Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The headbutt heard around the world. French football legend Zinedine Zidane was sent off in extra time of the 2006 World Cup final after headbutting Marco Materazzi following verbal taunts from the Italian player. Italy went on to win the game in a penalty shootout.

Former Real Madrid and France soccer star Zinedine Zidane says he regrets headbutting Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup final, but he'd rather die than apologize to the Italian defender.

In an interview with leading Spanish daily El Pais published Monday, Zidane recalled the infamous incident with a sense of shame - but he felt none toward Materazzi.

"After the game, I went into the dressing room and told them, 'Forgive me. This doesn't change anything, but sorry everyone,"' Zidane recalled of the moments after the game.

Story continues below advertisement

"But to him I can't. Never, never," Zidane added. "It would be to dishonour me. ... I'd rather die."

The match was Zidane's last after a sparkling career in which he became one of the game's most respected players. In the 20th minute of extra time, Materazzi insulted Zidane, who responded by headbutting the Italian defender violently in the chest. He got sent off and watched France lose the match from the sideline.

"Of course I reproach myself," Zidane told El Pais. "But if I say 'Sorry,' I would also be admitting that what he did was normal. And for me it was not normal.

"Things happen on the pitch. It's happened to me many times. But I could not stand it that time," Zidane said. "My mother was sick. She was in hospital. This people didn't know. ... But it was a bad moment. More than once they had insulted my mother and I never responded."

Materazzi recently told Italy's La Republica paper he was still waiting for Zidane to apologize and that he was still so angry over the incident that he won't even watch this year's tournament in South Africa.

"If it was Kaka, an ordinary guy, a good guy, of course I would have apologized. But to this one!" Zidane said. "If I ask forgiveness of him, I lack respect for myself and for all those I love with all my heart."

Zidane won two Serie A titles with Italy's Juventus and two La Liga titles and a Champions League with Real Madrid, along with the 1998 World Cup. He was voted FIFA World Player of the Year three times.

Story continues below advertisement

Now 37, he acts as an informal adviser to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies