World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

French stunned by Zidane

sam_wilson.gif BERLIN - The French fans buried their faces in their hands as they saw Zinedine Zidane dispatched from the World Cup final, knowing it may have cost them victory.

None could explain his "idiotic act", but at the same time, they insisted France would remember him as a legend, and would not turn against him.

"It's very disappointing from a great player like Zidane," said Maxim Kelhetter, watching at the Fan Fest at the Brandenburg Gate.

"But we won't forget what he did for France. He is the greatest player we've had.

"I don't think people will turn against him. He is a legend in France and all over the world."

Amandine Cleret said: "Zidane did something really, really bad.

"Maybe the Italians did something nasty to him, I don’t know. It was his last match, maybe he got crazy.

"It really is a shame - really hard to finish like this."

"It was an idiotic act, I don’t know why he did it," said Eliette Gondoin.

Few blamed him directly for France's defeat, saying once the match went to penalties it was a lottery.

But they did say France had been looking the more likely winner till he was sent off.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 02:03 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Jaap van de Burgt wrote:

Why hasn't any tv channel asked a lip-reader to see what Materrazzi really said. I bet every football fan would like to know anyting there is to know about Zidane's headbut. I often see what players are saying, but a professionel lip-reader can definately see it. I can't understand why it isn't known what Materazzi has said. Greats Jaap

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  • 2.
  • At 02:07 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Dai wrote:

"Talent does what it can; genius does what it must."

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  • 3.
  • At 02:39 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

And where does The Guardian know that from?

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  • 4.
  • At 02:43 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Duke wrote:

he will be forever a legend, most of players faced the red card before it doesnt mean anything, Maradonna is an excessive drug addict and though his legend still around us till today, his mistake will not erase what he had done for france and the joy he brought to the football fans!!!

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  • 5.
  • At 02:48 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • John wrote:

You need to have experienced racial abuse before, before judging Zidane.

If he was racially abused, he did the right thing to stand up and be counted.

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  • 6.
  • At 02:51 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • FlyonWall wrote:

Does anyone else see the parallels of what happened to ZZ last night and what happened to Rooney during the England game? Physical attacks on other players will never be justified, but that won't change the "greatness" of legendary players like ZZ. And should the "victim" not be punished for the insult/provocation? Some have suggested that it was a racial remark... funny considering Beckham's speech about using football to stamp out inequality and rascism... Are we sure we punished the right player/team??? Maybe all players should wear Mics in future, just like the refs so that their " verbal exchanges" can be kept as evidence. Just a thought.

Flyon wall.

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  • 7.
  • At 02:56 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • elizabeth sakala wrote:

I thik Zidane was hate by what he was told by Matterazzi.
It seems the italian used strong words against him which lead him to do what he did.
The man was really hate expecially that it was his last international game or in his career.

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  • 8.
  • At 03:03 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • ali akbar wrote:

did no body see meterazzi pinching him in the chest?

where was the 4th official when that happened?

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  • 9.
  • At 03:09 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • J wrote:

Brilliant! Zidane broke all the rules.
Everybody expected another majestetic show of him, waiting for the great maestro to crown his career with another Worldcup. A slushy feel-good game like Germany's the day before.
With one headbutt, Zidane knocked them all back down to earth. No more lies about professional footballers having to put up with all sorts of abuse thrown their way. No more celebrity nonsense.
I just wish the rest of the world could be that honest.

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  • 10.
  • At 03:15 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Greg S wrote:

People should stop trying to justify Zidane's actions. He is a great player but he has a short fuse - he's been sent off loads of times. It doesn't really matter what Materazzi said; nothing justifies Zidane's headbutt.

I am pretty sure that plenty of terrible things get said on football pitches and if players want to lodge an official complaint after the game, they are free to do so. But let's not assume that Materazzi is at fault; in the rush to clear Zidane's name, everyone seems very keen to pin the blame on the Italian defender.

The sending off obscured the fact that Zidane had a poor game. He scored the penalty, but otherwise contributed very little. Materazzi, on the other hand, had a really good game. Maybe that is what frustrated Zidane so much.

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  • 11.
  • At 03:22 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Neil Griffiths wrote:

I'm not sure I agree with all this outrage at Zidane, that somehow no matter what happened, how the decision was reached, he had to be sent off, his actions were inexcusable. Yes, maybe the decision was right to send him off, but his actions inexcusable? We don't know what the Italian said. Like Woody Allen in Manhattan when told a great satirical piece in the New York Times was an appropriate reaction to Nazis marching in Central Park - satirical piece is all well and good, but baseball bats really get the message through. If the italian said something racist, or impugned Zidane's faith, I for one can accept a reaction of that sort. Sometimes violence is the only appropriate reaction - it's rare, but we're not all Zen masters, and we must be less judgmental and more insightful of the context and the human condition. And I know all the arguments about conduct on the pitch and hooligans. I'm more interested in a subtler debate about violence.

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  • 12.
  • At 03:26 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • barrycrompton wrote:

Whilst I think ZZ deserved to be sent off, this is not the issue. Can a player be sent off via the use of video evidence? The 4th official clearly looked at a monitor in the tunnel, then told the linesman about the butt, who in turn told the ref. The answer is no, a player can not be sent off via video evidence, hence ZZ can and should appeal.

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  • 13.
  • At 03:27 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Gus wrote:

It's almost amusing trying to blame Materazzi for the head-butt! Professional players, not to mention best player of the world-cup, that cant keep his temper!! If this was the first time, sure, but this is his second red card in a world cup final!!! Trying to paint this calm balanced picture of Zizou is just pathetical.

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  • 14.
  • At 03:42 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Terence wrote:

If it is a racist remark then we have a problem and that problem is FIFA. Messina's Zoro was racially abused by his own fans and Fifa did nothing. Eto'o has endured the same - Fifa does nothing. Henry was abused by Aragones and Fifa does nothing.

As usual, Fifa will do nothing.

It is all nice and dandy for captains to read fancy little notes to the entire stadium on racism and for teams to take cute group pictures in front of colourful banners but until and unless FIFA does something, Zidane's is not the last headbutt we are going to see on the grand stage.

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  • 15.
  • At 03:53 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Douglas Johnston wrote:

I am bewildered as to why Zidane headbutted Materazzi. if the Italian player said something racist, Zidane had a right to be angered, but he is a professional, and a veteran at that, so losing his head was inexcusable. I have studied the clip of the incident, and am sure that Materazzi said something which ended in the word 'Arab', something which Zidane would probably find offensive, especially if there was (most likely) a profanity in front of it. Materazzi should be punished as soon as FIFA find out what he said. It inly takes a professional lip-reader to work that out, Zidane speaks Italian as well as French, so the language is irrelevant. However, Zidane has only himself to blame for the headbutt - there are other, more subtle ways to get back at someone, and headbutting them in front of billions of people is not one of them. It almost looked like he didn't want to be on the pitch anymore. Like he had had enough, and was signing off in ridiculous fashion. Whether the referee saw it or not is another matter - he cannot techincally send someone off for something he didn't see, but the fourth official may have seen it, may have not. it matters not in the long run - Zidane has disgraced himself and his nation. What can FIFA do exactly, short of fining him and making nothing more than a dent in his wallet? His name will be tarnished.
A friend of mine suggested that maybe he had been blackmailed by certain members of Italian society to in a snesse fix the match, on pain of death. This is a long shot, but you never know, with all the controversy that has surrounded the national team, maybe the crooks thought they could have the last laugh. Who knows?
It shall remain football's biggest mystery.

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  • 16.
  • At 03:58 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Philipp Trempenau (Berlin, Germany) wrote:

Excuse me, I may sound stupid but what exactely is meant by "racial remarks" ? Aren't Materazzi and Zidane of the same "race" ?

Besides, I don't really know but what happened last night just makes me sad. I guess that's just the way the game is played today. Kicking/Stepping between the legs (yeah, you guys know about who I am talking), punching in faces, headbutting....

Nevertheless, Zidane is such an experienced player. He knows it's the opponent's objective Numero Uno to take out the playmaker. With tough play, card waiving and, yes, words.

I think he deserved a better career-ending, but he chose this way. Period.

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  • 17.
  • At 03:59 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • hmmm wrote:

ZZ did the right thing. Proof is Fifa gave him the WC best player award !

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  • 18.
  • At 04:01 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • wcup66 wrote:

A great player when his attention is on the ball. Otherwise a cynical thug. It's his umpteenth red card. I remember him headbutting a German in a Champions league match in Hamburg a few years back for which he collected another red card.
That puts it in context. The guy was just getting frustrated but he could not keep his nerve. Shame on you Zizou for ruining your own image. And the French coach blaming the Italians, absolutely pathetic ... FIFA should fine him and give him an examplary penalty just in case he changes his mind and wants to carry on playing.

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

What Zidane did was inexcusable - but what makes me laugh is Alan Shearer's 'enlightened' comments on his summing up of the final on the BBC World Cup website.
Berating Zizou for his moment of madness in front of millions of viewers?
Isn't this from the same Geordie chump who just over a week ago advocated violence between Rooney and Ronaldo on live British television? Who completely lost all sense of decorum and professionalism just because his mediocre English team blew it in the quarters once again?
Shearer - heard the phrase about the pot and the kettle? If anyone should be ashamed - and removed from the BBC punditry team immediately - it's YOU.

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  • 20.
  • At 04:21 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Stephen Martin wrote:

I would normally prefer to go to a performance of "Tosca" or "Othello" (Verdi or Shakespeare) than watch football on the TV, but last night's drama in Berlin certainly equalled most operas in terms of passion and excitement. Many of Western culture's celebrated tragedies feature some principled character standing up for what they believe even at the cost of their lives. If we were to insist they suppress their beliefs in the interests of a well-ordered and disciplined society, we would not only compromise treasured works of art, we would also be holding ourselves back. We need people like ZZ to really test out our values, to question rules and regulations that would otherwise require us to put up with racist abuse and intolerance so that televised football can come to its nicley scheduled conclusion.
ZZ is a brave, if somewhat impulsive, man and I say more power to his elbow - if only more could do the same, perhaps we might make some more progress on getting rid of that evil called racism.

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  • 21.
  • At 04:22 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Joe wrote:

So Zidane head butted Meterazzi because he supposedly called him a terrorist or insulted his mother or possibly made a rasist remark - which is it to be? Everyone is getting on their high horse defending the indefensible. No one has asked what did Zidane say or do to warrant an insult from Meterazzi in the first place?

Zidane is not the lilly white purest he is made out to be - his past record confirms this. It takes two to tango.

This can be debated till the cows come home. It happended, it's history. No one committed murder. Let's get on with our lives for goodness sake!

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  • 22.
  • At 04:23 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • wcup66 wrote:

A great player when his attention is on the ball. Otherwise a cynical thug. It's his umpteenth red card. I remember him headbutting a German in a Champions league match in Hamburg a few years back for which he collected another red card.
That puts it in context. The guy was just getting frustrated but he could not keep his nerve. Shame on you Zizou for ruining your own image. And the French coach blaming the Italians, absolutely pathetic ... FIFA should fine him and give him an examplary penalty just in case he changes his mind and wants to carry on playing.

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  • 23.
  • At 04:25 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • wcup66 wrote:

A great player when his attention is on the ball. Otherwise a cynical thug. It's his umpteenth red card. I remember him headbutting a German in a Champions league match in Hamburg a few years back for which he collected another red card.
That puts it in context. The guy was just getting frustrated but he could not keep his nerve. Shame on you Zizou for ruining your own image. And the French coach blaming the Italians, absolutely pathetic ... FIFA should fine him and give him an examplary penalty just in case he changes his mind and wants to carry on playing.

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  • 24.
  • At 04:37 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Greg S wrote:

Let's imagine, that instead of Zidane headbutting Materazzi, current public-enemy number one, Cristiano Ronaldo had headbutted Owen Hargreaves in the chest. Would we suddenly be rushing to find excuses for Ronaldo as people seem to be doing with Zidane?

Without any apparent evidence, people are assuming that Materazzi made racist comments, and that Zidane is a poor, oppressed victim. Everyone except Zidane is getting the blame. It's Materazzi's fault for being so beastly! It's FIFA's fault for not clamping down on racism! It's the referee's fault for not acting quickly enough!

I can understand why people idolise Zidane. He was a great player. But don't let blind hero-worship obscure the fact that he has no-one but himself to blame.

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  • 25.
  • At 04:45 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

@barrycrompton (#15): The 4th referee stated that he did NOT look at any video, but actually SAW the incident happen. No rumors here, please.

