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Marco Materazzi reveals what he said to Zinedine Zidane to provoke World Cup final headbutt

Alex Brotherton

| Last updated 

Marco Materazzi reveals what he said to Zinedine Zidane to provoke World Cup final headbutt

Marco Materazzi has revealed what he said to Zinedine Zidane to provoke one of the most infamous incidents in World Cup history.

The 2006 World Cup in Germany is remembered for many things: the ridiculous array of stars on show, Ronaldo Nazario breaking the World Cup finals goals record, Cristiano Ronaldo's wink and England losing yet another penalty shootout...

But the moment everyone remembers happened in the final 10 minutes of the tournament - the headbutt.

With the final between France and Italy deep into extra-time with the score locked at 1-1, one of the greatest players of all time, Zinedine Zidane, held all the cards.



Zizou had enjoyed a superb tournament, and after scoring an audacious Panenka penalty earlier in the match, the French would have been confident heading into a penalty shootout.

In his last ever match in professional football, Zidane seemed destined to lift the World Cup trophy for a second time.

Yet in the 110th minute that all changed. Italian defender Materazzi had been trash-talking to Zidane all game long, and finally, he caused the Frenchman to snap.


Zidane's infamous headbutt was punished with a straight red card, and the image of the French captain walking down the tunnel, past the trophy, head down, became an iconic one.

Now, in an interview with IFTV, Materazzi has revealed exactly what he said to Zidane.

"My trash-talking was nothing [compared to what is said in the NBA]," the Italian argued.

"He offered me his jersey. I said ‘no, I prefer your sister'."


Asked if he shocked by getting a player of Zidane's standing sent off, Materazzi said: "No, I never thought ‘wow’ because the game [hadn’t finished]. But when he did it, I was on the floor. If you look at me, I never get up. No red card, I never get up!"

What many fans don't realise is that the referee at the Olympiastadion that night, Horacio Elizondo, didn't see the off-the-ball incident.


"At one moment I saw Materazzi lying on the floor, about thirty or forty metres away, and so I stopped the game," the Argentina match official said, via AS, in 2018.

"Swiftly, through our intercoms, I asked my assistants what happened. Surprisingly, both of them replied to me, 'we saw absolutely nothing'."

Luckily for the officials, the fourth official, Luis Medina Cantelejo, saw it all.

"Dreadful, Zidane's headbutt on Materazzi was dreadful... F***! Zidane headbutted Materazzi. When you see the video you will not believe me," Cantelejo said, an account that resulted in Zidane's dismissal.

Featured Image Credit: IFTV/PA

Topics: Zinedine Zidane, Football World Cup, Italy, France

Alex Brotherton
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