World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Everton flop Marco makes his mark

phil_mcnulty.gifBERLIN - Marco Materazzi’s career has always had an element of car crash chaos – even during his brief spell at Everton.

And never has it been more evident than in his pivotal contribution to Italy’s World Cup final win against France.

I did say in an earlier blog that you should keep an eye on this boy because things happen when he is around…it's safe to say he proved me right in Berlin's Olympic Stadium.

Materazzi fouled Florent Malouda for France’s early penalty, headed Italy’s equaliser, said or did something to cause Zinedine Zidane’s mind to blow and then stroked home a penalty in the shoot-out.

Just another day at the office for a turbulent individual who is a cross between pantomime villain and consummate Italian defending elegance.

Materazzi’s stay in the Premiership was brief and not so glorious after he became Walter Smith’s first signing for Everton from Perugia in the summer of 1998.

Those of us who waved him farewell on his return to Perugia after a single season without giving it a second thought that our paths would cross again, were convinced he would be lucky to watch a World Cup final let alone play in one.

There was always a good player inside Materazzi trying to get out – but too often it was hidden behind spats, red cards and a tendency to burst into tears.

He is the son of a famous Italian coach Giuseppe Materazzi, who managed Pisa and Lazio among others - and Marco always felt he was judged more harshly because of his family background.

Materazzi’s most famous moment at Everton was when he was sent off against Coventry after he was the victim of a Darren Huckerby dive (in that single season Materazzi managed to clock up three red cards and 12 yellows).

Poor Marco slumped against an advertising hoarding on the touchline in tears, and to say sympathy was in short supply from his manager Smith, his own fans and team-mates is understatement of the year.

There were highs – such as a brilliant free-kick against Middlesbrough that sparked scenes of such joy from Marco that he may still have been celebrating now had the referee not demanded a re-start.

But it ended as it had started…in tears.

Materazzi left Goodison Park with little fanfare and no regrets on either side.

Gone and presumably forgotten.

Suddenly however, he arrived at Inter Milan years later after scoring 12 goals in the 2000-2001 season - a record then for a defender in Italy.

He was being picked for Italy by Giovanni Trapattoni and Marcello Lippi – men who know a defender when they see one.

And yet the self-destruct button was still close at hand.

Materazzi was captured on camera viciously elbowing Juan Pablo Sorin of Villarreal in a Champions League clash last season, and his World Cup started in no less dramatic fashion.

Entering the fray as replacement for the injured Alessandro Nesta, Materazzi scored against the Czech Republic and was then harshly dismissed against Australia…an accident-prone incident that actually saw him foul his own player.

But this maverick with a short fuse and a flawed but expansive talent has won the biggest prize in the game – and made a massive contribution to Italy’s World Cup triumph.

And those of us who dismissed him from Everton convinced we would never see or hear of him again could only watch on in a state of complete bemusement.

Marco Materazzi World Cup winner – see how they like that down Goodison way.


Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 12:33 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Mat wrote:

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  • 2.
  • At 01:22 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • CL wrote:

YOu could not have put this better

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  • 3.
  • At 01:40 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Chris Twaddle wrote:

So 'Zid' Vicious gave him a taste of his own medicine...

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  • 4.
  • At 02:22 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Ale wrote:

Ok ... so ... may we say that zidane do a good thing?? I thing that you see only what you like!

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  • 5.
  • At 02:41 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Anon wrote:

I think its terrible the way Ronaldo has been treated. It disgusts me. He was out there playing for Portugal, NOT England. No one can be blamed for Rooneys sending off bar himself and his short fuse. The commentators aren't much better the way they bad mouth Portugal especially Ronaldo and say he deserves the boos he received. He will never play in English football again! Its disgusting! Stop looking for someone to blame and look for what went wrong!

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  • 6.
  • At 02:49 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Chris Twaddle wrote:

Ale - I just wanted to get the 'Zid' Vicious gag in (at least i found it funny...). No serious point intended...

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  • 7.
  • At 02:53 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Tom wrote:

Shame Zidane didn't give him the Glasgow kiss on the chin ! Don't agree with your view in a prior article about the French penalty being dubious. TV replay shows very clear contact (doesn't matter whether or not it was intentional).

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  • 8.
  • At 03:08 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Chris Twaddle wrote:

Can the Portuguese please calm down, it's getting rather repetitive, all this national hand-wringing.

Of course Rooney was to blame for his sending off if he meant any damage to Carvalho.

But people (and it is not just English given the jeering and booing at the Portugal-France and -Germany games) despise Ronaldo

1) because of the wink - which would seem to show he had achieved what he set out to do when Rooney got the red card and

2) because he's a diving cheat.

Nuff said, no anti-Portuguese bias here. I love the country and loved its people at least until they started bleating on all these blogs about how they're such a small nation, they always get a rough deal and how awful the English are just because they want England to win a game of football. Give it a rest, please, enough!

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  • 9.
  • At 03:36 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Dave wrote:

Materazzi is only eclipsed by Gatusso...At Rangers Dick Advocaat, did not prefer Gattuso in the team. After being played 'out-of-position' as a right-back, Gattuso was sold in October 1998 to Salernitana for £3m.

Bet you can't get him for less than £20m now, wasn't Fergie after him last year?

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  • 10.
  • At 03:36 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Keith Wallis wrote:

Those of us who actually support Everton know that he was an excellent defender who was only sold (along with Olivier Dacourt) due to the board's financial mismanagement. He was never given a chance to flourish, by neither the club nor in the minds of the media hacks.

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  • 11.
  • At 03:39 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Evonnee O wrote:

Zidane should had walked away even if Materazzi did insulted his mother. Knocking Materazzi down was the right thing to do at all...

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  • 12.
  • At 03:46 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • hmm wrote:

Had I been ZZ, I would have gone for his head. What was FIFA's motto this time, 'Say no to Racism' ? Yeah, right

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  • 13.
  • At 03:48 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • vidya wrote:

very well written, he worked hard and deserves everything

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  • 14.
  • At 03:50 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Rob Long wrote:

I've been bemused by this kind of attitude in the British media over the last couple of weeks; as though it was just inexplicable that a unimpressive, temperamental footballer could somehow improve in the space of eight years. It probably says a lot about the closed minds and insular knee-jerk attitudes of the British football media. I doubt Materazzi's success will do anything to change the laughable "if you can't hack it in the Premiership" mindset.

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  • 15.
  • At 04:00 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Jose wrote:

After watching some of the highlights of Mr Materazzi career on http://www.youtube.com I have to say that the man is a disgrace, he seems to be totally unable to control himself, I hope that F.I.F.A's Fair Play commitee take a look at his antics during the World Cup.
As for Zidane his behaviour deserved a red card, also let's not forget he has been sent off 17 times in his career.
For me this entire World Cup has been geared for the cheats, it's okay to say that in some countries (Brazil etc) you have to protect the strikers from tackles, however, what about the majority of European, Asian countries where tackling is a fundemental part of the game (indeed Football is supposed to be a contact sport).
So come on F.I.F.A. stop protecting the cheats and start protecting players who wish to play using their own skills to gain an advantage.

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  • 16.
  • At 04:20 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Neil C wrote:

I loved watching him at Everton, was always something happening with him on the pitch! At the end of the day he scored twice in a World Cup Finals, scored a pen in the final shoot out and whatever he did say to Zidane, whether insulting or not, did the trick for the Italians...MADE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 17.
  • At 04:25 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Dan Smith wrote:

"1) because of the wink - which would seem to show he had achieved what he set out to do when Rooney got the red card "

The wink has never been put in context. Who was he winking at and when did he wink.

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  • 18.
  • At 04:31 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Jim Anderson wrote:

ZZ needed to be sent off. No player can be allowed to take the law into his own hands. But ZZ's action will draw attention to what Materazzi said. And we will find out exactly what he said. (and if ZZ had walked away we would never have known) And when we do and we find out what racist filth ZZ was responding to, the authorities should suspend Materazzi sine die. So no to racism.

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  • 19.
  • At 04:37 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • wcup66 wrote:

Materazzi? A great player ... results talk. So what is big Mazza's a bit rough on he pitch? Football is not a game for ladies. Besides does anyone care to remember the great Zizou had notched 13 red cards until yesterday? 14 now. The penalty for France was non existant. The guy was barely touched by Materzzi and he flew to the ground. The best dive of the tournament. Get real.