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  • 26.
  • At 04:58 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Gary Golden wrote:

Imagine the scenario, 11 minutes left of a closely contested world cup final between Italy and France and the footballing world awaits a spark of magic to decide the outcome of a tense and delicately balanced final.
Of the two teams France have only their inspirational captain Zinedine Zidane and Italy their glittering playmaker Andrea Pirlo capable of lighting up this the culmination of a memorable if not electrifying final.
A competent if not outstanding Italian defender Marco Materazzi has been taunted mercilessly all night by a French legend giving his last footballing masterclass.
Not satisfied with outclassing his Italian stopper in front of the watching world Zidane makes a comment that questions Italian machismo and the short fused Italian can take no more international humiliation ramming his head into the chest of all that is holy to FIFA, sending the French Pontiff crashing to the turf without any need for a snipers rifle type roll from the majestic ZIZU to outline the severity of the attack.
The French make very little of the incident as the screens around the ground and the images broadcast throughout the world define this moment of barbarity when the beautiful game was almost lost in a jouneymans outrageous attempt to deprive FIFA their world of its fitting finale.
Yes the outcome is predictable and even the close knit Italian squad can offer no excuses, no closing of ranks this time. FIFA with their worldwide imposed footballing ban on this spoiler, this animal, has finally received its craved credibility, the recognition that it will do its utmost to protect all that glitters in its sporting crown.
Italian football attempts without much success to atone for its shortcomings by offering its Serie A giants as cannon fodder in the fight against corruption, relegating its greats to virtual amateur status for a season or two and sending her diplomats to France to repair the ever increasing chasm.
A possible jail sentence awaits Materazzi and physical contact is outlawed in Italian school football.
Pizza is seved no more than lukewarm and Italian lovers must keep one foot planted on the ground at all times.
Sorry I fell asleep just before the end of full time - must be dreaming.

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  • 27.
  • At 05:05 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Sergio wrote:

Cristiano Ronaldo didn't take the award for the best young player because he's always down on the floor. Zidane is the best player in the world cup and beats an italian player. Oh gosh. Welcome to the powerful games of interests @ Fifa.

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  • 28.
  • At 05:10 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Royston Vasey wrote:

Just out of interest, why did the BBC let us down again by letting Alan Shearer sit there talking about how Zidane has basically disgraced himself by ending his career on that note, then fail to show Shearer's stamp on Neil Lennon's head?!

I mean we could have actually had some inciteful comments from Shearer & the BBC panel for the first time in the World Cup, instead of more bitter ramblings from a bunch of ex-pro's who were never fit to lace the boots of Zidane.

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  • 29.
  • At 05:27 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Toby Toepoke. wrote:

Good comments Stephen Martin and J (above).

Can't believe the other pompous, righteous comments: "He should know better"; "Even if he was provoked, it's no excuse" etc etc.

He's the best player I have seen and only those who know little about football feel the need to tell us "he's is no angel". We all know that. He never was been a meek angel - remember he was sent off in WC1998.

I am rather sad that ZZ didn't choose to take his team off the field last night so that FIFA would at last have to do something about racism. How FIFA would squirm if challenged like this when the eyes of the world were watching. Alas, ZZ just did what he felt like doing at the time - like he nearly always does.

This is a long shot, but it wouldn't surprise me if ZZ didn't feel just a bit upset at how things turned out last night but he probably doesn't feel the need to justify himself.

By the way, how did you get the lip-reading/translation?

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  • 30.
  • At 05:43 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Andreas wrote:

@29 Nemo:

Not quite! It's also OK against the Portuguese ;-)...

But to be totally honest I bet Materazzi has insulted Zidane in the worst possible way....

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  • 31.
  • At 06:02 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Sean wrote:

Post 23 - stephen martin

great comment. that must be why I find it easier to understand zz reaction and respect him when compared to the gaggle of lesser mortals who spit, dive, simulate, berate, barrack, nip, stud, knee, wink?! .... etc etc

so hes a flawed genuis, most of us just wish we were the genius and we all know we are flawed.

... and as for shearer, anyone remember the elbow on cannavarro??? hypocrite.

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  • 32.
  • At 06:02 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • rup wrote:

too many people are sticking up for him. it is ubeleivable. if ronlado had done this all hell would have broken loose.

stop making things up, for example, video playback intervention and muslim racisms allegations. Face the facts which are a history of sending offs and violent offences.

NB he is an amazing player though unlike ronaldo who doesnt deserve the moderate talent he has

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  • 33.
  • At 06:07 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Pierre wrote:

Irrespective of what Materazzi said, the behaviour of Zidane is not something that should be accepted or justified. Being the captain of a country team in a world cup final comes with duties and responsabilities that go far beyond the game itself. Zidane was representing France yesterday, and he failed miserably in his role. Being a group of French supporters in the US, wearing for most of us the no10 shirt for the final, we were shocked and ashamed of the gesture. Today, most newspapers are covering it extensively, barely focusing on the Italian win. Zidane might have brought shame on him, but more importantly he brought shame on France and on all of us who were wearing the french colours throughout the world supporting our national team. What a sad day for us and for France. No 10 will never be wore again.

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  • 34.
  • At 06:09 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • georgm wrote:

Why am I not allowed to post comments any more?

@#31: Jim, where did you find that?

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  • 35.
  • At 06:12 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • any wrote:

I think Materrazzi should have said something about Zidane's wife. Perhaps that he is under her thumb.
http://www.geocities.com/juventusfootball/news/archived99/042099b.htm

"Agnelli said yesterday: 'Zidane is not suffering from homesickness, he is suffering from being under the thumb of his wife. After what he said last week, I went up to him and demanded to know who wore the trousers in his house."

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  • 36.
  • At 06:18 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Tim77 wrote:

One thing we aren't admitting here is that, no matter what Materazzi said about ZZ's mother or faith or origin, it's not like ZZ hasn't heard it before. Come on. You're telling me no-one has EVER insulted Zidane on the pitch when he was a kid in the banlieues of Marseille?
And it's not like Zidane has never been sent off due to his temper.
Are you telling me that a man who has played professional football for 15 years of his life, after growing up and out of the banlieues of Marseille, has never witnessed racial/ethnic/religious abuse before the final game of his career?
Come on. He made a BIG mistake. No matter what Materazzi said. It makes no difference.
Arguing that what Zidane did was "brave" is untenable. It implies that this would be the only time defenders insult the opposition attackers.
Have any of you ever headed to a semi-pro football league recently? Do you know the kind of filth that defenders CONSTANTLY spew at attackers?
I played football for my university and let me tell you, I had heard pretty much everything that can possibly be said about my mother, but I never headbutted anyone. You insult them back and try to score.
Zidane is a professional footballer.
He should have known.
There's 1 billion people watching you. You take it in silence and you try to win the game no matter what. That's what you do. OR, you can try to "stand up for your faith/ethnicity/mother" (if that's the romantic narrative you want to invent around this nasty event), headbutt the defender, get sent off, and contribute to your team losing a World Cup they probably deserved.

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  • 37.
  • At 06:34 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Jakob wrote:

I agree with the guy who mentioned alan shearer
I was so angry at him and the gangs at the BBC...What did alan shearer do to ffotball for him to start criticising the greatest player of all time for me? has he ever been to a world cup final? what an idiot Shearer is!!

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  • 38.
  • At 06:49 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Ger wrote:

it amuses me to hear how zidane, a player i have always admired despite his long past record of sendings off ( i think he has more sendings off than roy keane) has now become the victim in this case. i will await the full facts before rushing in to judge but i do not expect anything i see or hear to change my opinion that this was one of the most violent acts ever committed in recent times on a football field. zidane actually had to walk over to materazzi to nut him. interestingly buffon was pleading with all officials had they not seen the act. presumably now he will have suffer the same vilification that ronaldo has suffered in recent weeks. amazing that this referee was involved in two of the most controversial actions in whole world cup and was spot on both times. zidane and rooney have only themselves to blame and deep down they know that.

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  • 39.
  • At 06:53 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Oscar Lima wrote:

Now, now... 12 years ago everyone who was bored with themselves (like journalists whose national teams did appallingly bad as usual) were picking on Maradona and predicting his future as someone who walked out of the hall of fame as a drug adict and bad example for kids. Yet Maradona has done a stunning come back to silence all of those last-minute moralising bigots.

The same who are now worried about what kind of example is Zizou setting for kids? Don't you people realise that behind every football genius (or any genius for that matter) there is a human being with his or her own weaknesses, just as everybody else?
Football players are humans and not gods, they have their moments of weakness and it may happen in the wrong time (we've seen much worse in this world cup than head-butts from the hosts team teasing and punching the losing opponents to some players stumping on other players future families).

As for your kids, which you want to protect from such violent monsters as Zidane, the sooner they learn that racism, violence and hypocrisy are part of this world, the sooner they shall deal with it, and maybe (I say maybe) when they become adults they won't go around insulting other people for their skin color, religious origins and provoking them into gratuitous violence.

An remember this: Zizou will stand out as one of the football legends, just as Maradona, Pele, Eusebio and Best, when all these hypocritical comments about fair-play and proper behviour will be long covered with the dust of time.

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  • 40.
  • At 07:07 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • 4stars wrote:

Hmmm - you should get your facts straight.

hmmm wrote:
ZZ did the right thing. Proof is Fifa gave him the WC best player award !

_____________________________________

This is proof of nothing. FIFA did not give him the best player award - it was voted for by journalists BEFORE the second half of the final began.

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  • 41.
  • At 07:18 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Oscar Lima wrote:

This is how I read it now.

Did ZZ really really lose his temper?

No, he didn't. ZZ wants to give us a message.

He knew exactly what was coming and did not attempt to hide it. Here he is, ending his carreer and his opponent makes a racist remark (it doesn't matter what he said really), relying on the fact that ZZ won't react because the WC is in play, the glory, the very last game, the future prizes, the visits to kindergartens, the example of the successful muslim emigree, integrated in France, the interviews, the football hall of fame being in play... and yet, ZZ walks calmly back and says to the whole world, not only to the opponent that hit him. F**k you!

Come to think of it, what's the WC? It's just a big big big and hollow business. Despite all the messages and the hype about political correctness, it in fact hollow of any values and ends up promoting racism and prejudice among people that would otherwise be much more interested in one-anothers culture. ZZ has risen to fame and could have gotten that cup in his hands again, and yet... 10 minutes close to it, he decided that his human dignity was much more worthy than those 5 kg of gold. He head-butted Materazzi and exposed the whole hypocrisy surrounding football. Afterall it's all a rotten business and the Italians players have first-hand knowledge of it; and ZZ has simply said: "I don't care about playing your dirty game anymore, I'm off."

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  • 42.
  • At 07:26 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • duncan wrote:

if zz was insulted he had every right to kick the ****** out of the italian.down with racism!!

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  • 43.
  • At 07:31 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • PB wrote:

All these hacks taking the moral high-ground is hilarious. ZZ cannot be denied his position as one of the game's all-time greats. That he is also a complex character with flaws is all the better. Shame that he ruined his last game - he has to live with that. But please stop throwing stones his way as if you are all blameless and have never made any mistakes.

I personally thought the butt was worthy of a goal in itself.

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  • 44.
  • At 07:33 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Paul Martinelli wrote:

Very well articulated Oscar Lima.

All those that condemn Zizou for his headbutt are too quick to judge without stopping for a second to think about the causes, circumstances, nuances, etc. behind things like that. Do you think somebody will just headbutt somebody else for the sake of it?

This video clip can explain a lot of things:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=7HblsV-urHg&search=materazzi

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  • 45.
  • At 07:35 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • JOJO wrote:

Cheap italian tactics and cheats. Materazzi is known to be a son of....even by Italians.
Zidane sometimes looses its temper. yes and the red card was deserved but cm'on the referee didn't see it and had no idea why this happened.

From the entourage of the french team apparently Materrazzi said some ugly racist slurr on his very sick mother. His mum is very sick and he's been calling her every day.
The italians knew how to trigger him and make him lose his temper. This is typical tactics used in the italian football.

Honestly if this is true, who should be really been sent off. where is the referee went zidane got violently tackled several times by materrazzi, when Materrazzi pinched Zidane's nipples and made ugly comments. IN DOUBT SEND OFF BOTH OF THEM.
This world cup was supposed to represent friendship and fight against racism. Yet nothing was done when spanish fans were whistling the french anthem, nothing was done when spanish fans were making monkeys chants at Henry, Viera and Makelele and now this. When Ronaldo was winking at the bench...

What an excellent show of sportmanships...

Congrats to the Italian team and Cannavaro, they deserve it and shame on Materrazzi, the racists and ugly slurrs

Shame on the referees for not trying to understand the situation. Shame on FIFA for being so hypocritical and letting racism in the game.

Zidane was stupid to do this but he must have done this for a real reason.

He passed very close to a second world cup and what a tragic and shameful exit for a such a gentleman...
Bravo Materrazzi for showing the world how ugly and disrespectful people can be because I cannot believe he's all innocent.

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  • 46.
  • At 08:09 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Theo wrote:

I still think that it was absolutely correct to send Zidane off, and I agree 100% that you don't go through 15 years of professional soccer without being insulted for just about everything on occasion. Zidane shamed his team and his disgrace was even worse when you see that there were only 15 minutes of the world cup remaining.

Nevertheless, I would dearly love to know what was really said by Materazzi. I cannot believe that what he said was some harmless little quip. If, after 15 years of professional football, and being hailed as one of the all time greats, you're on the losing end of a world cup final and someone insults your race, maybe one does suddenly think, "Is this all I will be remembered for, after all these years?", and then lose it.

What I find pretty despicable, no not on the same level as Zidane's disgraceful act, but on the same level as Ronaldo's cowardly cheating antics, is Materazzi's cowardly refusal to admit to what he said. You don't get head butted on the field of a wc final for calling someone something inoffensive.

And that sums up something I noticed at this WC: The cheaters win in the end. Ronaldo never got carded for his diving, niether did Henry, and Materazzi will no doubt sleep well without the slightest bit of guilt about what he said, but he certainly will be the first one to scream out loudly when he gets his on the pitch. That is almost guaranteed.

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  • 47.
  • At 08:10 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Roland wrote:

Like everyone else I watched in horror as the pictures came in showing one of the greatest players of football casting aside all forms of human restraint and ibex-like head-butting the Italian defender. Zidane deserved to be sent off. However, although apart from the two players directly involved noone seems to know what exactly was said before the violence erupted, it seems to me that Zidane did not commit an act of madness, but that he deliberately charged at Materazzi. This can only mean that Zidane is either a criminal psychopath or that Materazzi said something so offensive to Zidane that the Italian must have taken the expertly calculated risc of setting off Zidane's fuse. The fact that Materazzi has so far cowardly refused to admit what he said to Zidane in the argument reflects badly on the Italian defender who otherwise seemed to me to be having a excellent game. If his remarks where indeed so personally offensive, as has to be feared, then Zidane's action is at the same time unacceptable but also of a certain heroic quality. I still don't know how to truly comprehend the scenes we saw on Sunday night. Although Zidane is a grown man and multimillionaire, his reaction was that of a youngster bullied at school, or of a rebellious youth as in the film "The loneliness of the long-distance runner". Although, I would have loved to have seen a different match where the victory had not been tainted, the tournament still remains an enourmous football world cup.

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  • 48.
  • At 08:11 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Theo wrote:

I still think that it was absolutely correct to send Zidane off, and I agree 100% that you don't go through 15 years of professional soccer without being insulted for just about everything on occasion. Zidane shamed his team and his disgrace was even worse when you see that there were only 15 minutes of the world cup remaining.

Nevertheless, I would dearly love to know what was really said by Materazzi. I cannot believe that what he said was some harmless little quip. If, after 15 years of professional football, and being hailed as one of the all time greats, you're on the losing end of a world cup final and someone insults your race, maybe one does suddenly think, "Is this all I will be remembered for, after all these years?", and then lose it.

What I find pretty despicable, no not on the same level as Zidane's disgraceful act, but on the same level as Ronaldo's cowardly cheating antics, is Materazzi's cowardly refusal to admit to what he said. You don't get head butted on the field of a wc final for calling someone something inoffensive.

And that sums up something I noticed at this WC: The cheaters win in the end. Ronaldo never got carded for his diving, niether did Henry, and Materazzi will no doubt sleep well without the slightest bit of guilt about what he said, but he certainly will be the first one to scream out loudly when he gets his on the pitch. That is almost guaranteed.

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  • 49.
  • At 08:12 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Roland wrote:

Like everyone else I watched in horror as the pictures came in showing one of the greatest players of football casting aside all forms of human restraint and ibex-like head-butting the Italian defender. Zidane deserved to be sent off. However, although apart from the two players directly involved noone seems to know what exactly was said before the violence erupted, it seems to me that Zidane did not commit an act of madness, but that he deliberately charged at Materazzi. This can only mean that Zidane is either a criminal psychopath or that Materazzi said something so offensive to Zidane that the Italian must have taken the expertly calculated risc of setting off Zidane's fuse. The fact that Materazzi has so far cowardly refused to admit what he said to Zidane in the argument reflects badly on the Italian defender who otherwise seemed to me to be having a excellent game. If his remarks where indeed so personally offensive, as has to be feared, then Zidane's action is at the same time unacceptable but also of a certain heroic quality. I still don't know how to truly comprehend the scenes we saw on Sunday night. Although Zidane is a grown man and multimillionaire, his reaction was that of a youngster bullied at school, or of a rebellious youth as in the film "The loneliness of the long-distance runner". Although, I would have loved to have seen a different match where the victory had not been tainted, the tournament still remains an enourmous football world cup.

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  • 50.
  • At 08:12 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • cesar wrote:

So let me get this straight. You work for 4 years, defeat some of the hardest teams in the world and its your last game of your professional career with a chance to win the game and you let some italian get to you because of some words (which he probably did on purpose to get a reaction out of you) which causes your team to lose.

Good job Italy...

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  • 51.
  • At 08:12 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Theo wrote:

I still think that it was absolutely correct to send Zidane off, and I agree 100% that you don't go through 15 years of professional soccer without being insulted for just about everything on occasion. Zidane shamed his team and his disgrace was even worse when you see that there were only 15 minutes of the world cup remaining.

Nevertheless, I would dearly love to know what was really said by Materazzi. I cannot believe that what he said was some harmless little quip. If, after 15 years of professional football, and being hailed as one of the all time greats, you're on the losing end of a world cup final and someone insults your race, maybe one does suddenly think, "Is this all I will be remembered for, after all these years?", and then lose it.

What I find pretty despicable, no not on the same level as Zidane's disgraceful act, but on the same level as Ronaldo's cowardly cheating antics, is Materazzi's cowardly refusal to admit to what he said. You don't get head butted on the field of a wc final for calling someone something inoffensive.

And that sums up something I noticed at this WC: The cheaters win in the end. Ronaldo never got carded for his diving, niether did Henry, and Materazzi will no doubt sleep well without the slightest bit of guilt about what he said, but he certainly will be the first one to scream out loudly when he gets his on the pitch. That is almost guaranteed.

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  • 52.
  • At 08:25 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Souad wrote:

Let's not forget that we are all human, and as such we all make mistakes and in this case regrettably so. Zidane is a hero to millions, not just for his god-like skills on the field but also for his humanitarian efforts. He has risen from the poor streets of Marseille to become the worlds top soccer player of our time. And for that alone, this incident will not tatin his iconic image to his fans. Zidane has only brought the evils of racism to the forefront for the world to see first hand what it could do to a man who is normally very pose and in control. If anything all of France should back there hero, despite what has happened, and give him respectable honors for putting his heart and soul behind a team and country he holds dear to his heart. Racism is not new to soccer, in fact it is worse then it’s ever been. Players like Ronaldinho and C. Ronaldo are probably not immune to the comments as well and for that, as heroes in there own right should stand up and back Zidane and bring the issue to the forefront since they have the worlds attention. FIFA and the world should remember that without the diverse nationalities, soccer would not be what it is today.

It was sad to see that the Italians felt that they had no way of controlling the game without sending off Zidane. It was obvious that from the start of the game he was the target. But then, I’ve never seen the Italians play a clean game. Instead of playing soccer, they have to resort to diving…. for that they should be given an academy award. The Italians have a bad history of racism and discrimination, if anything; FIFA should punish Marco Materazzi for showing to the world what a racist pig he really is. I am disgusted by his actions. If any team deserved the world cup title, it is the French!

We our extremely proud of Zidane, he is a legend, master and a hero who is loved by millions. We are proud of his achievements. We are only saddened that he has decided to retire. Please reconsider!

And to the French Team, you have much to be proud off, we will continue to support you, you are the champions in our eyes.

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  • 53.
  • At 08:39 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • tuttocasino wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpG4AHlZrL4&search=materazzi

Before you blame ZZ get a reality check of WHO Materazzi IS... AM I AM Italian.

Bravo Materazzi! you will shame us...when the truth will come out, because ZZ will probably explain himself. He has to ! Too bad zz didn't keep his head cool and didn't stand for his team at the last moment, they needed him. But the shame is not always were it's so obvious. we're champions but lacks beauty and panache

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  • 54.
  • At 08:43 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Orhan wrote:

WE LOVE YOU ZIDANE .....
IT WOULD BE BETTER IF YOU HADN'T DONE THAT, BUT IT'S ALSO GREAT IN THIS WAY ..........

I really wonder if materazzi can dedicate this cup to his mother...

because he's insulted to others' to get it.

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  • 55.
  • At 09:10 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Revan Rivoire wrote:

I totally agree with Oscar Lima of comment #44- Zidane is a human being, not a God. He should not be burdened with the responsibility of being a role model of the children. Yes he is a professional football player, but does one has to be all time flawless to be professional?

It is true that his action was not acceptable, and he surely shows his regret for what he had not managed to control. But he had his lesson, already, and he should not be blamed for things like having bad influence on children. We can just say, things like this happen a lot in reality, and we just have to accept the fact that human beings are flawed after all.

And no one can ever guarantee that he or she would be able to hold themselves back if they were in the shoes of Zidane. I'm sure someone would have done it better than Zidane, but I'm also sure that Zidane is not the only one who would crack up like that in that particular situation. Therefore, all this aftermath discussion about his headbutt is pointless. All these saying like "He's professional, he must have heard of these abusive comments a thousand times before and should have learnt to keep his cool" are only logical evaluations and assertions. We would never really know what we'd do unless we became Zidane himself, and thus no one is really in any position to judge. What's done is done, let's just accept the truth that human beings are flawed, and get over with it.

And no, a football player is not judged by his ability to control his emotion. A football player is judged by his ability to play and sportsmanship. Zidane plays well, and the red card only said about his lack of self-control instead of lack of sportsmanship (given the foul act he committed was not directly related to the playing of football). I am sure the world will remember him not by the shame in his final match, but by what he represented and contributed in his entire career.

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  • 56.
  • At 09:12 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • CelticZee wrote:

Never mind what Materazzi may have said to Zidane. He is a role-model to children and there were millions of people watching, and a lot of them, children. That moment of stupidity is going to follow him for a life-time. You can never turn back the clock.

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  • 57.
  • At 09:44 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • mexi-lee wrote:

ZINEDINE ZIDANE..i love you all the way,im going to miss you too bad and all i want to do right now is just to wish you all the best in LIFE.You are a virtuoso, a genius of football and an exceptional human being. That is why France and the world out there admires you.
u been my hero all the way n im prettly proud of you...

OKK GUYS i gt a question..how come when Zidane was sent off ...the replay did not played on both screens...i mean on TWO FRONT BIG SCREENS??? remember on Rooney's thang yerr they played over and over just because he was completely wrong but on ZIDANE....IT WAS NOT HIS FAULT,,Marco Materazzi called Zidane "a dirty terrorist"
and just drive Zidane crazy..i wonder why italy won that game??was that the reason why they have to get zidane sent off..?? anyways the damage was done already and im just glad n thinking about how Multi-Millions fans of ZINADINE ZIDANE are with him and have been with him in their minds and souls all the way of his career till 09/07/2006 and hopefully till AMEN.
we love you Zidane..what a man...U DESERVE THA BEST OF ALL!!!
one love

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  • 58.
  • At 09:47 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • zizou wrote:

but above of all zizou has named the best player in this mondial...

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  • 59.
  • At 10:06 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Ricci wrote:

All I have to say is shame on you Marco Materazzi and the Italian team! You just showed the world what cowards you truly are. If nothing else, Zadine and the French team has become the heros of world cup 2006 for displaying the truth about what really goes on in this sport. No man would turn around and lose control in a final game unless provoked in a disgusting matter. Materazzi is a coward and should be booed when on the field for his actions. Why hasn't he come forth and stated to the world what he said to Zadine? I am Italian, and should be proud of my countries team and achievements but after yesterdays display, I am ashamed. I get no glory out of this world cup win. It has forever changed my view of the italian team. To bring down a great player like that is shameful. SHAME ON YOU ITALY, SAME ON YOU, SHAME ON YOU, SHAME ON YOU.

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  • 60.
  • At 10:15 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Eric D. wrote:

We witnessed the retirement of the last great football player left.Everyone else there now is only a Hollywood-type wanna be player.Zidane reacted the way everyone of us would have,impulsively in self defense.And what happened in no way diminishes Zidane's status as a football legend.If that was the case,then we should apply the same standard to the Italian league and their corrupted officials.
France outplayed Italy in every way,but the penalty luck went to the Italians.First time ever the weakest team to win the cup.

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  • 61.
  • At 11:02 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Dan wrote:

Everyone’s asking why Zidane would snap and undertake such a ridiculous thing on the eve of his career? I would argue that he was doing the opposite! What could have Materazzi said to him that would make this guy loose it at this point in the game? Perhaps what was said was… "I guess you'll have to miss at penalty kicks?!!!" Yes I'm implying that the French threw the game! Look at who the French pulled in the last minutes of the game; some of their best players. I say Zidane had two choices: throw the game or get out of there! He got out. Explore this theory further and you’ll see how the pieces fall into place, i.e., Italian scandals, families, lots of money on the line, etc…I smell a conspiracy!

Dan

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  • 62.
  • At 11:26 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Evelyne wrote:

I was watching this match on "TF 1" here in Paris, and hereby report faithfully what the (French) commentators said while showing the video of ZZ's headbutt:

"Oh no, why did you [the informal 'tu'] do that?"

And when the 'Argentin' ref held up the red card, French commentator No. 2 said,

"He has no choice but to do that."

