Zinedine Zidane’s Infamous Headbutt on Marco Materazzi: What Materazzi Said Before This Incident

Zinedine Zidane’s Infamous Headbutt on Marco Materazzi: What Materazzi Said Before This Incident

One of the most memorable and shocking moments in World Cup history occurred when Zinedine Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi during the 2006 final. This act, which took place during extra time, marked the abrupt end of Zidane’s illustrious football career on a disappointing note.

The Incident

The 2006 World Cup final was Zidane’s farewell match in professional football. Throughout the tournament, he had delivered outstanding performances, notably leading France through the knockout stages with his skillful play, particularly in the match against Brazil. However, in the 110th minute of the final, Zidane lost his composure and headbutted Materazzi in the chest, an incident that went largely unnoticed by most on the field, including the main referee, Horacio Elizondo.

Elizondo later recounted that he saw Materazzi on the ground and halted the game, but neither of his assistants had seen what happened. It was only the fourth official, Luis Medina Cantelejo, who witnessed the incident and informed Elizondo, resulting in Zidane’s red card. The world watched in astonishment as replays of the headbutt were broadcasted.

What Materazzi Said to Zidane

Speculation about what Materazzi said to provoke Zidane ran rampant after the game. In an interview with IFTV, Materazzi revealed that Zidane had offered him his jersey, to which Materazzi retorted, “No, I prefer your sister.” This insult led to Zidane’s reaction.

Years later, Materazzi expressed regret over the incident. In a 2024 interview with The Times, he mentioned his discomfort with how this moment overshadowed his career. He noted that he had not seen Zidane since that day and had no opportunity to reconcile.

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Zidane’s Reaction and Apology

Following the match, Zidane was clearly distraught. Images of him walking past the World Cup trophy with his head down became iconic. He apologized to the people of France, especially the children who watched the game. In a 2006 French TV interview, Zidane said, “I want to apologize to all the children who watched that. There was no excuse for it. I want to be open and honest. I do apologize but I don’t regret my behavior because regretting it would mean he was right to say what he said.”

In a 2022 interview with Telefoot, Zidane reflected on the incident, saying, “I’m not at all proud of what I did, but it’s part of my past.”

Zidane’s Incredible Career

The headbutt in the 2006 World Cup final slightly tarnished an otherwise brilliant career. Zidane was known for his incredible goals and impressive skills during his time at Bordeaux, Juventus, and Real Madrid. He won the Ballon d’Or, Champions League, World Cup, and European Championship, securing his place as one of football’s all-time greats.

The 2006 World Cup was supposed to be Zidane’s ultimate triumph. He had the opportunity to retire as a two-time world champion, potentially solidifying his legacy alongside legends like Pele and Diego Maradona. In the final against Italy, Zidane showcased his talent by scoring a remarkable penalty, nearly leading France to victory.

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However, this moment of brilliance was overshadowed by his headbutt. For some, Zidane’s career ended in disgrace. For others, the incident made him more relatable—a brilliant but flawed genius. Despite this, Zidane remains a revered figure in football, celebrated for his artistic play. Alongside Messi and Maradona, Zidane is often credited with making football look like an art form.

Time PeriodClub/TeamTotal MatchesTotal Goals
1989-1992AS Cannes716
1992-1996Bordeaux17939
1996-2001Juventus21331
2001-2006Real Madrid23049
1994-2006French National Team10831

In summary, Zidane’s headbutt on Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup final is a moment that will forever be etched in football history. It was a surprising end to an extraordinary career, highlighting that even the greatest athletes are not immune to moments of imperfection.

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One thought on “Zinedine Zidane’s Infamous Headbutt on Marco Materazzi: What Materazzi Said Before This Incident

  1. But in the end Zidane apologize. He said he’s not proud so not comments about his actions. Matarazi in one way or the other deserves it

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