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  • 20.
  • At 04:42 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Natalia wrote:

I'm sure that what Materazzi said was awful, racist perhaps, and then rolling about like he was shot down -- Zidane should have kept his cool, but such provocation is disgusting, as is taking such advantage of a man who did great things for football. And then, worst of all, is the reaction in the BBC -- "Zidane,
shame, disgrace!" Don't they feel even a touch sorry, at least questioning what happened? Sure he shouldn't have done that, some human feeling for God's sake! It's not just anybody -- it's Zidane, they know him, they know he's a decent guy, they know he doesn't usually do things like this, unlike some other players; after praising him to high heavan, to turn on him like that. Have some respect, some decency! -- jackals! But they're only waiting
to savour the bones of someone's misfortune, only waiting for a misstep to trample on their former idols. It makes me want to both cry and vomit.

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  • 21.
  • At 04:42 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Ed Underwood wrote:

I'm an American who was in Europe for most of the World Cup and decided to learn a bit about the game and try to find out what the rest of the world is so crazy about.

I have to say that early on , I really started to enjoy the matchs , but as things progressed it seemed that thuggery and cheatsmanship were the keys to winning all too often.

Zedan was provoked - no doubt , not by a single comment but by treatment the whole night and it capped off with a cleaver insult.

To me Italy has only proved they are good at playing with cheap tactics rather than skill. That is not just a mark against them but FIFA as well.

If the kind of non-sense that was called "part of the game" in many of the matchs is where this game is going - I would suggest that you go ahead and give these guys helmets and pads like in American football or no pads like in Rugby. Then rather than roll around on the ground faking injury half the time - go ahead and start really knocking each other out.

As things are the advantage will keep going to the thugs and cheats unless there is something done to change the course of this.

It was a real shame - seemed like a nice sport - just too few sportsmen.

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  • 22.
  • At 04:50 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • BobdeBilder wrote:

How exactly did Zidane being sent off affect the outcome of the game, Italy won on penalties and did not score a goal against France?

To say France would have scored a goal if Zidane had stayed on is surmising at its best. The Azzurri conceded 2 goals the whole tournament, an own goal and a penalty, not a single goal from another teams open play.

Congrats to Italy

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  • 23.
  • At 04:59 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Wendy Mauch wrote:

Zidane lost his cool, and the French coach was no role model either. As the coach stepped away from the awards receiving line, he stuffed the silver medal into his pocket like he was given some cheap booby prize. He was as undignified a sportsman as his team captain who sulked in the locker room after his dismissal. Too bad athletic skill is no measure of character.

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  • 24.
  • At 05:04 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Ron wrote:

Is your blog aimed at praising this little monster or what!! Surely provoking your opponet to get him sent off is no way to win a game.The incident reminds me of Ruud Voller...but then agin its the blinding BBC. Put the game in perspective and respect the fact that whatever you write is ready by millions across....CHEATING and VIOLENCE are equally as bad in football..keep the game beautiful...back at you

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  • 25.
  • At 05:28 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Gabriel wrote:

The Italian conspiracy is for Canavaro to win the world's best player hoping that they will deceive the whole world. Italy won, destined by God but they should learn honest ways.

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  • 26.
  • At 05:46 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • jonathan eagle wrote:

sounds reasonable, except Malouda took a dive as can clearly be seen in replays.

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  • 27.
  • At 06:01 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Zé wrote:

What I find amusing and incredible is the ammount of excuses people find for a shameful and dirty act like this!!!

The Portuguese team have been accused, slandered and damaged by english and french press, fans and referees in the last games, because of a so-called lack of fair-play. Whem a bull(y) like ZZ act this way it’s like he should be forgiven and has acted with reason!

And it’s not the first time he did it! In this WC he had at least 3 yellow and 1 red card. How can there be excuses for him and on top be considered the best player!

I would have liked to see the same reaction to the violent tackle Cristiano suffered in the game against Holland, and also people assuming the coward aggression from Rooney against Ricardo Carvalho and condemning it.

But I understand that confronting France is not a good strategy for England as they are powerful and have a lot of influence. It’s better to bash down smaller countries like Portugal to pretend to be great and find easier reasons to digest in loosing a game…

One thing is for sure. I bet everybody saw Portugal’s games to the end without boredom, while France and Italy were great to cure sleeping problems...

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  • 28.
  • At 06:04 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Man From Milan wrote:

I am sorry the final ruined the media love fest with Zidane, but why does everybody expects him to be a saint simply because he's a sublime footballer? Everybody has a dark side.

The fact Materazzi has been a bit of a butcher in the past doesn't make him automatically guilty.

The sending off didn't change anything, France carried on attacking as before, and had Zidane taken the first penaly Trezeguet would have been third instead of second.

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  • 29.
  • At 06:15 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Alex wrote:

Materazzi was a good player at Everton - certainly the best of the centre halves we had at the time and it was always clear that he had a good future ahead of him. He was sold back to Italy because Everton needed the money - remember Peter Johnson. I think your dismissive attitude of him does him an injustice. Some people might even call it snide.

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  • 30.
  • At 06:15 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Zé wrote:

What I find amusing and incredible is the ammount of excuses people find for a shameful and dirty act like this!!!

The Portuguese team have been accused, slandered and damaged by english and french press, fans and referees in the last games, because of a so-called lack of fair-play. Whem a bull(y) like ZZ act this way it’s like he should be forgiven and has acted with reason!

And it’s not the first time he did it! In this WC he had at least 3 yellow and 1 red card. How can there be excuses for him and on top be considered the best player!

I would have liked to see the same reaction to the violent tackle Cristiano suffered in the game against Holland, and also people assuming the coward aggression from Rooney against Ricardo Carvalho and condemning it.

But I understand that confronting France is not a good strategy for England as they are powerful and have a lot of influence. It’s better to bash down smaller countries like Portugal to pretend to be great and find easier reasons to digest in loosing a game…

One thing is for sure. I bet everybody saw Portugal’s games to the end without boredom, while France and Italy were great to cure sleeping problems...

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  • 31.
  • At 06:29 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Mick wrote:

Why have all the commentators/pundits consistantly made jibes towards Everton in this tournament?

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  • 32.
  • At 06:45 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Dave Thompson wrote:

Well down Goodison way it's good, as far as I am concerned.....like many fellow Evertonians, I thought Matarazzi was great, and it's no surprise to me that he's been successful.

He obviously has a maverick streak, but at the same time he was a good footballer. His disciplinary record wasn't great, but he was often the victim of some harsh refereeing, not least the infamous Huckerby incident. Oliver Dacourt had the same problem in his first season.

You don't play for Italy in a World Cup final if you're no good....

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  • 33.
  • At 06:45 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Chris from Canada wrote:

Is that the best you can say about Owen Hargreave?

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  • 34.
  • At 06:55 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Schweini 7 wrote:

DM, post 20:

I take offence at the suggestion that Miro Klose - one of the cleanest players in the game - took the Argentine goalkeeper deliberately. He was going for the ball, was involved in a collision the result of which both he AND Abbondanzieri had to go off.

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  • 35.
  • At 07:03 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Rommel wrote:

I wonder what this bad lad told Zidane that provoked all this chaos.
Zidane a golden ball award. That's all that counts.

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  • 36.
  • At 07:05 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Gavin wrote:

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  • 37.
  • At 07:05 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Gavin wrote:

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  • 38.
  • At 07:25 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Jojo68 wrote:

How can you say that Italy cheated to win the world cup? If anything, the fact that there is a scandal in Italy could only work against them...unless the rest of international football is equally corrupt...or is it just that no one has uncovered it yet.

Germany did its part to have any advantage: forbidding Maradona from entering the stadium in the game against Argentina? Trying to hide the fact that Frings threw a punch?

As for Zidane, whatever Materazzi said, Zidane is responsible for his actions. Why automatically assume it was a racist remark?

Should we then suspend the entire German side for the racist comments against Italians in their local papers?
Italy deserved the win. It did not play most beautiful football but conceded only two goals: an own goal, and a penalty kick on a dubious call in the final.

France may have played a better game, but they DID NOT SCORE and were unable to put their pk's in the back of the net when it counted. That is a loss in most people's books.

Remember that Italy lost to Brasil in the final in the same way.

France also beat Italy on penalty kicks in the semifinals a few yrs back.

The Italian's did not cry like the French are today!

Say what you will about Italy but they have more class than the Germans and French combined.

Forza Italia!

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  • 39.
  • At 07:32 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • pavel rahman wrote:

i think people shold stop mourning about England because it plays really boring and nervous games.England have the press and broadcasting power . So they made themself fevourite all the time . People should look at Ivory Coast, they won the support of many. We should talk about them more often then we do.

itly played very scientificly and they were excellent in defending .on the other hand Brasil looked tired to me & Argentina very Unplanned sometimes.

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  • 40.
  • At 08:03 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • EA wrote:

Wow, materazzi is dirtier than I thought. What a disgrace to the game. Not justifying Zidane's actions, but after watching that video, someone should really kick his ass.