And as ZZ tried to argue his point with the 'Argentin' ref, French commentator No. 1 said,

"Oh no, you should never even respond to the red card!" [i.e. try to argue with the ref about it]

(Thus ends what was communicated to millions of French fans by their own TF1 commentators reporting live from Berlin.)

Clearly both commentators were in perfect agreement with each other on this most unfortunate incident...

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  • 63.
  • At 11:51 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Evelyne wrote:

By the way, here's an excerpt from BBC News online about today's 'festivities' in Paris upon the return of the French team :

Offering his support, Chirac said: "Dear Zinedine, in such a hard and intense moment for you, I would like to express the whole nation's affection and admiration for you.

"You are a virtuoso, a genius of football and an exceptional human being. That is why France admires you."

(end of quote)

May I only add that many of us here couldn't help but sneer because this only reflects Chirac's own wishful thinking, as he enacted a new law - after he became French president in 1995 - which keeps elected French government officials from prosecution while in office. In other words, as soon as his second term is up in 2007, he himself will be facing all kinds of charges (not unlike... Italy's former PM Berlusconi at the moment!), and we all hope he will be put behind bars soon.

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  • 64.
  • At 11:59 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Austin wrote:

If my mum was dying in hospital and some Italian git started making nasty remarks about it .. I would not only have headbutted him .. i've have done a Rooney as well.

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The remark wasn't a straightforward racist one. It included a "terrorist" accusation/jibe.

I'm sure you'll all have this comfirmed soon.

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  • 66.
  • At 12:00 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Dimitris wrote:

Since Sunday night Zinedine Zidane is the number one villain all over the media. He is a disgrace, an idiot, and a lot more.
Too difficult for the pressmen to see ZZ the human being too, with his inevitable weaknesses and fears.
We all have our moments we want to erase from memory. Because we are humans. The bigger the man the bigger the responsibility. If the pressure gets beyond one's control then it can lead to tragedy. Zizou on Sunday evening met his tragic end because he is human and for that he deserves our sympathy not our contempt.

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  • 67.
  • At 12:12 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Ruth wrote:

BBC news today brought in an Italian lip-reader to read what Materazzi says to Zidane, he could not see what Zidane said, as his head is turned away from the camera. This is what the lip reader says that Materazzi says.

Materazzi: No.

Materazzi: Calm down.

Materazzi: Liar and I wish an ugly death on you and all your family.
(This on the day that Zidane heard that his Mother was seriously ill)

Materazzi: Go **** yourself.

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  • 68.
  • At 12:20 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • frank wrote:

he has put up with racial insults for almost the whole of his career. i cannot condemn what he did, but i also think that the italian "victim" should also be punished. Zidane is usually so quiet that it must have been a pretty bad insult. and after all, verbal abuse can be just as bad, if not worse, than physical abuse.

zidane was willing to risk it all to stand up for his beleifs. maybe it was for everyone who has ever insulted him.

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  • 69.
  • At 12:35 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • redblue wrote:

Pathetic, are you trying to justify Zidane? Is ZZ allowed to head butt Materazzi just because of his great skills? No Justification, whatever Materazzi said. Anyway, is the press 100% sure about what Materazzi said?

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  • 70.
  • At 12:35 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • The Phantom wrote:

Who are all these people screaming about ZZ as a role model?

Do you take your children to see football matches where the crowd chants about the ref being a w****r?

Do you smoke in front of your kids? Do you drink excessively as well? Do you swear at people when things go badly?

Can you raise your hand and say that you have always laid a perfect example for your children or other children around you? Hypocrites.

The man was sent off for a reason. Head-butting is unacceptable conduct. If you want to wrap your kids in cotton wool and make them believe that they can insult people without consequences, go for it. Just stop watching football while you are at it. People are not robots but have emotions that they cannot always control. Footballers will lose their temper from time to time and resort to violence. Fact.

Some of us will always remember ZZ as a legend. You cannot do anything about that.

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  • 71.
  • At 12:38 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • flyonwall wrote:

Obviously far more controversial than anyone ever thought possible. Some good insights in the above posts, mixed in with less inspiring messages...

Why on earth have so many people decided to judge ZZ's actions by referring to a supposedly "bad track record" on the field?

The man has played countless games and has been carded on but a small number of occasions, the more serious of which, was invariably due to some form of provocation. I'm not defending what he did, but think about which is worse? i) Reacting violently to serious provocation or ii) Provoking someone to react violently because you know that they are likely to act like that if so provoked??
To my mind, it is a clear case who the worse offender is here.

Stop judging ZZ by his past record and open your eyes to the facts on Sunday night.

Flyonwall.


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  • 72.
  • At 12:47 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Valentin wrote:

You don't understand...Zidan has done everything he could to take football to the next level. But what about his fouls?? Pretty average up to now. He is a perfectionist and probably he was very sorry to do it but head butting is simply the high art of foulplay. See how nicely he was positioned for the camera? Yeah really, fouls suck, but ending a soccer carreer with a red card is like a cowboy being shot in the saloon. It's just natural.

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  • 73.
  • At 12:50 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Gideon wrote:

If Matterazzi did infact say something racial Abusive to Zidane than I cannot fault him for his actions and neither should you. The entire french team and in particular Zizou have faced the extremes of the world's racial injustices. The game is only that a game where as a racial comment stings forever. unless you have faced a racially abusive comment do not judge Zidane for his actions. Yes, Zidane has had a past of somewhat rash actions but so does Matterazzi. In his days in Everton it was well documented that Marco would say or do anything and used no sicretion when acting. With this in mind I think it is very likely that Matterazzi indeed said something racially Hurtful to Zidane. To the people who are saying Zizou's reaction was in jealousy because he was having a Bad game and Matterazzi wasn't this is a Brainless remark. Not only Did Zizou slip in a genius penalty he performed as he always does with stye and absolute control of the game despite being tormented and taken down countless times by unfair and illegal challenges by Gattuso and Cannavaro. We may never know the real reason Zizou acted the way he did or what matterazzi said but he is still to me one of if not the greatest footballer to ever live and i would not change any one of his performances or traits.

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  • 74.
  • At 12:51 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Gideon wrote:

If Matterazzi did infact say something racial Abusive to Zidane than I cannot fault him for his actions and neither should you. The entire french team and in particular Zizou have faced the extremes of the world's racial injustices. The game is only that a game where as a racial comment stings forever. unless you have faced a racially abusive comment do not judge Zidane for his actions. Yes, Zidane has had a past of somewhat rash actions but so does Matterazzi. In his days in Everton it was well documented that Marco would say or do anything and used no sicretion when acting. With this in mind I think it is very likely that Matterazzi indeed said something racially Hurtful to Zidane. To the people who are saying Zizou's reaction was in jealousy because he was having a Bad game and Matterazzi wasn't this is a Brainless remark. Not only Did Zizou slip in a genius penalty he performed as he always does with stye and absolute control of the game despite being tormented and taken down countless times by unfair and illegal challenges by Gattuso and Cannavaro. We may never know the real reason Zizou acted the way he did or what matterazzi said but he is still to me one of if not the greatest footballer to ever live and i would not change any one of his performances or traits.

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  • 75.
  • At 12:54 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Gideon wrote:

If Matterazzi did infact say something racial Abusive to Zidane than I cannot fault him for his actions and neither should you. The entire french team and in particular Zizou have faced the extremes of the world's racial injustices. The game is only that a game where as a racial comment stings forever. unless you have faced a racially abusive comment do not judge Zidane for his actions. Yes, Zidane has had a past of somewhat rash actions but so does Matterazzi. In his days in Everton it was well documented that Marco would say or do anything and used no sicretion when acting. With this in mind I think it is very likely that Matterazzi indeed said something racially Hurtful to Zidane. To the people who are saying Zizou's reaction was in jealousy because he was having a Bad game and Matterazzi wasn't this is a Brainless remark. Not only Did Zizou slip in a genius penalty he performed as he always does with stye and absolute control of the game despite being tormented and taken down countless times by unfair and illegal challenges by Gattuso and Cannavaro. We may never know the real reason Zizou acted the way he did or what matterazzi said but he is still to me one of if not the greatest footballer to ever live and i would not change any one of his performances or traits.

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  • 76.
  • At 12:54 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Gideon wrote:

If Matterazzi did infact say something racial Abusive to Zidane than I cannot fault him for his actions and neither should you. The entire french team and in particular Zizou have faced the extremes of the world's racial injustices. The game is only that a game where as a racial comment stings forever. unless you have faced a racially abusive comment do not judge Zidane for his actions. Yes, Zidane has had a past of somewhat rash actions but so does Matterazzi. In his days in Everton it was well documented that Marco would say or do anything and used no sicretion when acting. With this in mind I think it is very likely that Matterazzi indeed said something racially Hurtful to Zidane. To the people who are saying Zizou's reaction was in jealousy because he was having a Bad game and Matterazzi wasn't this is a Brainless remark. Not only Did Zizou slip in a genius penalty he performed as he always does with stye and absolute control of the game despite being tormented and taken down countless times by unfair and illegal challenges by Gattuso and Cannavaro. We may never know the real reason Zizou acted the way he did or what matterazzi said but he is still to me one of if not the greatest footballer to ever live and i would not change any one of his performances or traits.

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  • 77.
  • At 01:01 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • coco wrote:

I saw definite parallels with Cantona's karate kick at Palace. I feel inicidents like this where someone says enough is enuough, can go a long way to showing we won't put up with mindless idiots.

Sure he snapped and we cannot condone violence but I will remember his sublime talent and not this incident.

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  • 78.
  • At 01:02 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • flyonwall wrote:

Having read some more of the earlier posts, i can only conclude that a lot of people condone rascism. The message seems to be "If you are insulted, just ignore it and move on, regardless of how offended you may be... you are a proffessional, there is a game at stake" GET REAL!!!

If you were racially insulted at work, you might take your boss to a tribunal... how many of you would take it lying down because you are a "professional"???

Well done to whoever posted post #44, some intersting comments there!

Flyonwall.

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  • 79.
  • At 01:03 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • David London wrote:

I think that Zidane is a genius, a football legend. I do not have a bad thought toward the guy, except maybe he should have hit Materazzi harder. No one knows what was said to him, some things are more important than football; I am not saying that his actions were correct. But footballers are still human and look how much 'legal' fighting there is today. I detest that inference in the British media that somehow Zidane has disgrace himself, but what Rooney did was okay. Zidane has been the best footballer that I have seen gowning up and would be greatly missed. He will be remembered by many, as a great footballer, who went out with a bang. I so upset Italy Won. LONG LIVE ZINEDINE ZIDANE.

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  • 80.
  • At 01:12 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • basil wrote:

Zeidane is the greatest player on earth ..remember he is a human being like all of us !! he is the only star in modern football..well done france for producing such an unforgettable player..he is the legend of football..who will forget him? he should not resign..if he does then the frenh people must ensure that he attends the staduim to support his team in the next cup..just him being there wathching this will scare the opponent team !!god bliss zeidane ...

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  • 81.
  • At 01:19 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • jamal wrote:

my opinion zz was right .becouse italin man abuse him very badly

that is it jamal

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  • 82.
  • At 01:24 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Graham from London wrote:

It was obvious the French were dominating the game and outplaying the Italians. It’s too bad the better team lost. It’s too bad the Italians resorted to childish, rude, inexcusable behavior instead of playing the sport they claim to love. It took a whole team of boys to bring a great man down, but is he down? No! ZZ will remain the best footballer in history, that’s something the Italians can never take away from him. Why is FIFA not dealing with Matterazzi????? Why was video replay allowed????? This is injustice to ZZ. If your going to use video replay…then where were you when Rooney was sent off…. clearly that was an accident and not intentional. ZZ is a great player and deserved the respect; the Italians did not play soccer, and therefore did not deserve the win. But in retrospect it’s only a piece of gold. Not honor, which ZZ has. As Ricci # 62 said SHAME ON ITALY AND MATTERAZZI.

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  • 83.
  • At 01:27 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Nicola wrote:

I think this blog is the best, so many considerations and not just flames, anyway what a bunch of hypocrites the FIFA boss are..they spent thousands of words to advise fair play and against racism but when its up to them to show some respect or enforce the rules they hide! Last night Blatter was expected to join the celebrations and bring the Cup to the winner team unless they are italians of course because his french and Platini (another boss) is french too and guess what they didnt show up at the celebration, amen.
Germamy hosted a great World Cup but as soon as they got to play against Italy their tabloid and newspapers started to insult the italians heavily.. and again now, you can learn how to offend an italian on the french newspapers:

http://www.liberation.fr/dossiers/mondial_2006/matchs/192484.FR.php

Dont try to avoid the reality, racist remarks or no, Zizou made a HUGE mistake. The european union is far from be united and people always use racism as an excuse for anything they want, expecially if their own country loose at a football game.

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  • 84.
  • At 01:29 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Mo wrote:

Zidane is a great player, the greatest of our generation. France should be proud, very proud of him. Ok so he lost his temper but from what I am hearing about what he said, I don't blame Zidane for hitting him. Materazzi is a nasty piece of work.

