France but Italy as he had to leave the pitch after being red-carded in the 110th minute.
The talismanic football star retired with 31 goals in 108 appearances for France, with the 1998 World Cup victory over Brazil being the highlight of his career.
At the club level, Zidane was equally successful, having won multiple titles with Juventus and Real Madrid.
After calling it quits from the game, Zidane returned as a manager and earned a name for himself among the greatest coaches of all-time in football history.
During his three-year reign at Santiago Bernabeu, the 50-year-old powered Real Madrid to a La Liga title and a hat-trick of Champions League trophies from 2016-to 18, becoming the first-ever head coach to clinch Europe's premier club competition for three years in a row.