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  • 41.
  • At 08:33 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • bobbylebonfire wrote:

ze@30: Any excuse to play your 'portugal is a small country, stop abusing us you overrated bullies' card. The debate has moved on, if you hadn't noticed, so please spare us any more of this.
pavel rahman@43: I've re-read this blog over and over and i can't find anyone who's 'mourning' for england on it, so your comments are irrelevant to the blog, which if you hadn't noticed, is about matterazzi. i know that blogs stray from the subject but that's ridiculous! Go and grind your axe where there's a tree to cut down please!

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  • 42.
  • At 08:35 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • dvader wrote:

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  • 43.
  • At 08:39 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Vavou wrote:

Though I don't condone what Zidane did, that incident should serve as a warning to some players who deliberately provoke other players on the pitch. We don't know what Materazzi said to Zidane but whatever he said must have been very offensive. If Zidane didn't headbutt Materazzi, Zidane would have ended up playing with anger. You can't play the game angry. So, the bottom line is that players who deliberately provoke other players need to be punished. Zidane made a very good or bad precedent.

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  • 44.
  • At 08:48 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Champ wrote:

What is wrong with u guys?

DId u see the exchange of words? Let me ask again? Did you see that Zidane and Materrazzi were actually having exchange of words.

So if Materrazzi did "provoked" Zidane, it was a case of him being better at saying /rebutting Zidane. For all we know, maybe it was Zidane who started the exchange of verbal abuse, with Materrazzi having the last words being said.

You guys are crap. You know? Just blame everything on the Italians. Pls ask Zidane to clarify 2 things:-
1) Did he exchanged words with materrazzi or it was just the matrix who kept humming words behind him, while Zidane kept quiet all along.

2) What exactly did Materrazzi say to him?

Its one thing to accuse someone, and its another to accuse him in public. Let the man clarify.

Losers

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  • 45.
  • At 08:51 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Ashley wrote:

Football is a beautiful game and this world cup provided numerous examples. But we also saw blatant cheating and thuggery.
I do not know if Rooney intended to flatten his opponents plums (only Rooney knows the answer to that) and I have no idea what was going through Ronaldo's mind when he winked, but downright cheating has no place in the game.
But we don't have to look at the World Cup, watch any premiership match and there is evidence of cheating, foul language and thuggery, even (hopefully rare) instances of racism - and I am not just talking about the players, crowds are just as involved.
This behaviour then is found on Sunday morning and kids matches as players of all ages ape their idols.
Someone, somewhere on these blogs suggested the BBC as part of it's match of the day coverage, highlights the cheeats. Let's see them for what they are and then lets see the authorities take action. Maybe Wayne wouldn't be so keen to tread on fruits if the outcome was a few matches suspension and the wrath of Fergie.
All, of us, players, administrators, the media and the fans have a part to play. Don't destroy the game, play beautiful.

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  • 46.
  • At 09:06 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • mastermind wrote:

Nesta is the defender next to Cannavaro. Materazzi is only the replacement, so he has to show his skills. Materazzi wants to play. He does not like to be the substitute any longer. That is why he is under pressure. He has to win. He is younger than Nesta. The new defenders are more talented than Maldini and Costacurta. They will play many years together, because Maldini and Costacurta are 40 years old. Cannavaro is the fastest one, Materazzi is slower and taller.

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  • 47.
  • At 09:44 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • james wrote:

That article was pish. If you scan around the fan forums and actually speak to Evertonians, you'll find that a lot of us actually rated Materazzi. He was a quality player surrounded by the crap that was put upon us by Kendall III. About the Coventry game. He was sent off after a clear dive by Huckerby, and his frustration was felt by all of us throughout the ground.

Anyway, one thing Materazzi has now that very few English players will ever get near is a world cup winners medal, and he deserves it.

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  • 48.
  • At 09:54 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • zafta wrote:

people from europe cannot understand how much it hurts to hear racist comments; zaidan behaved very politly and calmly -for such a racist incident -which kept france on the world football agenda; in such a situtation people may do muc more to protect identity and religion rather than self,god bless the great zidan,football history shall write his name in white gold as alegend.

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  • 49.
  • At 09:58 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Zizou Fan wrote:

Wow, what a player, and this is italy's saviour?

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A lot has been said and done about him, but he played very well and deserves the credit.

However, Zidane is a legend and if what he is said to have said to Zidane is true, then I am absolutely shocked and disgraced, to talk like that is pathetic.

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  • 51.
  • At 10:13 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • David wrote:

Quelle surprise: a player does not cut it in the Premiership for whatever reason and his career is a write-off.

Everyone kept banging on about Tomasson for years saying he was a failure when he scored goals in the world's strongest tournaments.

When will this arrogance ever end? My guess: never. And England will still go in as favourites for World Cup 2010...

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  • 52.
  • At 10:19 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Henrik wrote:

Surely Materazzi is to blame for Zidane being sent off? He merely spoke (i presume) some offensive words and all Zidane did was violently butt him in the chest.

Well, that is the logic which should be applied by the BBC, after all Ronaldo's protestations caused Rooney to be sent off rather than that, er, stamp.

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  • 53.
  • At 10:29 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • tony4ever wrote:

Materazzi has been one of the most influential players for the Italian team during the World Cup.He is a strong,motivated and talented defender.His goal for Italy in the final has been crucial.Zidane shouldn't have headbutted him even if he had insulted him.Now,materazzi will be remembered as a World Cup hero and winner.The 2006 World Cup was one of the worst Tournaments ever simply because of Sepp Blatter and his dictatorship.I think it's high time to get rid of this tycoon and start of thinking how to bring back the beauty of football

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  • 54.
  • At 10:30 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Raffaella wrote:

Oh, another thing dedicated to all them people who are trying to justify Zidane's action: I am pretty sure Materazzi didn't say anything racist...Zidane is white so what can you really say about him? Regardless that if someone offend you in any way you don't use violence but the power of the word. But I guess Zidane preferred playing the villian than the Sir. It was his choice to be kicked,he could have just answered Materazzi back. End of the Story. ITALY WON PROUDLY. You can keep hating in vain.

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  • 55.
  • At 11:07 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Rob wrote:

He is an absolute disgrace. People should not forget to mention that fact in the same breath as they disgrace Zidane. That video says it all.

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  • 56.
  • At 11:38 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Paofelice wrote:

well... was "The Castrator" Rooney born in 1998? i guess yes, and he learned something from Marco... the classy stamp... the courage to deny until the end, despite millions camera on you.... and "Diva" Beckham, was he born? for sure yes, see how he cried...

our boyz ain't that different....

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  • 57.
  • At 11:52 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • fat les wrote:

I thought Materazzi was ace when he was at Everton.

And he certainly got the sympathy vote from me when that footballing gonk Huckerby dived over his leg and got him sent off. The histrionics afterwards were a bit much though....

So the fact that he's won the World Cup is fine down this part of Goodison way thanks Mr McNulty..and I never thought you knew a good player when you saw one!

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  • 58.
  • At 12:23 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • david gardner wrote:

Trappatoni and Lippi certainly Know a good Defender when they see one..tis only a pity we in England dont.We seem to "idolise" the crash bang wallop man..no prisoners.They win the ball..and havent a clue what to do with it..so it is usually hoofed upfield[generally to the opposition]Did you watch some of the defenders in this and every other world cup, doing their own job then joining in the attacks.Can you imagine Terry or Ferdinand making regular trips to the byline and crossing the ball..passing to feet?beating a man and passing.Can you imagine them taking a penalty.Materazzi probably wept at everton because of the standards around him.

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  • 59.
  • At 12:53 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Sminky wrote:

I'm one Everton supporter who was sorry to see Marco go. The signing of him and Dacourt was the brief flowering of an Everton renaissance. Alas, the economics of the club couldn't sustain it and their sale and subsequent replacement by honest (and some dubious) journeyman was a signal of the impending decline.

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  • 60.
  • At 01:54 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Yasser Ahmad wrote:

After watching Marco Materazzi video posted above, I am compelled to say that : " He is more of a Mule showing his mule kicks than a footballer playing football .

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I saw Marco play for Everton at Leeds and, like many others, thought he looked like he could play a bit. He did OK that day (although a tug on Alan Smith who'd come on as a late sub might've got him set off).

It's also true to say many Everton fans saw enough talent in him to predict he'd one day wear the Azure Blue of Italy, and we were proved right! As a writer on Toffee web said after his departure "For Everton to lose a key player of his all-round ability and confidence at such a young age is a tragedy." Your blogger's assumption that Everton fans would be entirely shocked to see him with a World Cup winners medal is well wide of the mark.

Having said all that, he does look a bit thuggish in the video on 'youtube' - he's obviously picked up some bad habits since going home!

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I saw Marco play for Everton at Leeds and, like many others, thought he looked like he could play a bit. He did OK that day (although a tug on Alan Smith who'd come on as a late sub might've got him set off).