Lets not forget that if it wasn't for Zidane coming out of retirement France may not have even made it to the World Cup, never mind the final. So people have no right to say he cost them the final because if anything he brought some pride back to the French.

I feel sad for one person only and that is Zidane. Like many others I prayed he would even his career by lifting the World Cup. But it wasn't to be.

I for one hope some good comes out of this and Zidane decides to play on for one more season. He still has one more year left on his contract with Real and with Cappello there now, Real are going to go places. Play one more year Zizuo, lift the Champions League Cup. Now that would be a more fitting end. And I truly believe it can be done.

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  • 85.
  • At 01:32 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • MandrakeTheMagician wrote:

Zidane is not a model, he is not a god.

He is a hero, a pure romantic hero, with his brilliance and his flaws.

It was his last game, what a romantic drama ...

Here is a man who prefers defend his family's honour instead taking the most glorious sport trophy, His values are over the derision of a simple game.

It wasn't a game action where Materacist broke him and Zidane headbutt him, no. It was a scene where a man faces another man who hurts him with an insult which becomes a hurt over any law in his mind then he reacted as a man hurt in his honour and headbutted him.

Someone said when you review the scene, at the moment when Zidane just begins to rush to Materacist, if you could stop virtually the scene and say to Zidane "Hey stop, if you do that you will lose everything and the cup !!!" Zidane should have taken one step more to rush and headbutt Materacist.

Zidane is a romantic hero and this is why he is a legend for ever.

Medias said what he's done is shameful, not an example for kids, I say that Zidane is not to be an example, yes he deserves the red card, but you don't have to give education to a kid in front of the TV or do explain the drama in its whole depth, Zidane is just a man with values which go beyond the simple laws of a game.
FIFA banners on the pitch with "Stop Racism" are a farce.

Zidane's mother is seriously ill and was driven to the hospital in the morning of the final game.
According to some lips readers, Materazzi said:
"Your mother is a whore and I wish her an ugly death"

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  • 86.
  • At 01:35 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Anthony Curu wrote:

It takes hundreds of days to build a beautiful and strong house, but it takes less than a minute to bring down.Now, even if the house is rebuilt in days, it will never be the same again.Zidane should have known this better.

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  • 87.
  • At 01:41 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Mo wrote:

Mandrakethemagician.....great post.:o)

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  • 88.
  • At 01:52 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Geed Up wrote:

TO PHILLIP TREMPENAU (POST NO 18):

ZIDANE IS ARAB - MATERAZZI IS EUROPEAN, THEY ARE NOT OF THE SAME RACE!

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  • 89.
  • At 02:14 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Michealangelo wrote:

Having found myself in shock for very nearly 24hrs, after Zizou's incident. I probably love him more now than I did befor it, if thats possible. For years I had gone and played an image of a God a master in his own time and beyond. Now I see him as a man and nothing but, a flawed genius who considered his dignity more important than his legacy. I applaud and thank him for that. For those who speak of Zidane as an idiot for his actions, I say "HOW DARE YOU?! After all he's done for football, for France for Africans in Europe, all I've to say is Thankyou. For ever gracing the pitch and filling me with so many great moments in soccer that I'll never forget you, NEVER. I hope you live in harmony and peace for the rest of your days and come back to lead your country as a coach some time.
LONG LIVE ZINEDINE ZIDANE, The Martyr of our time.

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  • 90.
  • At 02:19 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Yonde wrote:

Well let's face it, verbal attacks sometimes could somewhat be a lot more damaging to the human psych than physical attacks. People who have been victims of racial abuse of some sort, who either were not able to do anything about it instantly or never saw the abuser punished for it in the long run have suffered emotionally in secret long after such incidence. Even though i do not condole violence of any sort, it is, unfotunately but rightly so, the only way true Truce and ultimate Peace and Justice could be reached in certain life's situations. Zizou might have thought that he might never be able to prove the severity of Mettarazzi's verbal assault on him during the match to FIFA and bring him to Justice so he took matters into his own hands by dishing an instant justice in order to avoid a probable long time emotional damage. Afterall some revered world leaders have used violence to restore Peace in certain security motivated situations. However, this is not to say that violence is acceptable in any form only that there just might not be any other way! So let the king of football remain the king forever! Long live Zinedine Zidane The Zizou of FIFA Land.

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  • 91.
  • At 02:34 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Bob wrote:

Isn't Materazzi known as the Dirtiest Defender? Sure Zizou should have known better than to head-butt him.

But really I think the biggest shame is on Materazzi, oh how I would hate to be him, having been put down like that by one of the biggest players in history.

I'm sure Marco Materazzi has one hell of a story to tell his grand-children now.

Well Zidane will live through the next few hundred years in the history books. About Materazzi - well with his long list of dirty fouls to his name, I guess the day he walks off the pitch everyone will be happy to forget him. And he can't even tell anyone that he played with and was a friend of one of the best players in history.

So in the final analysis, Zizou is still a legend and he has won it all, not only has he won it all he brought the team with him.

Go Zizou!

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  • 92.
  • At 02:46 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Roger wrote:

What is the big deal?
They had a bit of a slagging match, Materazzi said something to provoke Zidane and Zidane got a rush of blood to the head. It happens all the time in football, what happened should take nothing away from what Zidane has done in the last 10 years but also Materazzi can't be crucified, he's not the first man nor will he be the last to wind up the opponent.
We don't even know for sure what he said to him, infact we will never know what Zizou said to him first as he had the back of his head to the camera.
As for people criticising Italy you obviously know nothing about football
1)They are 4 times world champions.
2)They beat hosts Germany with a titanic performance.
3)Even when they looked as if they were struggling (second half against France, playing a man down for 40 minutes against a really fit Australia team) they hung on with everything they had to overcome adversity.
We can take nothing away from them.

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  • 93.
  • At 04:34 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Jonathan okanlawon wrote:

zidane is a great player. the ugly incident only proves that he is human afterall and not a god.for him to react like that.it must have been a very ugly statement that was said.don't worry zizou ur still the best.

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  • 94.
  • At 04:56 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • sanketk wrote:

Zidane justified his head butt on the pretext that the Italian player called him a terrorist-as Zidane is an Arab whose parents migrated from algeria-by indulging in such act of terror and violence,zidane has proved that what the italian player called him was true or close to true.Isn't Zidan's act fit for a terrorist-he showed what he was as was rightly identified by the italian player.

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  • 95.
  • At 05:02 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • sanketk wrote:

Zidane justified his head butt on the pretext that the Italian player called him a terrorist-as Zidane is an Arab whose parents migrated from algeria-by indulging in such act of terror and violence,zidane has proved that what the italian player called him was true or close to true.Isn't Zidan's act fit for a terrorist-he showed what he was as was rightly identified by the italian player.

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  • 96.
  • At 05:07 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Neil wrote:

Have any of you people who say ZZ was right to do what he did ever play sports? Comments about your manhood, wife, mother, country of origin, etc, are mentioned all the time, sports are not only physical but also mental, (hence the reason world class players choke when taking penalties) and insults are a way to get a player off their game. If everyone reacted the way ZZ did games would end after 20 mins because there'd be no one left to play. And as for the apparent racism comment, why is it that racism is considered an one way street, whites make comments and it's considered racist, non-whites make comments and it's not. Abbreviations of country names are considered racist, i.e. Chink for Chinese, Paki for a Pakistani, Jap for Japanese, Nip for Japanese even though Japanese for Japan is Nipon, but Aussie for Australian or Brit for a Briton is not considered racist. And then we have other names, Frog for a Frenchman, Kraut for a German, Taffy for a Welshman, Jock for a
Scotsman and Paddy/Mick for an Irishman is racist, but Yank for an American and Limey or Pom for an Englishman isn't.

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  • 97.
  • At 05:34 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Lance wrote:

What so because such behaviour happens all the time as you put it, it is forgivable and should be tolerated by everyone? What a stupid comment, if people played in the spirit of the game which FIFA so positively promote there would be no need to react at all. I'm sure if Zidane made racist comments about Materazzi he would have reacted the same way if not worse, but the thing is Zidane would not say such things...it's that simple.

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  • 98.
  • At 05:37 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

That should be taken of the website, seriuosly, that just encourages exactly what were are trying not to accomplish. The BBC should be ashamed for allowing such ignorance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 99.
  • At 05:46 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Salvatore Giametta wrote:

I was reading a news site from Venezuela. It seems that Materazzi called ZZ a dirty terrorist. Here is the link..


http://aporrea.org/internacionales/n80599.html

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  • 100.
  • At 05:47 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • The Analyzer wrote:

Zidane probably had a good reason and didny hit MAtt. becos he was bored. The italian diserved it! The wanted Zidan out so the pised him off and won. You know what i call people that do that CHEATERS!!!!!!! thats wat the ITalian team was! and they won. AFcourse the whole story will come out.

Cheaters never prosper. (Good point #99)

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  • 101.
  • At 05:51 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • salvatore giametta wrote:

I was reading a news site from Venezuela. It seems that Materazzi called ZZ a dirty terrorist. Here is the link..


http://aporrea.org/internacionales/n80599.html

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  • 102.
  • At 05:56 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

I was refering to Neil #98

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  • 103.
  • At 06:02 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Gideon wrote:

I think Domeneche said it best when he said that he can't justify what Zizou did but he can understand it. Fact, Zizou is one of the greates fotballers to eve grace the pitch. Fact, He sometimes acts rashly. Fact, Marco Matterazzi is far from having a spotless record. The Italians and Matterrazzi new what they were doing. As hinted by several of the french players, The Italians were riding Zidane all night. Be it physically through Cannavaro Ripping Zizou's shoulder out without a call or Gattuso's Reckless tackles from behind. And Also Verbally IE Matterrazzi. This game is a personnification of Italian soccer and is why two of the largest temas in Europe and Italy are being relegated. The Italian's Have no more respect for the game. They would rather win by diving and cheating and purposefully provoking a Hero the face the agony of a deserved defeat. Zidane Reacted in a bad way but The Italians were never trying to beat the french they were trying to get Zizou sent off the entire game. And the perfect cap was Matterrazzi making a Heinous comment to the capitan. Zizou is a legend and will be despite this What matterazzi said will Surface eventually and He will forever be known as the personification of the classless Italian Futbol Association.
Ya Zed We love you and Always will Matterazzi and the Italians will get theirs Keep fighting for What is Right.

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  • 104.
  • At 06:12 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Ralph T wrote:

I was not aware that Zidane was a Saint.In all the years he's played you are telling me he has never insulted,used racial slurs or said he slept with your sister!Let he who is without sin cast the first headbut.

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  • 105.
  • At 06:13 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • ahmad saeed wrote:

if the italian player uttered racial remarks at Zidane, then Zidane had to do what he had to do, how do you expect him to let a racist italian get by with remarks of such nature. It is very offensive to say such things in such an event. The French team represented their country well, you have seen the coloured players along their white team mates playing for France, represent the world and their country at the same time in a sense in a world event, that is why I cheered for them. The italians did not have a single coloured player, that says alot about italians and their attitudes about non-italians. If it is confirmed, as reports suggest, that the italian called him a terrorist, then the head-butt was a good lesson for him not to say it again or he might just have another good head-butt delivered like a pizza his way.

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  • 106.
  • At 06:49 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Lance wrote:

When you are the best in the world you do not need to rely on dispicable racist mind games to throw your opponent off, you have the skill to beat them. Also Zizou has a quiet temperament and only when provoked has he lashed out in such a manner before. He may not be a Saint but at least he is not a disgraceful cheat like Materazzi.

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  • 107.
  • At 07:13 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • addisu wrote:

I will be always in possitive mind with Zezu with much love respect and love. But I extremely need to know what did the Italian player said.

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  • 108.
  • At 07:15 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • addisu wrote:

I will be always in possitive mind with Zezu with much love respect and much more. But I extremely need to know what did the Italian player said.addisu m. ethiopian

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  • 109.
  • At 07:33 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Nicole wrote:

to # 90
There is no Europian race!

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  • 110.
  • At 07:43 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • t wrote:

Too often we choose to conflate the value of the one's work with what sort of human being one happens to be. We ought to judge Einstein's genius on his contributions to science, not his failings as a husband and father. In the same way, Zidane's legacy must be judged on his ability, knowledge base, and success on the pitch; not on whether he was a wonderful human being or a great humanitarian. To do otherwise is to surrender to the excess of political correctness and to the questionable partiality of ideological thinking. To be objective is to be clinical.

Judge the quality of the work, not the nature of the man.

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  • 111.
  • At 08:35 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • N wrote:

Where was the fourth official when materrazzi hold zinedine zidane.Zinedine Zidane is not a bad player,materrazzi had a bad word to him.

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  • 112.
  • At 08:47 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Ted wrote:

if Zidane did what he did on a street, he would be arrested for assault. It was unbelievably stupid!, no matter what Materazzi said, I can't believe that Zidane is the poor innocent victim, he dishes it out verbally like alot of other players, just ask some of his opponents, his brain explosion was stupyfying, he deserved to loose after that, if he can't take some sledging without resorting to physical violence then I'm afraid he's an idiot, go home looser! violence is never acceptable in any football match, well done to the Italians for keeping their cool in the penalty shoot out, they defended supremely, scored more goals than France and are rightly the world cup champions!

