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Materazzi reveals what he said that made Zidane headbutt him in the 2006 World Cup final

The Italian defender has maintained his silence about what happened and what was said in the incident with Zidane. 14 years on, he gives his version of the event.


This summer it will be 14 years since 2006 World Cup Germany in which Italy were crowned champions after being France on penalties in the final - a match which will always be remembered for Zidane being sent off after headbutting Marco Materazzi during extra-time.

It was an incident which followed both players ever since - both were fined by FIFA at the time and have not discussed it until only recently. In an interview this week, Materazzi spoke in detail for the first time about what happened: "Zidane's headbutt? I wasn't expecting it in that moment. I was lucky enough that the whole episode took me by suprise because if I had expected something like that to happen and had been ready for it, I'm sure both of us would have ended up being sent off," the former Inter Milan defender explained. 

"There had been a bit of contact between us in the area. He had scored France's goal in the first half and our coach (Marcello Lippi) told me to mark him. After that first brush between us, I apologised but he reacted badly," Materazzi recalled. The late tackles, altercations and exchanges continued until 110 minutes, when things reached a head. "After the third clash, I frowned and he retorted: 'I'll give you my shirt later'. I replied that I'd rather have his sister than his shirt".

Zidane: "I'm not proud of what I did to Materazzi"

That was the final straw for Zidane, who turned and headbutted Materrazi in the chest. After reviewing the incident, the ref sent him off. Zizou spoke about it for the first time in an interview for Téléfoot in 2017: ""I'm not proud of what I did. One of the first things I did was to apologise to all of the young players in front of everyone, to all of the coaches who try to ensure that football is not about something else, not that. But it forms part of my career, it is part of my life and part of things which may not be that serious but it's something which I have to accept that happened and take it on board".


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