It's also true to say many Everton fans saw enough talent in him to predict he'd one day wear the Azure Blue of Italy, and we were proved right! As a writer on Toffee web said after his departure "For Everton to lose a key player of his all-round ability and confidence at such a young age is a tragedy." This bog's assumption that Everton fans would be entirely shocked to see him with a World Cup winners medal is well wide of the mark.

Having said all that, he does look a bit thuggish in the video on 'youtube' - he's obviously picked up some bad habits since going home!

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  • 63.
  • At 02:47 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Cheng Leang wrote:

I think Zidane is the Victyim of his anger that provoked by Italian Player but he should not act in that way, it is crazy cos he did not know how to control is anger. sometimes it was too much to control but he should know that things never satify us at all, so neither words of bad persons. It would be somethings, the words of Italian player, out there. Hope people could judge him in a fair way.

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  • 64.
  • At 02:55 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Ted wrote:

maybe thats whats wrong with english football, wouldn't know a good player if he was playing in your own league?

Zidanes actions were inexcuasable, nothing any player says should warrant that type of insane behaviour. Zidane is an experienced & seasoned player, and you would think that he would of heard every insult under the sun by now. How do we all know that he didn't say somthing to Materazzi earlier? I find it hard to believe that it was all one sided.

I think Italy were the better team and deserved to win, I think Italy's win over the hosts, Germany was superior to Frances win over Brasil. France has won games on penalties and no "real goals" and almost won the Final on a questionable penalty, Italy decided to respond the best way possible, with a goal, a much better response when compared to Zidanes ridiculous idiotic behaviour!
Italy secured a perfect score in their penalty shootout with Materazzi, France did not, thats why Italy are the better team.

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  • 65.
  • At 03:26 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Mario wrote:

Zidane played in Italy for years - Italian defenders are great defenders also because of the psychological impact they have on their opponents. Zidane would have been subject to this during his time at Juve and was just stupid. I dont care what Materazzi said, nothing justifies Zidane's reaction. This is not the first time Zidane has been sent off for violent conduct - 14 red cards in his career.

Bye bye Zizou...

Grandi azzurri... grande Materazzi!!!!

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  • 66.
  • At 03:58 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • alex wrote:

what an ugly game he won nothing but a disgraceful trophy filled inside with doubtful character. This is the worst world cup I ever saw. At their level and also because footballer are treated so well, there should be some level of dignity amongst footballer as we expect from true sportsmen/women

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  • 67.
  • At 04:00 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Louis_Figo wrote:

France didn't deserve to win anyway regardless of whether ZZ was sent off or not. The only goal scored by France was a penalty kick for diving. France couldn't score a proper goal in the whole tournament. The same thing happens in the match between France v Portugal, the match was decided (or fixed) by a dubious penalty kick which is very disappointing for soccer fans. Anyway, Italy was already the World Cup Champion when it has beaten Germany in the semi and the final match just proved this once again.

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  • 68.
  • At 04:29 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Evelyn Stamps wrote:

I think Materazzi should be punished by having his gold medal taken from him. This would be a great opportunity for FIFA to prove they are serious about their slogan "Say NO to Racism" or is that all that it is......A SLOGAN.

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  • 69.
  • At 04:35 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Maz wrote:

I think it was wrong for Zidane to have head butted Materazzi but as it was revealed by an Italian lip reader after having examined the footage it was evident that Materazzi had no respect for the legend Zidane as he said "he wishes for an ugly death to him and his family". To me it seems that the Italians had a plan from the beginning to try to provoke Zidane because they knew that he was the defining factor. It is sad to see the Italians adopt this strategy to try to win the world cup and I hope Materazzi is brought to justice by FIFA for what he done. Zidane is no disgrace, he was clearly provoked and reacted as anyone else would too. I mean if someone said that to your family would you take that. Zidane should be remembered as a great footballer, he should be remembered for his achievements as a footballer and will be missed very much.

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  • 70.
  • At 05:06 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Wes wrote:

FIFA must put up procedures in place whereby if a player is abused racially or otherwise he can report the abused player can report that incident. As it is right now, there doesn't seem to be that mechanism and hence the tendency by some players to take the law into their own hands.

What Zidane did wasn't right whatever Materazzi said or didn't say.

I think Materazzi had a good tournament considering the fact the fact he wouldn't have played at all had Nesta been fully fit. It just shows Italy depth in the defensive area. Remember when Sol came in for Rio against Sweden!

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  • 71.
  • At 05:19 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • tony bee wrote:

I know I am in the very early stages of a lip-reading career but in addition to sorting out the Zidane incident I believe I can shed light on the Rooney affair:
Rooney: Oh my God! There's a big spider on your shorts.
Carvalho: Oh no, I hate spiders!
Rooney: Don't worry mate, I,ll stamp on it for you.
Carvalho: AAAAAArgh!!!


Ps. I,m fairly confident about the AAAAAArgh!!! part.

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  • 72.
  • At 05:33 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Emilio wrote:

Thank god he left England, obviously he didn't ln much there. Great article you proved how incompetent English soccer can be

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  • 73.
  • At 05:52 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • LfC wrote:

Materazzi allegedly called Zidane's sister a prostitute.

http://voyage.typepad.com/china/2006/07/materazzi_calle.html

(AFP citing Brazilian Globo TV)

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  • 74.
  • At 06:15 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • DWoods wrote:

I'm a Yank that still can't believe Zadine head-butted Materazzi, even if Materazzi said something despicable and/or racist. The final was not one of Zadine's best games; the Italians marked him tight and it looked to me like Zadine gave the ball away more that game than in any other. Seemed there were also several Italian fouls against Zadine that weren't called, which might have added to his frustration. But he is still one of the "beautiful game's" legends despite what he did in the final. I called Portugal the Diving Divas for their worst-of-the competition diving and whining antics. Shame! As for Italy, they proved the better team. They deserved to win the World Cup.

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  • 75.
  • At 08:06 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • arthur wrote:

I remember marco at everton , when he was trying to beat big duncs disciplinary record...but what a difference...dunc was and still is blue to the core...marco was and still is a phoney...albeit a phoney with a world cup winners medal... marco was on record as saying he was glad he didnt have to face dunc when italy played scotland last year..i bet he was , the phoney git

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  • 76.
  • At 09:21 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • debussy wrote:

Oh come, do you really think Zidane would have changed anything if he stayed to the end ? He was already groggy after 110 minutes he was tired to death and only the shade of the good ol' Zizou ...
The French team is old and it was a miracle they managed to arrive to the finals, they couldn't expect more. The real final was Italy-Germany, the best match in this tournament. And if ZZ should be rehabilitated then what about Totti in the european finals ..he was crucified for spitting on a Dane .. no one wondered what the Dane said ...

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  • 77.
  • At 09:33 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Ted wrote:

Nothing justifies violence on a football pitch, certainly not unkind words from the opposition, Zidane was rightly sent off, the Italians scored more goals than the French and are the deserved winners, I bet if Zidane could go back in time he would not have reacted in the same way, he instead should of shut Materazzi up by scoring a goal for France, but instead he resorted to violence, France were not good enough on the day, they won games through single penalties and not open play goals, they nearly won the world cup with a highly questionable penalty, I certainly don't think the French played better than the Italians, the Italians out defended the French and the Italians had the better goal scoring opportunities, this is what counts in football, not sensless acts of aggression!

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  • 78.
  • At 09:45 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Andrea wrote:

Are you forgetting Zidane history of villany?

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  • 79.
  • At 09:54 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • sporty joe wrote:

While Zidane must take responsibility for his actions, Materazzi is clearly not a choir boy. This produced by Italian TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlaqsOPlt-0

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  • 80.
  • At 09:56 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • interista wrote:

The videoclip that one can see by the link in comment 1 just says that Marco played in a masculine way. I said "played". He paid for that, also in the field. Is there anyone showing the Zidane's videos? Do you remember Zidane's headbutt on the head of an opponent during a champion's league match? And, can anyone remember Zidane's walk on the back of a saudi arabian player during a previous world cup? Is Zidane a killer? I think no!
Does that video clip mean that a player playing hard is a racist too? NO!
This is just my opinion...but have you seen zidane's exulting after the PK scoring in the first time of the match? I saw nervousness in is run. Have you seen him calling for sustitution after his fall and shoulder pain? Possibly it was the time to stop.

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  • 81.
  • At 10:43 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Nick wrote:

Ah! Heroes and villains.

The lip reader has revealed exactly what Materazzi said. I speak Italian and have translated it back into Italian. MM insulted his family and then told him to 'go **** yourself'.
Not very nice at all and probably not the only thing that was said to ZZ. BUT. ZZ played for 4 years in Italy, he should know that people of all ages say it - it really doesnt have the same meaning or impact as it does in English. The phrase ' I hope you and your family die a long and painful death' also sounds much worse in English - It would roughly be translated as ' go rot in hell' or something similar.

