Sagnol explains how Zidane's headbutt hurt their relationship
Willy Sagnol played alongside the current Real Madrid boss, Zinedine Zidane, in the French team that lost the 2006 World Cup final, after a crazy incident.
Willy Sagnol (now 43 years old), was one of Zinedine Zidane's teammates in the French team that lost the 2006 World Cup final, and he reflected back on that day during an interview on Radio Montecarlo’s Team Duga. There was a moment of joy, but much anger that lingered on long after the tournament had ended.
The best and worst moments from ZIdane
"I had my best and my worst memory at the same time," Sagnol revealed. “We put a lot of emphasis on Zizou’s penalty. It’s the old-fashioned side of me that makes me say that when you try a panenka, you are still taking a big risk.
"My first thought was that Zidane is completely crazy. He scored and I was super happy. But, I don't know, it left me with a bitter taste in my mouth,” he continued.
Italy levelled the game thanks to a Materazzi goal twelve minutes later which took the match into extra-time. In the third minute of the second period we all saw one of the World Cup images that will remain forever in our minds. Zidane, who before this tournament had already announced that he was retiring after it, head butted Materazzi's chest after being provoked by the big defender, and a red card was shown. Later the referee revealed all.
This sending off affected France and they went on to lose on penalties. Sagnol admitted that when he got back to the changing room he was very angry with Zidane.
“You enter the changing room, you have lost, you have a lad there who talks and apologises. But you don't hear it! You are deep in disappointment, in your world.
“I did not want to accept his apologies, or talk to him. Now was not the moment. I had to go to the bathroom, smoke 250 cigarettes in ten minutes. This is how I escaped," said the former Bayern player.
Red card impacted relationship
Sagnol went further in the interview and confessed that the World Cup final defeat and the red card incident left a mark on the relationship between the two compatriots.
“We did not speak for almost two years. In 2008, after the European Championship, I had to get married. My wife told me to invite him.
“I called him but he couldn't come to the party at night, but it made me happy to see him arrive for the morning. We had an aperitif together.
“We had a good conversation, and then life started again."
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