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  • 113.
  • At 09:25 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • losparx wrote:

The BBC's italian Lip-reader claims this was said by Materazzi (ZZ's head was turned but you can guess the dialogue):

Nipple Pinch
ZZ: -
MM: No
ZZ:-
MM: Calm Down
ZZ: -
MM: Liar! I wish an ugly death to you and all your family
(NB. apparently on the day ZZ had learned his mother's seriously ill.)

IMO, as a professional sportsman he should never have done what he did, inexcusable!

As a sensitive yet strong human being, Vive the finest french butter!

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  • 114.
  • At 10:13 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Justdoodleit wrote:

If Maradona, like a slimy cheat, can brag about his infamous 'Hand of God' and still remain a legend...Zizou with his honest in-the-face-of-the-world "Headbutt of God" can walk with his head held high.
It takes a Man, to risk everything
obviously Zizou befits Kiplings IF atleast in this last aspect.

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  • 115.
  • At 10:19 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • james haskins wrote:

i understand why zidane headbutted the italian player but im sure all of us agree that zidane went over the top of retaliation

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  • 116.
  • At 10:35 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Rich Bowen wrote:

This World Cup saw the greatest final for decades. I don't care what the 'pundits' say, these two teams were worthy and deserving finalists, evenly matched in every sense. It was always going to be a tight game, a game for football purists that was going to be decided in dramatic circumstances.

The Zidane headbutt, put in the context of the match, the tournament and Zidane's career for me added poetry and drama to the night, that will inevitably go down in footballing folklore.

I object to the many commentators who have berated ZZ for his actions. The photograph's showing ZZ walking past the trophy and into the tunnel will be shown for decades to come. It was one of those rare moments in sport that will forever be remembered and talked about. Whatever the Italian said, and I think it's irrelevant now, ZZ is a genius with a football, who, during the last game of his immaculate career (a World Cup final no less) put his family and his personal pride before glory.

Zidane, I salute you.

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  • 117.
  • At 10:38 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Badgic wrote:

Me read weblog - vely inerestin pulses - my children cheer at Mr ZZ - he remind world that words matter - in the Beginning - and some things matter more than footfball or lucre - he push man down with head - makes point - no kill or injure - for some reason - he is big man of freedom in the world - acting for himself - no care for your approvals or disapprovals - he take freedom for himself - in front of whole world - in year of Dog unhappy tigers cuff - dont bark ugly untrue thing - and stay standing - good story - great hero - stars rejoice!

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  • 118.
  • At 10:39 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Alex wrote:

Zidane is the best footballer until another one will be born to be better. All these hypocites shall be quiet. Zidane is an artist. And art is different than what most people can understand. All the people who called him an old man and were surprised by how strong he still was - be quiet. What should he had forgotten? He never had to learn anything. He was born as the greatest player. Zidane is an artist, not a pupil. He had many red carts in his career, who cared? He has fighted in the dirty suburbs of Marseille. Why should he fight differently in Berlin? Just because some fat old man are sitting on some big chairs? Why is everybody now so upset? Maybe coz Zidane has shown what is reality, he has shown how hard and dirty that business is. Pelé and Platini got weak of all that chapagne they drunk with FIFA, Maradona tries himself as embarrassing mascot. Zidane remains the fighter. If in the streets of Marseille, if on the pitch in Berlin, if wearing a smoking. And finally, we do not know what Materazzi said. Why must Zidane accept all abuses? A fighter has his honour. Especially fighters from the suburbs of Marseille. It may be stupid - but what is more of value, bootlicking to get gold, or fight to get honour? In some years there may be another great player, who had learned fighting in the suburbs of Marseille. And you may ask him who was his idol. He will tell you just one name.

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  • 119.
  • At 10:57 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • george wrote:

We are talking about the shame of history here – unfortunately misplacing it. If someone deserves it – it is not Zidane. I refuse to understand how Materazzi can show his face to the world now that everyone knows what he said. History will always remember Materazzi as the hill-billie who cursed Zidane. He will never be a great footballer, this will remain his biggest achievement, one that has nothing to do with football – rather with hooliganism. There are rules for hitting another player, no rules, sadly, for hate-speech. I can’t believe some of you defend the weasel who provoked the best player of the championship and you cast shame over a man who did what he had to.
Zidane is the single most important player at this world cup – there is more talk about his red card then about the Italians winning the cup. And how could they brag about a glorious victory, if they won it under the booing of the whole audience at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. Zidane signed his name in football history by the way he played. And signed his name as a man by the way he defended his family. Paraphrasing Hungarian writer Marai, a man answers the most important questions with his whole life, not with a sinlge act.
And if we have to come back to history again I will remind you of “Antigone” where the main character defies the rules of society to observe the more important rules of family ties.

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  • 120.
  • At 11:18 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Yonde wrote:

If your child ever asks you, what on earth did materazzi do to deserve such a powerful header from the world's best footballer... tell him, he acted like a right ball by making racists comments about Zizou, what a bad mistake! Your child will never be racist, trust me. This, in my opinion makes Zidane the world's greatest role model as well as being the greatest footballer of our time!

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  • 121.
  • At 11:24 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Satrio - Indonesia wrote:

I think ZZ deserved to be sent off after what he did to matterazzi. As a good sportsman/footballer he should not do such violence act, especially in the final WC that were watched by millions of viewer around the world.
He is punished already, by his own behaviour. Because he is now feeling guilty and will haunt him for the rest of his life. Some of his fans may turn against him, while some will simply remember him by his infamous head-butting not his football.
However, Matterazzi also deserved to be head-butted after that racial abuse. He is no angel and he should be ashamed himself after what he said to ZZ.
For me ZZ still the best player in the world.

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  • 122.
  • At 11:43 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • shahrizat jailan wrote:

Italy won the world cup through the mistakes of others, not because they were the better team. France dominated most of the time albeit a rather slow start. Winning merely on penalty shootouts aside, the Italians played passive football by crowding the penalty area 6 to 8 player at a time. And the penalty shootouts, well, Buffon never guessed correctly, and then Italy won because Trezeguet made a mistake. And without Zizou, Henry, Vieira or Ribery to take the spot kicks, France were really the underdogs. But to me, France were the real winners just by the way they came back and fought their way right to the finals. Zizou's head-butting incident wasn't something anyone could be proud of, but then to endure almost two hours of continuous provocation, trip-ups and foul play was more than any professional athlete, who are also human beings, mind you, to endure. I’ve always admired Zizou, he is still to me, the greatest footballer in the modern world. I hated that Materazzi forced the dark side out of him. I was upset that Italy won through bad sportsmanship. It was a reflection of the scandal racking Italy’s footballing nation back home. Anyway, Zinedine Zidane is still very much loved, for all the beautiful moments he has created before. He will always be remembered as the artist who brought grace to the greatest game on earth…..!

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  • 123.
  • At 11:44 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • kala wrote:

Self dignity is priceless! Nothing compares to it. You cannot buy it, not even with all the gold in the world so dont ever trade it. This, in other words would be Zizou message to us all.

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  • 124.
  • At 11:55 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Lawrence wrote:

Yes, Zidane was wrong to headbutt Matterazzi, but for him to be carpeted the way he has for a rare blemish on his record is no better...

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  • 125.
  • At 12:07 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Zona wrote:

Greg. S
no offense to you...but if what Materazzi said to Zidane was indeed racist then the "filing a complaint" suggestion doesn't really hold weight at all. I understand there is proper protocol for dealing with racial remarks (at least so it seems these days), but if indeed it was racial, what's beffitting for Materrazi? Public butt-spanking before the global community? Zidane did overeact becuase this match was too crucial to his country, and the close of his career. If Materrazi had the audacity to make racially charged comments then it's about time someone treated such behavior with the severity it deserved!!! It's really becoming irritating to watch that sort of thing become characteristic of European football!

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  • 126.
  • At 12:18 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Femi wrote:

I think the media has done an excellent job of villifying Zidane in that unfortunate incident. I was amazed at how quickly presenters were using such words as "disgraced" and "tainted" to describe a man who at worst, showed bad judgement in that one match. So what if he has had sendings off in previous games? No one says he should react the way he did, but you have to give this player the benefit of the doubt that he was severely provoked by the Italian player. Think about it: he endured tackles all through the tournament and probably was taunted by players all through... and then in the most important game, do you think he would throw away a legacy lightly?

Coming back to the media, it is interesting to compare the reaction (Zidane) to that of Wayne Rooney. The press has blamed the ref, the injured Portugese player, the England coach, his other team mates and Ronaldo for it and excused Rooney himself. "We know he is a fiesty lad"; "he was getting frustrated by the system" etc. But these same journalists are having a serious go at Zidane.

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  • 127.
  • At 12:20 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Zona wrote:

Um... Joe at # 23, I don't really know when one's actions "warrant" racial remarks! Unless Zidane had himself used racially charged remarks at Matarrazi, I can't imagine what in their situation would have drawn any racist remarks from the Matarrazi fellow if at all he did!

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  • 128.
  • At 12:22 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Ernest Opara wrote:

Commentators have described Zidane’s conduct at the 2006 World Cup final against Metarazzi of Italy with the most grotesque verbiage I ever came across throughout the soccer festival. Zidane is not the only player that was sent off at the World Cup finals or is it that Zidane is not human? Why is it so difficult for these commentators to protect him as was done for Rooney to the extent that Ronaldo became the villain.

Now consider the comment the BBC credited to French journalist Xavier Rivoire, “For many people he can never be put at the level of (1980s legend) Michel Platini because of Sunday night.” Why compare him with Michel Platini? This is simply racism and we hear that Metarazzi made such remarks but nobody cares to find out. The only challenge is to kill and rubbish the image of a player that has won every available soccer laurel. Zidane does not want to overshadow Platini irrespective of Platini’s “trophyless” career. We know what’s the real problem, Platini is French blooded, and Zidane is African! Admit it.

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  • 129.
  • At 12:24 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Ernest Opara wrote:

Commentators have described Zidane’s conduct at the 2006 World Cup final against Metarazzi of Italy with the most grotesque verbiage I ever came across throughout the soccer festival. Zidane is not the only player that was sent off at the World Cup finals or is it that Zidane is not human? Why is it so difficult for these commentators to protect him as was done for Rooney to the extent that Ronaldo became the villain.

Now consider the comment the BBC credited to French journalist Xavier Rivoire, “For many people he can never be put at the level of (1980s legend) Michel Platini because of Sunday night.” Why compare him with Michel Platini? This is simply racism and we hear that Metarazzi made such remarks but nobody cares to find out. The only challenge is to kill and rubbish the image of a player that has won every available soccer laurel. Zidane does not want to overshadow Platini irrespective of Platini’s “trophyless” career. We know what’s the real problem, Platini is French blooded, and Zidane is African! Admit it.

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  • 130.
  • At 12:38 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Ernest Opara wrote:

Commentators have described Zidane’s conduct at the 2006 World Cup final against Materazzi of Italy with the most grotesque verbiage I ever came across throughout the soccer festival. Zidane is not the only player that was sent off at the World Cup finals or is it that Zidane is not human? Why is it so difficult for these commentators to protect him as was done for Rooney to the extent that Ronaldo became the villain.

Now consider the comment the BBC credited to French journalist Xavier Rivoire, “For many people he can never be put at the level of (1980s legend) Michel Platini because of Sunday night.” Why compare him with Michel Platini? This is simply racism and we hear that Materazzi made such remarks but nobody cares to find out. The only challenge is to kill and rubbish the image of a player that has won every available soccer laurel. Zidane does not want to overshadow Platini irrespective of Platini’s “trophyless” career. We know what’s the real problem, Platini is French blooded, and Zidane is African! Admit it.

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  • 131.
  • At 12:38 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Claudia wrote:

Come on!

If it was the Italian who head butted any other played he would have been crucified on the spot. Nobody still knows for real what Materazzi said and in any case, please, do not compare a provocation with a violent act.

Zidane is a great football player, a first leverl one, and he owed himself and the people some self control.

I think Italy did a great world championship, showing a great team spirit.

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  • 132.
  • At 12:38 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

@ #111 pardon me, but I believe it is called "Caucasian" which is pretty much what Matterrazi falls under, and Zidane apparently does not!

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  • 133.
  • At 12:40 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Claudia wrote:

Come on!

If it was the Italian who head butted any other played he would have been crucified on the spot. Nobody still knows for real what Materazzi said and in any case, please, do not compare a provocation with a violent act.

Zidane is a great football player, a first leverl one, and he owed himself and the people some self control.

I think Italy did a great world championship, showing a great team spirit.

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  • 134.
  • At 12:40 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Claudia wrote:

Come on!

If it was the Italian who head butted any other played he would have been crucified on the spot. Nobody still knows for real what Materazzi said and in any case, please, do not compare a provocation with a violent act.

Zidane is a great football player, a first leverl one, and he owed himself and the people some self control.

I think Italy did a great world championship, showing a great team spirit.