Having said that, it wasnt very polite especially under the sad circumstances of ZZ's mother's illness but the fact that ZZ turned around and went back to nut him speaks volumes, this wasnt a lashing out of the fist, this was a walk up to and head butt action. Much more controlled than the sort of thing we would expect from say Duncan Ferguson (I speak as an Everton supporter). We will probably never know what went on in the lead up to the incident but I can't believe that nothing was said to ZZ or any of the other players during this and other games.
It's not a game for people who are a bit sensitive, only those of you who play or have played professional sport will know what really goes on on the pitch. Let's not try and pretend that Materazzi is the only player EVER in the history of football to wind another player up - by words or actions.

Some of the comments on here are questionable. I'm not sure how the view that all Italian men are homosexual has been reached, perhaps the author has had the pleasure? I for one can assure you that all Italian men are not gay and I'm sure that lots of other women have had the pleasure of confirming that fact!!!.

Materazzi has a poor record, no doubt but the game is littered with heroes - Bremner, Tommy Smith, Chopper Harris, Norman Hunter etc who would today NEVER get away with some of the vicious tackles of their era. In today's game we have less of the outright flying tackles but what is the difference between a knee knackering (deliberate) tackle by Roy Keane and the sort of stuff we've seen on the various links on this page by Materazzi?

We want it all, don't we? We want blood and thunder players to run their hearts out, get stuck in and win matches but we also want them to play with great dignity and politeness. We (not everyone I accept) admire the likes of Roy Keane, Big Dunc, Shearer's elbows ( they played their own part in any game) Rooney and others but heaven help a foreign player who steps over the line be it by a head butt or a poor disciplinary record.

If experienced players earning millions cannot take verbal insults or the odd nipple tweak on the pitch then they need to spend a day or two working with paramedics, police officers, nurses or doctors to see what the real world of insult, violence and racism is all about.

All that said, ZZ was stupid to rise to the bait and Marco was an idiot to say what he said. ZZ was the greatest player of a generation, Materazzi is not and never would be. The game is all the poorer for ZZ's retirement but in terms of his temper, well, he was no angel either. Strange that no one has put together a video of all of ZZ's sendings off?


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  • 82.
  • At 10:45 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Jim Lynch wrote:

Total tripe. Another "let's slag off Everton" diatribe, this time from a one time blue.

Everton fans know a good player when they see one and we could see that Marco was a classy player. It was the financial crisis and managerial lunacy at Goodison that meant he had to go. Same as Olivier Dacourt.

Facts and journalism - don't make me laugh!

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  • 83.
  • At 10:49 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

Am I missing something again regarding the Materazzi Zidane incident:
1. The media have enlisted Italian lip-readers to identify what Materazzi was saying, so presumably it was in Italian.
2. The media also present Zidane as a good ole working class boy, where football was his life, so presumably Zidane is not an Italian speaker.

So if Materazzi said a complex insult to Zidane regarding his family, his race etc etc, and not just something simple like, "Get Stuffed" which is more likely, how would Zidane have understood him?

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  • 84.
  • At 11:05 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Bright wrote:

Well we can understand your envy , it happens you know, it's evry nice to be the world champion and it has a betetr value when you win though people hate you and say racist things .
To the racist provacations toward us we answer on the field, playing well. Whatever materazzi said.
Stop being envious.

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  • 85.
  • At 11:08 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Bright wrote:

oh by the way, thanks to those of you who supported italy.
Anyway whatever, you can't kill or hit a person , words and phisical assault are 2 different things.

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  • 86.
  • At 01:56 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

All this hypothetical lip reading is ridiculous. What Mazza said is none of our business and irrelevant. For all those sensitive types who have inferiority complexes watch fairytales or cartoons instead. For all those ladies who have never been close to a football match insults are two a penny and fly on the pitch every 10 seconds. So if the great Zizou decides to take it into his hands good for him but then he and his team have to bear the consequences not Materazzi or the Italian team. Zizou is a fab player but also a thug. 14 red cards (including another head butting against a Hamburg player a few years back). Mazza's maybe not a stylish player but a darned effective one. An equaliser and a penalty shoot-out in a world cup final after running for 120'. This ia a man not a wimp like some of the scribblers on this blog. The french coach is the most pathetic looser I have ever seen blaming Mazza on his team's loss. Let's stop this ridiculous joke. Zidane a thug who deserved the red card. What is scandalous is that FIFA gave him the golden ball award. What kind of message is that supposed to send out? Get real.

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  • 87.
  • At 02:04 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Bobby wrote:

Simon

Zidane used to play for juventus he's fluent in Italian.

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  • 88.
  • At 03:17 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Jerry wrote:

"Those of us who waved him farewell on his return to Perugia after a single season without giving it a second thought that our paths would cross again, were convinced he would be lucky to watch a World Cup final let alone play in one."

Another example of Phil McNulty's knowledge of football comes to the fore. Put this alongside your expert opinion of Owen Hargreaves before the Portugal match, and a few of us are wondering just how you managed to break into sports journalism. Shocking.

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  • 89.
  • At 03:47 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Toffeebwoy wrote:

Materazzi was not a flop at Everton. He played well in his only season and was perhaps Walter Smith's best defensive signing.

He left because he couldn't settle into life on Merseyside.

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  • 90.
  • At 04:34 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Gubs wrote:

It's funny the way Zidane is feted as a misunderstood genius for his headbutting finale. I don't remember the crowds and the media being so dewy-eyed when Maradona was banned from the 1994 World Cup for steroids. Is there some sort of prejudice at work here? Noble, non-diving, French Algerian, as opposed to sneaky stumpy Argentinian?

Zidane didn't lose France the World Cup. Ok, he didn't win them the cup, and he may think he could have done in the remaining 10 minutes. But I don't think he could; he'd been largely anonymous in open play throughout the match. True, he would have taken one of their penalties, probably their first, but that doesn't mean Trezeguet wouldn't have taken another one, and still missed. The Italians were better penalty-takers, because they knew they deserved to win: that's normally how it is (Brazil v Italy 1994, W.Germany v England 1990) - ok, that's highly speculative. Anyway, I think Italy did deserve to win for their performance against Germany. They lowered their level against France, but they were still the best team to make it to the later stages.

It's a tragic way for Zidane to end his career, but what great sportsman has managed to leave on top, in the way they would have liked? Is it not the human condition to fail?

And I don't think France deserved to win the World Cup. Football will be the worse when a team of old-stagers brought out of retirement because the younger breed couldn't make it, is good enough to win the World Cup. It makes a mockery of the other teams in their prime trying to do so.

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  • 91.
  • At 05:12 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Brian wrote:

I agree with the previous comment (no 90), and that of Nick at 81.

I said to my wife as the red card went up "Of course he'll play the racist abuse card"; it was such a no brainer that I don't regard myself as much of a prophet when it came to pass. A true cynic would now expect ZZ to sit silent for a bit, see what the vilest abuse the media (with a bit of steering from his agent, team mates and sundry lip readers) can come up with looks like and confirm that that was what MM said. I'm not quite that cynical but the reality is that it's going to be almost impossible to determine what really happened and the FIFA inquiry will turn into one man's word against another. No doubt the visible political support emanating from President Chirac will have its impact too.

What really intrigues me is how Zidane has never acquired the reputation of a supremely talented thug - unlike his partner in the France midfield Patrick Viera, whose disciplinary record (certainly at international level) is probably rather better. Obviously Zidane is a better player but I can't help thinking other factors are in play here. Zidane is the only player of North African descent to come through into the French side and as such has commercial possibilities- especially in the Arab world and beyond- that Viera (just one Frenchman of sub Saharan African descent in a team full of them) can only dream of. In addition, for obvious social reasons related to the fraught history of France's attempts to come to terms with an immigrant population of North African origin, there has been a massive investment by the social, cultural and political elites of France in Zidane-the-myth which cannot easily be sacrificed at this late date.

Nobody seems to have noted that France and Italy will be meeting in the European Qualifiers in the next few months. UEFA will have to look long and hard at who they put in charge of those matches.

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  • 92.
  • At 06:02 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • mark wrote:

The bottom line - he scored two goals - end of story bravo!

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And since you knew what type of low life this italian [Marco]is why didnt it reflect in BBC's coverage of the story? You guys just sank like the rest of the racists that make such horrid comments.

Visit my blog and see how I will slag that fucker off.

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  • 94.
  • At 07:53 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

What a bunch of sore losers - Italy won. Live with it.

