Zinedine Zidane addresses infamous World Cup final headbutt


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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.”

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.