Marco Materazzi has finally given the full story to what happened when Zinedine Zidane headbutted him in the World Cup final, nearly 14 years after it happened.
There’s few more iconic World Cup final moments than Zidane’s final ever moment as a player in the 2006 final, when he was sent off for landing a headbutt in the centre of Materazzi’s head.
Over the years there’s been lots of rumours about what happened and what the Italian said to cause the reaction and he’s now revealed all, talking about the fact they’d clashed several times before the eventual moment of madness from Zizou.
“Zidane’s headbutt? I wasn’t expecting it in that moment,” he told Spanish outlet AS in an interview, “I was lucky enough that the whole episode took me by surprise because if I had expected something like that to happen and had been ready for it, I’m sure both of us would have ended up being sent off.
“There had been a bit of contact between us in the area. He had scored France’s goal in the first half and our coach (Marcello Lippi) told me to mark him. After that first brush between us, I apologised but he reacted badly.
“After the third clash, I frowned and he retorted: ‘I’ll give you my shirt later’. I replied that I’d rather have his sister than his shirt.”
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It’s the first time the former Inter defender has confirmed exactly what he said. There has been many rumours about it in the past and last year he would only go as far as confirming it wasn’t about Zizou’s mother.
“My words were stupid but did not deserve that reaction. In any neighborhood of Rome, Naples, Turin, Milan Paris, I hear much more serious things.
“I talked about his sister not his mother, like I have read in some newspapers. My mother died while I was a teenager, I would never insult his.”
The two men were at the centre of the final from the off. It was Materazzi’s foul on Florent Malouda that allowed Zidane to open the scoring with a Panenka penalty.
The defender made amends for his earlier mistake when he equalised 12 minutes later by heading in from Andrea Pirlo’s corner.
Zidane’s moment of madness came in the 110th minute of the game, with the Real Madrid manager’s final moment as a footballer seeing him walk past the World Cup trophy with his head down, and Materazzi put away his country’s second penalty in the shoot out as Italy were named champions.
There’s a good chance Materazzi didn’t end up with Zidane’s shirt after all, or his sister’s.