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  • 95.
  • At 08:53 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Remo wrote:

Hi to all the Zidane fans...I was much too busy celebrating the Italian World Cup win to sit down and enter my comments about the "Moment of Stupidity" that will live forever. While all of France waits for Zidane to finally figure out a way out of this, I, at this point, could care less. It has taken him two days (and counting) to concoct a story that he thinks is palatable to his fans. I laugh at the suggestion that he was so horrified that he had to take action immediately. Apparently not so horrified that he cannot wait a few days to discuss it. Hysterical!!! Tell you guys what, in four years we all meet in South Africa, you all get to call the Italian team names as long as we go home with the World Cup! Hands up everyone who thinks Klose hasn't been taunted or sworn at. How about Henry? Riberry? Toni? Hell, Cristiano has been called every name in the book and has yet to headbutt anyone! Even better, let's all go to France and read the local tabloids which have repeatedly questionned the lack of true frenchmen on their national team. No racial bias there eh? If Zidane wants to go out with the respect he truly merits, he should stand up and say "You know what? I really screwed up and I am sorry!" He would further tarnish his image by instead getting into a he said I said scenario. At least Matterazzi has faced the media and admitted to exchanging barbs.

Psychological ploys are part of the game. Didn't the French team spend two days prior to the Portugal game discussing at great lengths with any reporter who would listen that they felt their opponents were divers and that the ref better be on his game. Worked marvellously didnt it! My hats off to them. Shoe's on the other foot now...live with it.

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  • 96.
  • At 08:58 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Adam Rupolo wrote:

You're very right in the way that things always seem to happen around him.

As an Italian fan, I am happy in his performance as he played very well. I was convinced he was a starter and it amazes me that pretty much the whole tournament we were missing our star defender, Nesta.

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  • 97.
  • At 09:36 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Adam Rupolo wrote:

Okay to poster 95 u hit the nail on the head. Or should I say the head on the chest?

To poster 69 i have an image of u as a little old lady watching her first world cup game. U seem to think that the Italians had it planned all along to "provoke" Zidane. Yep. It was all a conspiracy and I can tell you now! Italy planned to take the game into extra time, wait another 20 minutes and 10 minutes before the game went into penalties, YES! THAT was the PERFECT time to say something so horrible that a human being can't even contol themselves! MUAHAHAHAHA! Okay or not, you're just extremely dumb.

The thing im most dumbfounded about is Zidane winning the Golden Ball award. Especially when Ronaldo didnt get the best young player award becuz of his "antics" and not "playing fair as a positive role model." Hypocrites. Most of the journalists casted their votes BEFORE the final. It was a sentimental thing awarding him for his career when the award is SUPPOSED to be for the tournament. Cannavaro deserved it a LOT more. He played more minutes, receieved not a single card and was simply amazing. Zidane was invincible the first 2 games, was suspended for the 3rd, received another card in the 4th AND had this disgraceful act in the 7th. Good job Zizou and farewell! You went out in STYLE

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  • 98.
  • At 12:46 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • giovanni wrote:

SHAME ON THE French......Could anyone explain to me why ZZ has been awarded after his unprofessional behaviour while others have been critisied for the same sort of things?.....Maybe because FIFA instead of being impartial is very closed to the French footbal. What example and image he is given to the world? Why people like Gallas are free to say what he said without anyone taking any action against him.... he is the real terrorist!!
Shame on all the French football that are not adult enough to accept their lost. What FIFA have done 4 years ago when Moreno the south American refeere practically make sure that South Korea was progressing against Italy....Does anyone remembered his atroucities in that game?

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  • 99.
  • At 01:34 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • tony bee wrote:

All this talk about lip readers is making me very nervous. I hope the neighbours don't get one!

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  • 100.
  • At 01:35 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • maltese sfigato wrote:

malta? hahahahahahahahahahhhihihihihiih
you just stick to kissing the feet of your English masters.

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  • 101.
  • At 01:45 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Manuel wrote:

A quote from "Fourth Official saw Zidane action" (today on BBC Sport): "I don't know what Materazzi said to Zidane but there were protests about the action and Gianluigi Buffon went to talk to the linesman."

Considering what BBC argued about the Ronaldo-Rooney incident, I am perplex BBC has not suggested that Buffon should be investigated (and humiliated ...) for instigating the linesman ...

Did I miss something ...?

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  • 102.
  • At 01:50 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Val wrote:

Malta?!?!?!
Who are You?
Where is your top class squad?
Have you got a squad?
Have you got a football player?
Do you know how to spell F-O-O-T-B-A-L-L?

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  • 103.
  • At 02:04 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Val wrote:

..and I tell you another thing, dear steve borg from malta, since you are asking where was Blatter in the final presentation....as a loyal pet he was too busy cheering up his french masters....

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  • 104.
  • At 02:06 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • ahahahahahahahha wrote:

Hey malta can you count?

* 1934
CAMPIONI DEL MONDO

* 1938
CAMPIONI DEL MONDO

* 1982
CAMPIONI DEL MONDO

* 2006
CAMPIONI DEL MONDO

CIAO MERDA !

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  • 105.
  • At 03:18 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Sascha wrote:

Italy = bad winners? Is someone from Malta not entitled to his opinion? Just asking.

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  • 106.
  • At 04:14 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Vic Guunby wrote:

Unfortunatly Marcco Mazzeratzi is thetype of player the rest of the world judjes the Italians to be,that is having lots of skill but having to use some form of cheating to try to ensure victory. as it turned out in the world cup final he caught Zinadine Zidane,Rightly judged the best player of the tournament,at an unguarded moment& sadly tarnished the final moments of a truly great players career. Maybe we will never know what Mazzeratzi did to provoke Zinadine Zidane but lets hope he gets some form of punishment for his actions.

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  • 107.
  • At 04:31 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Vic Guunby wrote:

Unfortunatly Marcco Mazzeratzi is thetype of player the rest of the world judjes the Italians to be,that is having lots of skill but having to use some form of cheating to try to ensure victory. as it turned out in the world cup final he caught Zinadine Zidane,Rightly judged the best player of the tournament,at an unguarded moment& sadly tarnished the final moments of a truly great players career. Maybe we will never know what Mazzeratzi did to provoke Zinadine Zidane but lets hope he gets some form of punishment for his actions.

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  • 108.
  • At 05:06 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Ted wrote:

@ Steve Borg...

what does anyone from Malta know about football, where was your team in the world cup?, does Malta even have a team?, is there more than 11 people in Malta? I live in Australia, and I have dealings with Maltese people all the time, there are alot here, they can be as sly & tricky as any Greek, Swede, English or French person I know, the Maltese are no saints, thats fer sure.

And whats worse is that they try to pass themselves off as Authentic Italians, they start up Pizza & Pasta shops here in Australia and serve up second rate muck, my dog wont even eat it - they forget that they can't speak italian, so they are discovered for who they really are quickly!

Maybe Maltese people like yourself should just stick to Goat Herding or whatever it is you do there!

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  • 109.
  • At 06:10 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • BOT46 wrote:

Materazzi is the MAP most aggressive player, I think that Materazzi should be kick out of the FIFA, and that Zidane did the right thing!
All I know is that Zidane replied 'fils de pute'(son of a bitch that you can clearly read on his lips) when he was leaving so i bet Materazzi said something worst.

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  • 110.
  • At 06:15 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • BOT46 wrote:

Materazzi is the MAP most aggressive player, I think that Materazzi should be kick out of the FIFA, and that Zidane did the right thing!
All I know is that Zidane replied 'fils de pute'(son of a bitch that you can clearly read on his lips) when he was leaving so i bet Materazzi said something worst.
MATERAZZI gives a bad name to italy and Football. ANYWAY HE SHOULD BE SHOT

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  • 111.
  • At 09:30 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Nick wrote:

Carlsberg don't do press conferences but if they did........

Monday 10th July, breaking news....we are going live to a press conference with Marco Materazzi and Zinedine Zidane.....

Marco to speak first
"I came to Germany not expecting to play. Nesta is one of the best alongside Cannavaro and his injury found me in the team. I am 33 years old and this is my last chance to do anything special in my career.

In the first half I touched Malouda, obviously more than I thought, as he fell to the ground very hard. Zizou scored the penalty. I had to make amends and had to score, which I did and I think it was a good goal. Italy played well in the first half and dominated the play.
After half time, the French were by far the better team but they still could not get past our defence.
I had been teasing ZZ all through the game, that is often the case in Italian footbal and ZZ knows, he has played there for 4 years.I said some bad things to him because I know that I cannot beat a player like ZZ with my skills, I am just an average player. Z is a genius. When he hit me I was so shocked I fell over and should have stood up sooner but I didnt. I am sorry for this. I aplogise for upsetting him and his family. I apologise to football, to France and to Italy because now the talk is of this and not of Italy winning the World Cup. I am very sorry."

