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7/09/2006 07:27:00 PM
The bitter end
Zinédine Zidane watches his career end with this red card from referee Horacio Elizondo.
Ron Scheffler/US PRESSWIRE
Posted by Mark Bechtel
BERLIN -- If we learned one thing from the World Cup final, it's that Zinédine Zidane doesn't understand this whole Hollywood-ending concept. He set it up all right: coming out of retirement with France in the middle of a horrid qualifying campaign to lead the side into the World Cup, where, after lulling foes to sleep in the group stage, he proves that there's still some life in those 34-year-old legs. Wins over Spain, Brazil and Portugal had a lot of people thinking fate was with Les Bleus, that Zizou's remarkable career would end with him lifting the World Cup trophy for a second time.
Instead, he went nuts and attacked Marco Materazzi. He just lost it at a pivotal time, head-butting Materazzi in the chest with 10 minutes left and an obviously gassed Italian team on its heels. "Zidane being sent off was the key moment of the game," France coach Raymond Domenech said. "In extra time, the Italian team was waiting for penalties." And with Zizou no longer on the pitch and France reduced to 10 men, that's what it got.
Purely from a football standpoint, Zidane's sin was grievous, but it certainly didn't cost France the Cup. His teammates soldiered on without him to preserve the draw and, unless Domenech was going to stick him between the sticks, Zidane's presence in the PK shootout wouldn't have changed the result.
But the damage Zidane did to himself is far greater than the damage he did to his teammates. He took what should have been a glorious occasion for him and his fans and ruined it. Even if he had played horribly and France had gone out 6-0 losers, the overwhelming sentiment still would have been, We're witnessing the end of an era, and what an amazing era it was. Before the final, Italy coach Marcello Lippi, who's not exactly liberal with compliments of opposing players, described him as "the best player there has been in the last 20 years."
Part of what made Zidane great was his passion. Much has been made of Zidane's upbringing. The son of Algerian immigrants, he grew up in a tough neighborhood outside of Marseilles. He was often taunted; one of his first pro coaches recalled that Zidane spent most of his first couple weeks with the club on cleaning duty after he punched an opponent who made fun of his roots. Eventually he channeled his anger -- indeed, there are those who will tell you he uses it to fuel his play -- but on occasion it's reared its head for a little butting. Five years ago he head-butted a Hamburg SV player in a Champions League game. In the '98 World Cup he stomped a Saudi Arabia player. And tonight he let his aggro get the best of him on what should have been the biggest night of his career.
So instead of our lasting image of Zidane being his celebrating the seventh-minute PK that made him just the fourth player to score in two World Cup finals, it's of him slinking off the pitch after receiving a fully deserved red card, leaving his teammates to fight the fight without him. And instead of making us look back fondly on his career, he made us wonder if we should have been that adoring in the first place.
• If we learned another thing from the final, it's that something needs to be done about dodgy refereeing. Actually, the refs aren't entirely to blame. The players deserve their fair share for going down so easily -- and for chirping in the ref's ear en masse immediately thereafter, either demanding a card or accusing the guy rolling around on the ground of play-acting. Florent Malouda hit the deck pretty easily and drew a PK, and later in the game it looked like Materazzi took him down in the box, but that time referee Horacio Elizondo waved play on.
Then there was the whole Zidane/Materazzi controversy. The head butt happened behind the play. One minute things are moving along nicely, the next minute there's a gangly Italian on the ground who looks like he's been shot. Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon immediately makes a beeline for the linesman, gesticulating wildly. After a few minutes of sorting out what happened, Elizondo shows Zidane a red card. The place went nuts. (FIFA doesn't show replays of controversial plays in the stadium.)
Every time Italy touched the ball, it was met with some of the loudest whistling you'll hear. The assumption of the fans was that Materazzi made a meal of it and the Italians goaded Elizondo into sending off Zidane. Obviously, Elizondo got it right, but it did seem as if he did so by accident. Elizondo didn't see the head butt, and the linesman didn't make the kind of ruckus you'd expect if he had seen it. Not until the fourth and fifth officials saw the replay on the sideline was Zidane given the gate.
So Elizondo missed the two biggest plays of the game. And it's hard to blame him for either. You try making a dive/no-dive call at full speed when the guy rolling on the turf is a pretty fair thespian. And there was no reason for him to be watching Zidane and Materazzi as they walked up the pitch.
The solution: FIFA needs to put another set of eyes on the players. Either use a second ref or institute video replay. Yes, the latter would remove the human element, but it might also remove the diving element -- and that's a tradeoff I'm more than willing to make.
We shouldn't let this cloud our view of Zidane, who is arguably the greatest player ever. So he did something incredibly idiotic that, in the end, probably cost France the game. Let us remember 98, against Brazil, not this ugly incident.
I'd be all for some kind of replay system, because the games were as much about diving as anything.