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  • 135.
  • At 12:40 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • hmmm wrote:

Well, everybody is entitled to his/her opinion. I am French and would like to
congratulate the Italians for winning their 4 th WC. Game went to pens, they
scored all theirs and we missed one. Hence they go home with the cup and that is
deserved. Now for those of you ( and that includes the French media) who are now
crucifying ZZ, let me remind a few things. This is a guy who's won every trophy and every title of any importance on the football planet. If Platini put us on the European map, ZZ gave us the world. This is a guy who can say: Brazil have lost 2 games in the last 16 years in the WC knock outs, and I was on the winning side. This is a guy who quit international football, who has nothing left to prove on a football pitch. Still when France was on the verge of not even qualifying to the WC he came back. This is a guy who has given more joy to the French people than anyone else in the last 50 years. This is a guy who's been kicked and gave some back for the last 15 years. This is his 2nd WC final, the biggest game on earth. He's heard it all before. He knows racism doesn't exist in football anymore because Sepp and Fifa have made some nice adverts and banners:) As I said, he's heard it all before but this time he's had enough.
Enough is enough and screw the media, the Fifa and all you moralists. This is not about football anymore. ZZ is not a god, he's a man and made his statement.
The BBC, the press can say whatever they want. France did not lose the WC because of him. I for one am not ashamed of what he did. I applaud him for everything he gave us.
We all get the champions we deserve and I am proud of mines.

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  • 136.
  • At 12:41 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • hmmm wrote:

Well, everybody is entitled to his/her opinion. I am French and would like to
congratulate the Italians for winning their 4 th WC. Game went to pens, they
scored all theirs and we missed one. Hence they go home with the cup and that is
deserved. Now for those of you ( and that includes the French media) who are now
crucifying ZZ, let me remind a few things. This is a guy who's won every trophy and every title of any importance on the football planet. If Platini put us on the European map, ZZ gave us the world. This is a guy who can say: Brazil have lost 2 games in the last 16 years in the WC knock outs, and I was on the winning side. This is a guy who quit international football, who has nothing left to prove on a football pitch. Still when France was on the verge of not even qualifying to the WC he came back. This is a guy who has given more joy to the French people than anyone else in the last 50 years. This is a guy who's been kicked and gave some back for the last 15 years. This is his 2nd WC final, the biggest game on earth. He's heard it all before. He knows racism doesn't exist in football anymore because Sepp and Fifa have made some nice adverts and banners:) As I said, he's heard it all before but this time he's had enough.
Enough is enough and screw the media, the Fifa and all you moralists. This is not about football anymore. ZZ is not a god, he's a man and made his statement.
The BBC, the press can say whatever they want. France did not lose the WC because of him. I for one am not ashamed of what he did. I applaud him for everything he gave us.
We all get the champions we deserve and I am proud of mines.

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  • 137.
  • At 12:42 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Claudia wrote:

Come on!

If it was the Italian who head butted any other played he would have been crucified on the spot. Nobody still knows for real what Materazzi said and in any case, please, do not compare a provocation with a violent act.

Zidane is a great football player, a first leverl one, and he owed himself and the people some self control.

I think Italy did a great world championship, showing a great team spirit.

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  • 138.
  • At 12:42 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • hmmm wrote:

Well, everybody is entitled to his/her opinion. I am French and would like to
congratulate the Italians for winning their 4 th WC. Game went to pens, they
scored all theirs and we missed one. Hence they go home with the cup and that is
deserved. Now for those of you ( and that includes the French media) who are now
crucifying ZZ, let me remind a few things. This is a guy who's won every trophy and every title of any importance on the football planet. If Platini put us on the European map, ZZ gave us the world. This is a guy who can say: Brazil have lost 2 games in the last 16 years in the WC knock outs, and I was on the winning side. This is a guy who quit international football, who has nothing left to prove on a football pitch. Still when France was on the verge of not even qualifying to the WC he came back. This is a guy who has given more joy to the French people than anyone else in the last 50 years. This is a guy who's been kicked and gave some back for the last 15 years. This is his 2nd WC final, the biggest game on earth. He's heard it all before. He knows racism doesn't exist in football anymore because Sepp and Fifa have made some nice adverts and banners:) As I said, he's heard it all before but this time he's had enough.
Enough is enough and screw the media, the Fifa and all you moralists. This is not about football anymore. ZZ is not a god, he's a man and made his statement.
The BBC, the press can say whatever they want. France did not lose the WC because of him. I for one am not ashamed of what he did. I applaud him for everything he gave us.
We all get the champions we deserve and I am proud of mines.

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  • 139.
  • At 01:00 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Lawrence wrote:

To Yonde (Post 121)

You are absolutely right.

Also if you hypocrites in the media feel it necessary to vilify Zidane, then surely Materazzi should be vilified too!

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  • 140.
  • At 01:22 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • F wrote:

I am not simply about rush judgements about ZZ. No matter what had happened he remains one of the greatest football talents of his age. I DO HOPE THAT fifa IS ENOUGH CREDIBLE ORGANIZATION JUST TO ANALYZE THE CASE, CLARIFY THE MYSTERY AND PUNISH WHO DESERVES IT. We live in the age of electyronics, lip-readers, video records hopefully be used. I AM NOT THAT SURE , BUT MY LAST HOPE IS WITH fifa. I AM FOR THE RECOVERY OF JUSTICE.

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  • 141.
  • At 01:46 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • robert meunier wrote:

Zidane was an amazing footballer who gave us sheer " poetry in motion" all these years. Let those who are free from human faults or fallibility throw the first stone. Most of you journalistic amateurs just wish you could achieve a fraction of what Zidane has achieved. Don't worry, he will be remembered long after all you lot are six feet under!!!
Viva ZZ!!

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  • 142.
  • At 01:52 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • sal wrote:

BBC Radio Five Live asked for help from a deaf lip reader, Jessica Rees, who read the words phonetically to an Italian translator.
She deciphered the insult as being "you're the son of a terrorist whore" - a translation also carried by many national newspapers in Britain on Tuesday.

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  • 143.
  • At 01:53 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Hamza from London wrote:

Its simple "It was the curse of Golden Ball"

1998 Ronaldo : He was selected for golden ball before the final, he ended up with all that drama of him being fit and unfit, and then fit again, played poorly, and lost the world cup.

2002 Kahn : Single handedly took germans to the final, with his great goalkeeping. Before final was selected for golden ball.
What happens next, he makes horrible mistake, which leads ronaldo to tap in, and germans to loose the world cup final.

2006 Zidan : At half time, the world journalists give him the vote for "Golden ball" curse starts and ..........rest we all know.

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  • 144.
  • At 02:09 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • kidst wrote:

zidan is the player of our planet
we don't have to blame him what he was doing becouse no one can hear what metarazi saied to him.
I know that zizu is a cool guy he is the bast in juventus,real madrid and in France every body say that Zidan is not only a good player but he is also have a good maner. we have to understand that how Italians and spainians are ricist. I fill he said to Zidan some thing bad.
I WROTE THIS COMMENTS FROM ETHIOPIA I AM THE FUN OF FRANCE I LOVE THEM VERY MUCH ALL FRANCE PLAYERS ARE MY HERO,MOST ETHIOPIANS ARE THE FUN OF FRANCE.
I DIDN'T SAY THAT ITALIANS ARE THE CHAMPIONS.FOR ME FRANCE IS STEEL CHAMPIONS.

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  • 145.
  • At 02:09 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Paul Miele wrote:

Zidane is a disgrace. End of Story. Henry and now Zidane have come up with these whining childish stories claiming racial abuse. It's pathetic.

Racial abuse of any kind is disgusting and should be stamped out but I'm highly suspicious when big names use it to justify losing their cool whilst undoubtedly thousands of players from all creeds, races and religions are taunted and racially abused season after season without resorting to physical violence.

And what's with these idiot's calling for action to be taken against materazzi? You'll never prove what he said Zidane so no action should be taken against him.

Also, Zidane should be stripped of the best player of the tournament trophy and it should be handed to Cannavaro. A Player who had 7, not 2, outstanding games.

Seriously, if this was not Zidane the story would read 'Idiot sent off in World Cup Final' End of Story!

I'm truly saddened at the lengths people will go to to blacken the name of Italian Football even when in this instance the fault clearly lay at the hands of ZZ.

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  • 146.
  • At 02:22 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • ASIF wrote:

If materazzi said some racist comment towars Zidan the fifa must give a punishment to him because fifa has shown the world that it is fighting against racism.What ZZ did was really bad & he got the punishment for it.
If i were in the pitch instead of ZZ & Materazzi said something like that which lipreaders has discovered i would have punched his thooths out.
ZZ is one of the greatest player of football.He will be always remembered for his glorious contributions.Players like him doesnt come much often.
I salute you Zidan.You will always be our hero.

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  • 147.
  • At 02:28 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • kidst wrote:

ZIZU IS THE PLAYER OF OUR PLANET NO ONE CAN BLAME HIM.
HE IS ALL TIME THE BAST
WHO KNOWS WHAT MARCO MATERAZZI SAID TO HIM.
ZIZU IS ALWAYS OUR HERO.

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  • 148.
  • At 02:38 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • ASIF wrote:

I agree with you Yonde(121).

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  • 149.
  • At 03:02 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Beckenbauer wrote:

ZZ did what he did on purpose. He did not "lose it". When he heard what he heard, he decided there is more to life than the world cup final. This was NOT one of those "elbow-in-the-face-hope-nobody-saw-it"-scenes. ZZ walked for 3 meters, perfectly aware of what he wants to do and what will happen. He decided it was worth it in that very moment.

I wonder why he head-butted Materazzi on the chest....a head-butt to the typical place - i.e. the face - and Materazzi would have lost all his teeth...question: did ZZ spare him on purpose?

If what Materazzi said was racial slur, he should be punished severly.

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  • 150.
  • At 03:47 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • lee wrote:

go sick zidane

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  • 151.
  • At 04:48 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Soshiyans wrote:

This is the magic of football that a man that did a bad action, still is lovely. Like Maradona that made a cheating on first goal to England, but many people of world were happy and lived him! But diffrence between these two person is, Zidane was insulted and in a moment he "could" renunciate from everything, because he was angery for insult to his personality.
Also read my article about this: http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-e1JSQlEidLWtos1dbi2kNqo-?cq=1&p=45

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  • 152.
  • At 05:28 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • koolricky wrote:

FIFA is such a joke! How can you give the prize of the best player to a player that behaves like that? Why didn't Cristiano Ronaldo get the best Young player award if FIFA publicly said that he didn't get it because of his supposed divings? And now they are trying to punish Materazzi for this?
iIn the end, It wasn't Zidane who deserved the red card, it was FIFA.

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  • 153.
  • At 05:42 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Ben wrote:

Well France deerved to win but if Zidane hadnt let them down they probebly would of. What an idiot to get sent off in 2 world cup finals and one of them was his last ever game. WAT AN IDIOT

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  • 154.
  • At 06:25 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Hiran wrote:

An Enghishman once said that" Football is a gentleman's game played by hooligans and Rugby is hooligans game played by gentlemen" I wish Zidene did not react the way he did. This rare gentle man was proved by the Italian hooligan. Zidane's reaction is Symbol of resentment to RACIZM people experiance in all over Europe. Zidane will be rememberd has a good man.

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  • 155.
  • At 07:35 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Marco wrote:

Shame on Italy, shame on Materazzi. Alot of people would agree that wasn't a fair win. France deserved the cup. Boo Italy! Zidane will remain a hero to many.

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  • 156.
  • At 08:10 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

Zidane will remain in my books as a hero. He brought the french team to the top of the world. I for one will remain a devoted fan, and thus to show my support for a great man will support any sponosor that backs the biggest star of our time. Thank-you Danone and Adidas for standing by your man. I hope all and call for all Zidane fans who support him to wear the Zidane jersery with pride and dignity and pay our respects to an amazing soccer player. THANK-YOU ZIDANE!!! Please come back and play again or at least coach the french team. I agree with #155, shame on Italy.

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  • 157.
  • At 09:42 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • hello wrote:

He is always a hero, rasicm is madness and him to comment on his mother when she has just gone in to hospital is also stupid, zidane lost his cool and i dont blame him, what was said about his race and mother or family was uncalled for but he has had it alot and family is something you dont let people speak upon rudely

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  • 158.
  • At 11:06 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Irfan Panjwani wrote:

I ll say Zidane did very good n every muslim at his place will do the same thing if anyone will call us Dirty Terrorist we will react in the same way juz Because of one group of some people why people are abusing all muslims why why why ???

I m resident of England & support Zidane fully & I in favour of him what ever he has done to Materrazi infact Materrazi should not use these words.he should feel a shame on himslef.Zidane is still my hero france deserves the world cup & I love him & I respect him whatever he has done.