Zinedine speaks
" I was tired and had the expectations of a nation on my shoulders. After the Brazil game, I was exhausted and emotionally drained. I knew that my beloved mother was ill but I had so much to do here in Germany and I knew that this was my farewell game. France expected me to be the hero and win the WC.
Marco said things to wind me up but he is really a nobody and I didnt rate him as a threat but somehow as I could not get into the game and time was running out, I was getting more and more frustrated. I just wanted to scream a someone because my whole career was coming to an end and I so very much wanted to win.
The exchange with Marco started as a bit of a joke but then both of us lost our heads. What I did was wrong and we have both a share of the blame for different reasons. I apologise to France, to football and to Italy for the same reasons Marco has said earlier. I will never know what would have happened if I had not been sent off but the fact is that Italy won on penalties and that is how it ends.
I was awarded the Golden Shoe but I know in my heart that this really belongs to Cannavaro. He was the best player in the tournament. It was given to me because of my circumstances and my years of playing football. For that I am grateful but feel it is wrong because I was not the best player of this tournament. Goodbye and thank you"

Commentator -
Well, that was interesting....and, wait a minute..... we're going live to a news conference in Manchester with Rooney and Ronaldo...........

Well, I can dream?

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  • 112.
  • At 09:38 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Miguel wrote:

Mater-Nazzi is a racist little bastard. May he rot in shame.

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  • 113.
  • At 10:29 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • andrew wrote:

remember paul gascoigne? There are a lot of bastards in sports, and zizou is not an angel, materazzi use the tounge, zidane use violence. The cup went to the better team, that's it.

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  • 114.
  • At 10:30 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • ethio-chelsea20 wrote:

"The mentality of the Italian player is to do almost anything in order to gain an advantage - pulling shirts, diving, trying to get a player sent off or winding an opponent up is all part and parcel of the game." Quoted from bbc

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  • 115.
  • At 10:31 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • james wrote:

I guess i'll have to be up your arse to get a comment posted. First class tit.

Well done.

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  • 116.
  • At 10:32 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • james wrote:

I guess i'll have to be up your arse to get a comment posted. First class tit.

Well done.

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  • 117.
  • At 10:38 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • andrew wrote:

remember paul gascoigne? There are a lot of bastards in sports, and zizou is not an angel, materazzi use the tounge, zidane use violence. The cup went to the better team, that's it.

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  • 118.
  • At 10:46 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • marco wrote:


france deserved to lose, that's it. They could have nailed us in the 2nd half, sure ... did you see any goal?

and what about our POST in the first half?? forgot that too?

we've been a fortress. Someone who doesn't admire defensive player is someone who never played football in his life.
Zidane lost it by frustration, (check his past record of red cards please)

and their penalty was ridiculous.

we get out of this with 2 goals conceded: a self-goal and that bastards' shit penalty.
we were a TEAM, not a collection of stars. You can have your Beckham shit I keem my azzurri where 10different players (!!!) scored in the whole WChampionship. 10 !!!!

dixit
m+

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  • 119.
  • At 11:09 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Paolo wrote:

OK I can understand all comments both from pro and against Italy. All I can say this would give you the final answer....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS6NNLSeHVc&search=Finale%20berlino

Arrivederci!!!!


CAMPIONI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 120.
  • At 09:19 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • dfgh@iol.it wrote:

if you think that violence is a good answer to words..that means you are not a great person.
and this applies especially to zidane, whose career is full of act of violance like the lst one.

so sad reading comment trying to justify him. it seems that next time you something like that happens on a pitch, you ought to think whose guilty for the provocation rather than guilty being violent..

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  • 121.
  • At 09:36 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • remo wrote:

Hey, Zidane doesn't regret what he did.

I don't regret what Zidane did.

What's the problem? Hey, he can headbutt me in four years and we'll take the trophy home again. Gotta love a guy who doesn't regret his major contribution to a major loss. It's all about you ZiZi...all about you.

All this quibbling about Zidane's role and Materazzi's role leads me to one conclusion. At that moment, Marco did his job better than Zidane did his. If a few well placed zingers is all it takes to throw a major player off his game..then go for it. The trading of barbs, threats, taunts etc. has always been a part of competitive sport. Whether it should be is an argument for another day...right now, it is!

C'est la vie ZiZi!!!

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  • 122.
  • At 09:47 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • mim wrote:

When i started to watch the game i thought it was a reply of the ghana italy match, some one said, no no its the final. ok

fifa shuld get 3 yallow cards for

giving the gold ball awward to zidane and not materazzi, (quote the french trainer)

giving the trainer awward to the german and not to lippi, lippi won.

giving the young footballer awward to the german and not to c ronaldinho,

and the president not giving the cup
at the ceremony,
i think fifa vanted the final to be betwin france and germany, maybe that esplains the referys performance,

brava Italia, quatro volte,
invidia crepa

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  • 123.
  • At 11:18 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • me wrote:

When i started to watch the game i thought it was a reply of the ghana italy match, some one said, no no its the final. ok

fifa shuld get 3 yallow cards for

giving the gold ball awward to zidane and not materazzi, (quote the french trainer)

giving the trainer awward to the german and not to lippi, lippi won.

giving the young footballer awward to the german and not to c ronaldinho,

and the president not giving the cup
at the ceremony,
i think fifa vanted the final to be betwin france and germany, maybe that esplains the referys performance,

brava Italia, quatro volte,
invidia crepa

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  • 124.
  • At 11:22 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • berdo wrote:

ererer

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  • 125.
  • At 11:29 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • berdo wrote:

OF COURSE Zidane was provoked!

Thank you for illuminating us!

Do they take us for stupid? [b]OF COURSE [/b] he was provoked! Materazzi probably swore to him, or to his sister, or to his mother. Who cares!

I don't care what Materazzi said to Zidane, his reaction was pure folly, and truly ignominious. A real man would have settled the issue by playing football on the pitch, or with a fight in the changing rooms, not a cowardly head-butt during the match! Not only it was disgraceful, it was also stupid.

Not revoking the Golden Ball from Zidane is tantamount to sanctioning his unruly behaviour. The fact his a great player does not mean it is ok to overlook such behaviour. Morals and the law are equal for everyone, and that includes Zidane.

I am disappointed at the BBC, and this Phil McNulty, whoever he is, for descending into such poor journalism, worthy of a tabloid.

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  • 126.
  • At 11:30 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Joseph from Malta wrote:

You must *love* Materazzi:

1) came on as a substitute for defending legend Nesta

2) unjustly expelled. didn't lose his cool

3) comes back to score a goal

4) plays an excellent final & scores a goal

5) exposes Zizou for what he truly is: a vicious hot-head with 14 red cards to his demerit

6) reacts calmly to biased media wanting to portray HIM as the aggressor (!)

Zidane really, REALLY fell to an all time low this evening, trying to justify his senseless vicious attack.
No matter what, that act is simply inexcusable...only one thing is worse...what did on canal+

Zidane, from Hero to Zero:
(a poem I wrote)

Zizou lost his head
ended up with a red....

...faced ending
after his 14th off-sending

How unstable is that guy!
now he can only cry

The Italians ran rings around him
that why he lost his whim

no "ifs" or "buts"...No excuse
for such violence we've no use

Walk home in shame, Zidane
No, don't walk....run

FIFA was also so disgusting
for rewarding his head-thrusting

His home country equally to blame
for welcoming home his shame.

The head-butt is there for all to see
it was vicious, that's doubt-free.

This guy surely wasn't a role-model to imitate
his vicious character so filled with hate.

a bad example throughout his remarkable career
his talent won't save him from the jeer.

After this incident his fans can only shut up.
he didn't deserve the World Cup.

his team would've lost anyway
Italy had the very best play.

Congrats to Lippi & his Italian players
for winning deservedly despite the naysayers!

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  • 127.
  • At 12:36 AM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • Minghul Malti wrote:


A Maltese contributor mentioned that Italians, throughout footballing history are known to cheat in order to win. In this world cup:

1) a clear penalty not given to Ghana
2) a disallowed USA goal for passive play
3) an invented penalty against Australia in the 95th minute
4)Italian tv station provides footage to Fifa to show Torsten Frings in a tussle with Argentinian players, so that he is suspended against Italy
5) Zinedine Zidane is verbally attacked and sent off in the world cup final when France was playing Italy off the park.

Che vergogna. Vinci con capacita se sai. A tirade against Malta prooves nothing except bullying. We are a small European nation the size of Terni, with our head held high.

Our history speaks for itself.

For those who called us 'merda' (shitheads), for expressing an opinion I think we have showed them what 'merda' we are many times. The Italian living in Australia shows no shame in rallying against the country that adopted him and should go back to his 'mama'.

