Zidane head butt story
The French player head butted Marco Materazzi of Italy for allegedly hurling spiteful words at him. Read the full story.
This is the biggest Football World Cup controversy ever. It was 19 minutes into the extra time of the final match of the 2006 world cup when Zinedine Zidane, one of the best soccer players of all time, left the whole world in awe. In one sudden move, the French head butted Marco Materazzi of Italy for allegedly hurling spiteful words at him.
What a shocking moment that was. Few had seen it when it happened as the play was on the other side of the pitch. But still the French player earned himself a red card for his actions and off the pitch he went. It marked the end of his international career which he had earlier on planned to end after the final match. This was not the first time though for Zidane to quit international football. On August 2004, he had announced his retirement only to change his decision a year later.
France had to play the remaining ten minutes of the extra time without the man who pushed them to their 1998 World Cup victory.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw after added time and Italy became the world champions through perfect strikes at the penalty shoot out.
Zidane headbutt reason
The infamous incident followed by all sorts of speculations. Various newspapers printed contradicting reports on what happened before the incidence.
There were various suggestions stating Materazzi said something about Zidane’s mother and terrorism.
Materazzi said that the altercation started after he stopped Zidane from jumping for the ball. He claimed he apologized to the French player but Zidane could not hear or accept the apology. The exchange of words resulted in the unexpected ending, particularly for the Italy center-back. He confessed that he had not anticipated such act from the legendary French player.
Materazzi admitted to have said, “I prefer the whore that is your sister". He goes further to note there are more harsh words exchanged between players in the field and Zidane had heard worse of them before. Well, the fatigue felt way into the second half of the extra time was the ultimate trigger for him.
Zidane said the words were too hurting and Materazzi kept repeating them causing him to loose his cool. In that split moment of anger, Zidane turned back, leaned forward and rammed his head into the chest of the player.
That was the last appearance of Zidane playing for his national team. After which he walked past the golden World Cup trophy as he headed towards the tunnel. This must have been the saddest part of the day for the star.
Despite the notorious head butt, the iconic midfielder returned home to a warm reception like a true hero. A hero he was and the incidence did not tarnish his achievements and contribution to his national team.
Zidane headbutt video
The video below will show you the exchange of words between Zidane and Materazzi immediately followed by the infamous head butt.
Zidane headbutt statue
Adel Abdessemed, an Algerian-born artist, was able to immortalize the famous head-butt by creating a 16 feet high bronze statue.
The statue was in Paris in October 2013, outside Pompidou art museum. The statue was removed three weeks later after an uproar from the locals of the 2022 World Cup hosts, Qatar.