French legend Zinedine Zidane has admitted he is ‘not proud’ of his headbutt on Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final.
Zidane received a straight red card in the extra time after he headbutted Materazzi in the chest. The incident was his last-ever act on the pitch as a player as the ex-midfielder went to announce his retirement after the match.
Reflecting on the incident in an interview with Telefoot, as cited by 90 Min, the 49-year-old showed regret.
He said: “I’m not at all proud of what I did, but it’s part of my journey,” he said. “In life, not everything is done perfectly.
“The only one who could have contained me that evening was [Bixente] Lizarazu. It would have been massive to have him by my side, but you can’t rewrite the past.
“There are always difficult moments in football and this was one of them.”
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The former Real Madrid boss also discussed the Panenka penalty which gave France an early lead in the final.
“I had a second or two to think about how to take it,” he said. “I had in front of me a goalkeeper who knows me really well so I had to think of something.
“In that effort, there was certainly technique, I don’t think there was madness. You can miss a penalty but in that moment it is what I had to do.”
Italy later grabbed an equaliser through Materazzi and went to win the match 5–3 on penalties to claim their fourth World Cup.