This is the first World Cup I've ever paid attention to, and it might be my last. What a strange sport--most of the games seemed to consist of somebody being brushed up against, falling down and rolling around on the ground as if he were shot, followed by the crowd whistling in unison.
And then after most of the games go through 90 minutes of 0-0 or 1-1, they go to penalty kicks, which is like ending a World Series game with a home run hitting contest.
I understand it's by far the most popular sport in the world, but I guess it's just not my cup of tea.
"And instead of making us look back fondly on his career, he made us wonder if we should have been that adoring in the first place."
Seriously? You're going to base your entire opinion on one act, in one match, in one instance? Are we all to be judged in that way? Should we judge the writer of this column for one sentence or one incorrect usuage of a word? If you look for perfection in ordinary mortals you will always be disappointed.
ZZ got angry and his passion got the best of him. Something transpired during the match that led to this situation. Zidane will still be remembered as one of the greatest to play the game.
This was a good game but the sight of that headbutt ruined the game. That is what will be shown and remembered on American recaps on the 11 o'clock news. Sadly that is the image that 2006 football will be remembered for.
Anything but instant replay...and the endless yammering among referees that so burdens the NFL. It slows the game and would destroy the flow of play. I would rather live with the mistakes...they tend to even out in the end.
As Zidane walked past Marco Matarazzi, you could see that Marco touched Zidane and that words were said. I imagine we'll never know what the words were, but Zidane turned like a bull in the ring on his matador and killed the end of what would have been a great career. Sheer insanity!
Keep in mind however that none but the players present really know what transpired. Materazzi's actions could have been deserving. And Zidane being the team's captain perhaps felt he needed to carry out a swift punishment, which he did. Lastly I hope very much that Zizou's legacy is not tarnished excessivley. He has a history of a short temper, which is warranted by a tough upbringing in France. All in all he is one of the all time greats and was fantastic to watch.
Granted the headbutt wasn't called for (or was it?? obviously Materazzi said SOMETHIN' to make ZiZou go billy goat on him), but wasn't it an amazing headbutt!? That was worthy of an NHL highlight reel! Obvious too was that the linesman didn't see it, because the ejection came MINUTES after the actual foul happened. Sad way to see Zidane go, Buffon was lucky that header by ZZ didn't go in in overtime. France= disappointed, Italy= Lucky. Really, they deserved more than the trophy for their play during the tournament... they deserved Oscars! ps, boo hoo Aussies
I would like to know what provoked Zidane to headbutt matterazzi... If the ref wasn't entirely sure what happened, he should have sent both of them off or given a yellow card to zidance and allowed him to play.
I cried literally for the great Zidane as he left the pitch, head down in somber form, walking past the trophy and heading into the abyss of the locker room, a man condemned.
His absence from the medal ceremony was palpable to the french team, coach and fans. Granted he did something foul BUT France were by far the better TEAM on the day and if Zidane had contained himself to stay to the end, the result may have been different.
The better team lost but through no fault of the Italians.
Soccer is rather like life. A Shakesperian Tragedy. Quel Dommage.
Its a sad way to end a career of one of the best player in the game but a red card was warranted at the time.He should have known better being an experienced player.Hope that one incident wont tarnish his reputation as one of the best players in soccer if not the greatest.
I don't know what kind of officiating you want, but he linesman saw the headbutt, lifted his flag and waited till de referee went to his side. Everything was done by the rule book, and everything went well. Either you didn't have much to write about, or your refereeing expectations are limited to the NFL or NHL: one call every 12 seconds. Linesmen are there to assist. Keni, from Argentina.
I beleive that Zidane shows a great sportmanship, I also understand that the Italians are nothing but talkers. This world cup game is supposed to be about sportmanship not about calling each other names and players fighting against one another. I am not glad that Zidane got a red card I think it would have been fair if both got the red card.
I have issues with France. they are very good tactically but without any real passion to score. look at their last 3 games. the PK should have been called, the Italian goal at the 61st minute was NOT offside, and then the Zizou thing at the end.
Over a billion people waste over 2,400,000,000 person-hours for this event? At least for a short period they weren't out trying to kill one another. But to decide the outcome of such an over-hyped event in such an absurd manner--when the goalies had no chance at any of the 10 shots--is a joke. One screw-up by one guy means one team is better than the other and deserves "The World Cup"? And could you imagine Wayne Gretzky spearing someone in overtime of a 7th game in the Stanley Cup?
Disgraceful, classless, a very bad stain on an otherwise brilliant career. Keep in mind that this guy is looked at as a hero by children all over the world and you have a couple of billion people watching this game. He is a multi-millionaire, an adult playing a kid's game, and with that comes a certain resposibility.
Say it ain't so Zizou. You let everybody down...especially yourself.
You can spend your whole life building a great reputation which can be destroyed in an instant. Remember that. Your reputation is your most valuable asset and precedes. Zidane just played legacy suicide and succeeded.
