It is one of the most significant moments in Zinedine Zidane’s career, but also one of the most tragic. Back to the reasons that caused it player anger during the 2006 World Cup.
After the World Cup title in 1998 (which is still considered a key date in the history of football) and the disastrous World Cup in 2002, the French national football team intends to regroup in 2006. This edition world cup is organized in Germany, and coach Raymond Domenech chooses big names to win the cup. In particular, the team includes Fabien Barthez, Lilian Thuram, Frank Ribéry, Claude Makélélé, Thierry Henry and of course Zinédine Zidane. This champion choice is also worthy of the French team going very far in the competition. After eliminating Brazil in the quarter-finals and Portugal in the semi-finals, France has every chance to win the final against Italy.
Significant pressure and offense at the source of this header
But instead of the long-awaited celebration, July 9, 2006 will mark a sad moment that has now become legendary. The pressure is the greatest for the French team, and especially for Zinedine Zidane. After the goal scored in the 7th minute of the game, the player was marked from close range by Marco Materazzi. This continues throughout the game and during extra time. Two players face each other three times during the match. After the third collision, Zinédine Zidane then stated ” I’ll give you my shirt later.” To which Marco Materazzi replied that he prefers the player’s sister. This provocation was too much for Zidane, who responded with a header. The gesture is sanctioned with a red card and the player is excluded from the match.
How did the two camps react to this headbutt?
This act caused a stir. In almost all the media in France, as well as abroad, this headbutt is enjoyed media surface during the weeks. Apart from Zidane’s immediate sanction on the pitch, some commentators or sports journalists on TV confirmed after the match that this act was worthy of “lack of coolness” and “lack of honesty”. -play”. Several of them also harshly criticized the French international for the fact that he failed to show professionalism.
But on the other side of the scale, some welcomed the act of “Zizou” citing the idea that during a football match tempers heat up, the temperature rises, and the context of the match is not well chosen to provoke the opponent. So “Materazzi deserved this header”. Especially when you know Zidane as a player with a calm temperament in public appearances. Opinions therefore remain divided.
On Italy’s side, reactions are more focused on winning the World Cup. However, in this celebration, the act prevails. This includes the presentation of the World Cup trophy to the Italian winners. President of FIFA’s Joseph Blatter refused to personally hand over the trophy to the Italians and preferred that the president UEFA Lennart Johansson has. An act which according to the Italian authorities will be considered discrimination against Italy.
A sad event that marked the end of Zidane’s playing career
Above head shot and the sending off that followed, this last game of the competition was also Zinedine Zidane’s last as a player. The iconic number 10 hangs up his crampons in a gesture that could have been avoided. In an interview, Zinédine Zidane also stated: “We cannot repeat the past, I’m not proud of it, but it’s part of my journey. “. After this bitter note, the player became the coach of Real Madrid and will even be crowned the best world coach of the year in 2017. Despite this dark point in his career, Zizou remains a legend who won the Ballon d’Or and enabled the French team to become world champion in 1998, scoring two goals.
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