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  • 128.
  • At 12:37 AM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • Minghul Malti wrote:


A Maltese contributor mentioned that Italians, throughout footballing history are known to cheat in order to win. In this world cup:

1) a clear penalty not given to Ghana
2) a disallowed USA goal for passive play
3) an invented penalty against Australia in the 95th minute
4)Italian tv station provides footage to Fifa to show Torsten Frings in a tussle with Argentinian players, so that he is suspended against Italy
5) Zinedine Zidane is verbally attacked and sent off in the world cup final when France was playing Italy off the park.

Che vergogna. Vinci con capacita se sai. A tirade against Malta prooves nothing except bullying. We are a small European nation the size of Terni, with our head held high.

Our history speaks for itself.

For those who called us 'merda' (shitheads), for expressing an opinion I think we have showed them what 'merda' we are many times. The Italian living in Australia shows no shame in rallying against the country that adopted him and should go back to his 'mama'.

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  • 129.
  • At 12:44 AM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • Steve Borg wrote:

Delete all offensive emails directed against Malta and the Maltese people immediately.

You have suspended and deleted my contribution yet have allowed replies calling us 'merda' (shitheads), goatherders and other insults.

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  • 130.
  • At 09:28 AM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • Jessup wrote:

To Minghul Malti & Steve Borg,

your assuming that its all Italians responding to the "Maltese contributor", I am not Italian and I also think your comments were Marda, you can dish it out but you can't take it back!

Why dont you & Mr Borg get a team together and try out for the next world cup instead of slagging off at the nations who were actually involved, it sounds to me that your a bit jealous... yeah!

Calm down, and look out for those damn goats, they might just head butt you if your not carefull!

Malta to win the next world cup! ...... you can do it, just get the Italians to organise it for you, since you believe that they have some kind of magical power over FIFA & it's officials!

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  • 131.
  • At 10:17 AM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • Joseph from Malta wrote:

I am from Malta & totally condemn Steve Borg & Minghul Malti (Little Maltese devil)'s negative attitude.

They deserve a slap on the wrist for being so much of bad losers...

Let me explain a thing or two about Maltese supporters.

about 60% supporters of the English team, who rarely if ever watch an English game, but only rejoice when Italy is defeated. You could call them "anti-Italians" rather than "England supporters".

Anti-Italian racist remarks are the order of the day for these so-called supporters, who right now are choking 'cos of the Italian World Cup victory.

Why some people are such bad losers beguiles me; I publicly excuse myself in theur name for giving the impression that maltese people are a bunch of idiots.
Trust me guys, some Maltese people may be cowardly bad losers, but the majority are nice fun-loving people.

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  • 132.
  • At 10:41 AM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • ViciousZidane wrote:

Zinedine Zidane career: 14 red cards, 3 Head-butts, many vicious fouls.

Great player, less intelligence.

Phil McNulty you act in bad faith, you see only what you want to see....SHAME ON YOU.

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  • 133.
  • At 01:18 PM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • Steve Borg wrote:

Joseph comes from Malta like me. Of course I am not a nad loser, I am saying what the whole world is saying. Insulting me and Maltese and calling us goatherders does not mean that they answered my questions. Not even one was answered. I hope that Joseph was not one of those who took to the streets waving a foreign flag, the Italian one, totally forgetting that his allegiance is to Malta and our flag.

Malta is a small country with a population of 400,000 and since we are in UEFA we always pool stronger teams. Our last two world cup results were both 1-1 versus Croatia and Bulgaria. When we played Japan in Dusseldorf on July 6, a few days before the world cup we only lost 1-0 and hit the post twice.

OK we have never qualified to the world cup and probably never will, but does this mean that people from Malta, Iceland, Luxembourg, Armenia and Cyprus have no right of opinion?

Wake up guys, this is 2006 and everyone has a right to express his opinion, even small countries. As for Joseph, I pity him being euphoric about foreign nations...

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  • 134.
  • At 02:01 PM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • Shelly wrote:

Steve Borg you should understand that if you make silly provocatory comments you might be payed back in the same currency.

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  • 135.
  • At 03:38 PM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • Steve Borg wrote:

Shelly, what are you saying? Calling me a provoker? Materazzi was the provoker when he insulted Zidane. Did they know that Zizou's mother was in hospital since that morning? No, no, of course not! Zizou was giving them a lesson in football and hey, he unfortunately retaliates. Best man off the pitch and life becomes much easier. Why didn't Blatter prsent the trophy himself?

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  • 136.
  • At 05:12 PM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • mizika wrote:

Thank you joseph from malta for proving that not all maltese suffer of envy
and disonesty,
yes italians did celebrate the victory,
and way not, some born here wanted australia to win but were unlucky, the australian team was made up also whith italian australians, also people all over the world celebrated, in india,cina,palestine,israel,south america, se asia, n america etc,
shuld irish people be ashamed to celebrate st.patric day? off course not.
steve borg and malti shuld grow up

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  • 137.
  • At 05:34 PM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • Joseph from Malta wrote:

Steve Borg,

you accuse others of sweeping statements, of siding with other nations....yet you commit all of these things yourself!

You know nothing about me, yet you assume...you know what that makes you.

Steve, as Shelly said in (post 134, I think), you can't expect to stir the pot & not get a reaction.

You know the saying: "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen".

Let's all try to keep this discussion courteous.

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  • 138.
  • At 08:55 PM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • luca wrote:

FOR PEOPLE TAHT SPEAKS ABOUT ITALIAN RACISM!!

Why people speaks without knowing what's real happened?
Materazzi haven't said terrorist...algerian...or other thing that people hope that he said!
This is the the real racism, versus ITALY! In these days many have said most ugly things to the Italians!
I'm tired!

If Materazzi it had given the head to Zidane, it would have been spoken about provocation? about racism? NO
you would have only spoken about the bad Italian man!!!

They have discussed, Zidane start speaking, Materazzi has said something to his sister (not a good thing but I think that it happen often during a match) but zidane instead answering or ignore it, has reacted with his head. It has mistaken, nothing excuses.

I'm Italian and I'm not racist as all italian people!

I'm also WORLD CHAMPION!!!

ITALY WAS THE BEST TEAM IN THE TOURNAMENT
7 matches 6 victory and 1 draw
We have done 12 goals,
only 2 goal of the opponent
(1 owngoal and 1 free kick (you speaks about italian but Malouda is a very good diver...))

the best trainer Lippi,
the best goalkeeper Buffon,
the best defender Cannavaro,
the best side man Zambrotta,
the best quality midfield Pirlo
the best defenceve midfield Gattuso
And also other two ot the best player, Nesta and Totti, injured!!!

FORZA ITALIA!!!!

Bye Bye

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  • 139.
  • At 12:37 AM on 14 Jul 2006,
  • Ted wrote:

To Steven Bog & Mulati,

I am not an Italian, I am an Australian living in Australia, and so is my mother, I don't know why you presume I am an Italian?, can't you believe that someone from another country also thinks your broad sweeping negative comments about Italians were total shite?.

The Italians knocked us out, with a penalty that was awarded to them by the referee in the last minute of the game, I was extremely annoyed, everyone says that it was a dive, including me, but realistically our defender should of not fallen down on the ground in front of him in our own penalty box, like France, we couldn't score against them, even though they were down to 10 men,

at the time I was furious with the referee & grosso over the penalty, but when I calmed down I watched the game over, they had more goal scoring oppurtunities than us, and they defended better than us, and they repeated this in the final against France.

I don't think they are cheats any more than what any other country playing in the world cup was, I think that there are alot of bad loosers out there, I was one of them for a while.

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  • 140.
  • At 04:36 AM on 14 Jul 2006,
  • Goatsnuts wrote:

to the Borgmiester:

whats wrong with being Euphoric for a foreign nation? are you a racist?

and you wake up!, the whole world is not saying what you are saying, only sore loosers like yourself are!

what do you have against goat herders, its a job isn't it!

You are anti Italian, against supporting other nations & you don't appreciate Goat herders, BUT, it's OK for Zidane to act like a crazed goat on steroids is it!

This is what you should do: ride your bike over to Josephs place and become friends, Joseph sounds like he is a very decent Maltese person, and I'm sure there are many others like him, you could learn alot from him!
stop being an angry sore looser, and if you make sweeping negative generalisations about an entire nation, expect to cop some flak in return!

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  • 141.
  • At 11:31 AM on 14 Jul 2006,
  • Steve Borg wrote:

Well then, it seems that as a goatherder I am entitled some time to chew some grass to produce pecorino cheese. Enjoy your world cup 'victory' and to whoever is so ethical to call me 'merda', merda to youself too and remember to buy some polish. Your stars are stained, merda man. Ciao and goodbye and say what you want. The world shall ignore you.

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  • 142.
  • At 02:54 PM on 14 Jul 2006,
  • robbie wrote:

Steve Borg, they've got 4 stars on their shirt and there's nothing you can do about it. get a life

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