Football

Marco Materazzi Reveals What He Said That Led To Infamous Zidane Headbutt

Marco Materazzi Reveals What He Said That Led To Infamous Zidane Headbutt

Despite 14 years having passed since the incident, Zinedine Zidane headbutting Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final is fresh in the memory. It is without doubt one of the most infamous moments in the history of the game and was a sad way for one of the greatest footballers of all-time to end his career.

Italy would go on to win the match on penalties, but that is often treated as a subplot in the story of the game.

Much has been said and written about what resulted in the headbutt in the intervening years. It was thought Materazzi had insulted Zidane's mother, but the defender claimed he had instead mentioned the Frenchman's sister.

That was about as much information as we could get out of him, until now.

Speaking on an Instagram live (quoted by AS) earlier this week, he revealed exactly what happened in the buildup to the incident.

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Zidane's headbutt? I wasn't expecting it in that moment. 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.

You can see why it may have rubbed Zidane the wrong way.

Unfortunately, this will most likely always be the most memorable moment of what was a glittering career for the the midfielder.

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Gary Connaughton

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