Regards
Irfan Panjwani

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  • 159.
  • At 11:35 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Lili wrote:

Are people so bored that they have to speculate on what has been said or not to Zidane? Reading this blog made me smiled, have we become so dull and naive...
I am french but i can admit that in the last 2 games they played, France was only able to score on a penalty and were unable to concretise when they played better. Lets not forget that what matters in a game is SCORING.
All this non sense around zidane and his red card is an insult to the other french players who contributed as much if not MORE than him. Exhaustion and frustration were probably what drove his unforgivable gesture. If the french really relied on one person as some pretends then italy's win is a nicer success as they won as a team where everybody worked hard (sometimes being carried away a bit). Even i got hooked up at their game against germany which was probably the real final. Well done Azzurri and France lets turn the page!

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  • 160.
  • At 11:37 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Lili wrote:

Are people so bored that they have to speculate on what has been said or not to Zidane? Reading this blog made me smiled, have we become so dull and naive...
I am french but i can admit that in the last 2 games they played, France was only able to score on a penalty and were unable to concretise when they played better. Lets not forget that what matters in a game is SCORING.
All this non sense around zidane and his red card is an insult to the other french players who contributed as much if not MORE than him. Exhaustion and frustration were probably what drove his unforgivable gesture. If the french really relied on one person as some pretends then italy's win is a nicer success as they won as a team where everybody worked hard (sometimes being carried away a bit). Even i got hooked up at their game against germany which was probably the real final. Well done Azzurri and France lets turn the page!

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  • 161.
  • At 01:03 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • westhamusa wrote:

What disappoints me is that professional football has become a cynical joke. Why can't two supposedly professional highly paid MEN like Rooney and ZZ stand up and say-I did a stupid thing, I let down my country, I'm sorry."
Of course that will never happen because it's all about the blame game. It's always someone else's fault-the media, C Ronaldo, the referee, Fifa, racism, religion, nationalism, the weather etc etc

please-what happened to the basic concept of standing up like a man and admitting you made a mistake. I'd respect anyone so much more who had the guts to do that. But it won't happen, sponsors, team managers and marketing spins will make sure everyone gets the blame but the person who deserves it.

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  • 162.
  • At 01:04 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • freedom wrote:

ZZ has disgraced himself and let his country down.

Why all this talk about Italains being cheaters? Materazzi scored a clean goal in complete contrast to Zizou's penalty goal which was won by Malouda's shameless dive.

The Italians are deserving champions of the world. They also played the most exciting game of the championship (vs. Germany); and unlike Zidane, Cannavaro is as classy as an Armani suit.

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  • 163.
  • At 03:03 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Remo wrote:

Congratulations to blogger #158. I personally have never grasped the basics of mind reading or lip reading. These are obviously two of your most unique gifts, along with the mandatory persecution complex you carry. Despite an audience of 1 billion who remain puzzled as to what was said...you have the gift of knowledge. I should be head butted for thinking only the two players knew for sure what happened. In future, for lottery numbers, direct communication with the almighty and other issues I will confer with you. Until then, I will just watch replays of Italy winning the World Cup after a stupid, stupid, stupid mistake by a French player. Or I should start thinking like you and state that i love Matterrazzi no matter what he has done. Wow--you scare me!!!!

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  • 164.
  • At 03:15 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Dee wrote:

Unfortunate, but Italy are famous for these taunts. Perhaps footballers should start wearing microphones, and perhaps action replays should be used to decide if both men should be sent off in such situations. However, one comment I am yet to read anywhere: Since Zidane has a quick temper and his teammates knew this, why didn't some of his teammates quickly step in and halt him before it got so ugly? All said, I will not excuse Zidane, but we should all remember how human we all are. Sometimes, you just can't take it anymore. Shame on the nipple-pinching Italian defender!

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  • 165.
  • At 03:40 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • eric pelletier wrote:

La combinazione... a fine Italian art...

The Italian soccer team won after cheating... Interesting parallel with so many Ferrari victories...

But then, fair-play does not translate into Italian...

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  • 166.
  • At 04:07 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • The Analyzer wrote:

I dont agree that Zidane has a quick temper. He just has to put up with a lot of crap. Also (to #162) the italy vs. germany was the worst game in the whole cup. The shots wer bad exept a couple. Maybe the Italians didnt cheat. BUt if Zidane stayed in if MM nvvr sayed anything they might have don beter in the penalty kiks. MM is a CHEATER!!!

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  • 167.
  • At 04:12 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • The Analyzer wrote:

ZZ still shouldny have nvr headbutted him. MAybe in the ending ceremony sure! ok the whole team aint cheating but MM still did it on perpous to get ZZ out!! CHEATER! they coulda done better in penalty. and #162: the game italy vs. germany was lame and boring.

I also blame the ref for not acting wen ZZ got fouled like 3times. Like wit the shoulder. He was frieking blind!!

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  • 168.
  • At 06:04 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Ted wrote:

@ eric pelletier

your a SORE LOSER!, zidane is a fool! how could anyone be so stupid to do that in a world cup final!, the french were not able to poisen the italians like they poisened the Brazilians in 98, Italian food is much better, they knew better not to eat any snails or frogs legs!

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  • 169.
  • At 07:21 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Art wrote:

Well you press people have certainly "made a meal" of Zidane getting sent off...you all make me really laugh..."flawed hero", "disgrace" and on, and on, and on etc.

So the guy had a couple of incidents in like 10 years, and you try to make it a pattern!?! He was a clean player, and obviously you press people have never really watched sports (sic), there's more violence in one hockey or American football game than in Zidane's entire career.

Personally, I'm glad he (Zidane) did it...this cup was supposed to be about anti-racism, I guess the press never really noticed that (sic)...and what do you know, I guess it really is, at least to some extent, now.

Anyway, let's be honest, the Italians were basically the dirtiest team in the tournament, and of course as everyone knows they are certainly the most talented divers too...so if that's the kind of soccer you like, then fine, the best team won.... I never thought I'd miss Brazil and Germany when they went out, but now I know why I was wrong...we're left with a team like Italy, who if they played clean would be a great team...but then again they wouldn't be Italy, would they....

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  • 170.
  • At 08:26 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Bull wrote:

FIFA announced that they are going to open a disciplinary investigation into Zidane’s head-butt, so we should put an end to speculation as to this incident now and just watch for the process of investigation.

By the way, I’m afraid you guys might call me stupid, but I must confess that Zidane head-butted Materazzi so properly on the chest that I felt it quite beautiful.

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  • 171.
  • At 07:07 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • covertanjou wrote:

People finding excuses for Zidane reminds me of the excuses abusive men use to "justify" the battering of their wives and children.

Who cares what Materazzi said? Materazzi could have called Zidane any number of things, but that still does not excuse Zidane's behaviour. Zidane was rightfully shown the red card and banished from the field. He should now be stripped of his Golden Ball.

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  • 172.
  • At 07:27 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • covertanjou wrote:

People finding excuses for Zidane reminds me of the excuses abusive men use to "justify" the battering of their wives and children.

Who cares what Materazzi said? Materazzi could have called Zidane any number of things, but that still does not excuse Zidane's behaviour. Zidane was rightfully shown the red card and banished from the field. He should now be stripped of his Golden Ball.

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  • 173.
  • At 11:07 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Bob wrote:

I think what this legend did was unappropriate even though Materazzi may have insulted him it isn't a good way to finish a career with a red card in the fifa world cup championship game.But i sure would like to know what he said because it might trigger other people's thoughts.

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  • 174.
  • At 11:24 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Sarah wrote:

I initially thought that there was no excuse for Zinade's behaviour - but I think I now sympathise with him. If he was subject to numerous insults, then a head-butt to the chest was a mild reaction compared to what many would have done.

Let's not forget Wayne Rooney and David Beckham.

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  • 175.
  • At 02:18 AM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • David wrote:

I don't think he meant to head butt him in the chest...he just missed thats all.in the past.. the times I have lost my temper are when I am tired..cranky..but this doesnt excuse the action....thats why calling someone a b@stard doesnt put you in jail...but hitting someone does...trash talking is a part of sport...the psychological part that most people agree is the most important part once an athlete gets to a certain level...thanks David

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  • 176.
  • At 02:20 AM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • David wrote:

I don't think he meant to head butt him in the chest...he just missed thats all.in the past.. the times I have lost my temper are when I am tired..cranky..but this doesnt excuse the action....thats why calling someone a b@stard doesnt put you in jail...but hitting someone does...trash talking is a part of sport...the psychological part that most people agree is the most important part once an athlete gets to a certain level...thanks David

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  • 177.
  • At 03:31 AM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • Art wrote:

There was much Italian violence against Zidane during the match, how you utter hypocrites dismiss that, I can't say??? ZZ paid with a red card for his violence, where are your calls for the disgraceful violent Italians to be punished also???

I and many, many others support Zidane 110% in what he did, thank you so much ZZ for everything....

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  • 178.
  • At 01:19 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 , 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 sorry for my bad English!
Bye

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  • 179.
  • At 01:30 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, 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 sorry for my bad English!
Bye

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  • 180.
  • At 02:44 PM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • nicole wrote:

A public spanking for Materazzi? (see post 125) how delicious...Zizou will still remain a legend no matter what silly action he took in the final game. An hilarious moment for all to watch (who can honestly say they didnt want to see an Italian get served?). Glad to see Zidane cared more about his family's honour than the trophy. While I dont condone violence, Materazzi is equally to blame and as others have said, Zidane is only human.

Zidane for president.

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  • 181.
  • At 05:08 PM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • Marseno wrote:

All my friends in Jakarta favoured either Brazil, Argentine, Italy or Germany to reach the World Cup 2006 final. From the beginning I believed France could make it. The reason? Well..France have a super player named Zinedine Zidane that transformed Les Bleus into an unbeatable force. I was right.

Head-butt or no head-butt, Zinedine Zidane will always be my hero. Viva Les Bleus! Viva Zidane!

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  • 182.
  • At 06:29 PM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • James wrote:

It takes 15 years to earn respect and 15 seconds to lose it.

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  • 183.
  • At 08:11 AM on 14 Jul 2006,
  • Enock wrote:

The fourth official managed to see ZZ action but not what Materazi did in the first place,honestly speaking the world is seek and tired of Italians racism.
Fifa please punish the culprit(Materazzi).

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  • 184.
  • At 08:12 AM on 14 Jul 2006,
  • Enock wrote:

The fourth official managed to see ZZ action but not what Materazi did in the first place,honestly speaking the world is seek and tired of Italians racism.
Fifa please punish the culprit(Materazzi).

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  • 185.
  • At 07:54 PM on 14 Jul 2006,
  • georges wrote:

it's definately unfair and ugly to insult a player in order to provoke a bad reaction that would make him sent off.Meterazzi called Zidane's mother and sister "prostitutes"...one time, two times....Zidane was clearly going away from him .He was very feeling "injuried" by these words though (by the way , "injures"is the french word for "insults"). Words could be worse than blows .It's clearly a case of Moral harrassement.Materazzi insisted until he gets what he wanted.He knew that honor was more important to him than winning the World cup! And then the third time he obtained what he wanted .
Obviously Zidane's reaction was bad ,and eventually,he aoplogized, but to me ,Materazzi IS the villain .He is the cause of all that mess.Why should only be blamed a man who ,in other times,apart from the vulgar vilains,would have required a duel to defend his damaged honor?Agentleman certainly would have take the risk of loosing his life for that! So , what is a world cup in comparison for a "brave"?zidane attitude would have been considered noble when honor was important.

AboutMatterazzi, his "verbal aggressor",I do think that he also HAS to apologize to the millions of children for his unfair behavior on a sports field and the ugly example he gave to all of then .If not , they would be confused as well;what they would remember is "the villain won!" and the lesson would be "cheat and insults prosper ". .
Then , as the first responsible , he must be punished as well and FIFA MUST be harsh to him .Despite what lots of people say without really thinking about the two sides of the faults,I've no doubt FIFA will punish both of them next week...

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  • 186.
  • At 12:49 PM on 15 Jul 2006,
  • preeti wrote:

i completely support zidane.
Zidanes a professional player...he might have had a history of angry out-bursts during play...but who has not?
i agrre that the spirit of the game n the ground should be respected but in that case it surely did apply to Materazzi as well.....
instead of putting all the blame on Zidane for displaying such unprofessional behaviour during smthg so sacred as world cup...y doesnt some one some apply the same for Materazzi...Zidane was not mad to react that way....n Materazzi surely got a taste of his own medicine...
guys cmon...it was Zidanes last match...
at a moment wen hes bidding farewell to game he played with so much passion...im sure ny one wud be emotionally down...n then if some cheap sucker passes a mean remark any sane man would have lost his cool.....he's human not god....theres no need for anyone to be so harsh on him....let that guy live.....at least respect him for the fame he got to france....
agreed once again that spirit of the game should be kept alive but let everyone share the same burden....its unfair to bend the scales just in one direction...it needs to be balanced!!!
n stop moral policing...no ones perfect!!!

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  • 187.
  • At 06:36 PM on 15 Jul 2006,
  • Aseel wrote:

Zidan acted in that manner because he was offended by Materazzi's harsh words. He didn't care if the insults were aimed at him but hearing someone calling his mother and sister "Prostitutes" have easily pushed him over the edge. Italy may have won the Worls Cup but it didnt' get the International attention like France's team.

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