I don't know about anybody else but the headbutt was horrible. I am glad Zidane got the red card I was so sick of ESPN and ABC talking up Zidane like he was the God of Soccer. Even after Italy won, they still were talking up the French. Give Me A Break What comes around goes around Italy you deserved to win. The " World is Jealous of you, including stupid US commrnentator who had nothing else better to do then focus on Italy's scandal at home.
Zidane's actions were an embarassment to himself and the sport. I hope he loses out on the nike endorsements etc. that surely were to go his way. These athletes need to remember they are role models. Head butting????
"Should have been so adored in the first place?" Come on, he's a footballer. Arguably the greatest of this generation, but an athlete just the same. Not a doctor, not a teacher. An athlete. And people that write about them should always remember - without athletes and their play, you have no job. don;t be too quick to lower the boom. Don't get me wrong. I love sports and admire the players, but they are human, and humans do bizarre things. His career will stand by the numbers, not one act. Just like the result of this Cup. France dominated, but still lost. That is what is great, and frustrating, about the game. No no knows what made Zidane do that, but I will remember a lot more images of sublime play.
Thank you. I thought I would die before hearing a soccer fan begin to acknowledge the ineptness of competive soccer. Never mind the header, the lack of substution and scoring, having only one official on the field is incredible enough. Any other competitive sport has an ongoing process where the powers-that-be try to keep the game fair and also interesting for the fans (rule changes, additional refs, replay). Is there any sport that is remotely as un-changing (i.e., rigid) as soccer?
Two things about Italian football that drive me nuts: cry-baby antics and sitting back on defence rather than putting their capable offense to work. PK win to Italy in a World Cup final - sad, but predictable.
Everyone was spewing hatred at Luis Figo after his head butt, but when Zidane does it—‘oh, there must have been a reason for it, Materazzi must have said something’. Stop trying to rationalize it because you have been kissing his rear for years. He made a stupid aggressive play and it wasn’t the first time, PERIOD.
HA! All of you Viva France types are wiping your tears with your flag. Your ‘legend’ has made quite a legend of himself, indeed.
Someone said: “You're going to base your entire opinion on one act, in one match, in one instance?” Actually, if you had read Bechtel’s article he clearly enumerates MULTIPLE examples of Zidane’s foolishness.
The person who said this is EXACTLY right: “Zidane's actions were classless and on par with Rooney's ejection. I lost alot of respect for him today.”
It's a shame that throughout the World Cup the Referees had more to do with who won than the players. Penalty kicks called when they shouldn't have, and not called when the should have. Even the first goal by Italy was bogus today. If you look at the replay you clearly see that the offensive player had his hand on the shoulder of the defensive play not allowing him to jump. That's supposed to be a foul. I guess the referees have an almost impossible job. You cannot possibly expect then to see everything!! But that's what referees in any sport are supposed to do. That's their job and if they are not experts they should not be out there.
To keep things in perspective, Figo got only a yellow card for a head butt to the HEAD (straight out of a gangster movie)... Zidane gets a red for butting his opponent in the CHEST (straight out of a kid's playground). Very INCONSISTENT reffing all tourney.
I think that when the story comes out, ZZ still had issues from when he was hauled down by an NFL-like tackle right onto his shoulder.
i don't think this will cloud his legacy as much as we are all letting on about it. while it's not a hollywood ending (which are completely false by the way), it is a poignant one. At least he won't be remembered for losing his last international game, for not giving it all he had. it's more like a sad indie ending. nonetheless, a worthy way to go out - albeit terribly unsportsmanlike.
i agree that both of your sugetions must be taken. A second referee would add another pair of eyes at another angle to the ball. How can one ref wihth one angle call the game. In basktetball there are 3 on the court, and soccer has a lot more open space. Instant replays should be allowed. I would give each team something like 3 times where they can ask the ref to review a call. And sometimes, like on pks, the review should be automatic. I would rather slow down the game a bit in order to reduce flops. An idea: red for a dive. Its the only way to trully discourage diving. Any dive will be considered an insult to soccer.
"I have my doubts that the headbutt was seen by any of the officials live, so it should not have been called."
What?! I dont care if the headbutt was seen by any of the officials. it was seen by 1 billion people over the world. Should a player be able to punch another or kick another in the balls just because none of the refs have seen it "live"? dont make this sport like the stupid WWE, where if the ref dosnt see the chair, it dosnt matter. Come on. Zidane just ended his career the worst possible way. I dont even think the italian said anything worth retaliating against. Anyway, hasnt he learned to walk away from insults? the attack was just what the provoking wanted!
Cantona went into the stands and attacked a fan, which (at least here in the States) is much worse than anything one could do to an opposing player, and he is now the face of Nike soccer. In time, history will remember the great ZiZou, not this ugly episode.
Completely classless display by Zidane. He deserved the red card, and perhaps a good pop from Materazzi as well. Nevertheless, the better team won. France had no answer for Italy's defense and Italy should have won in regulation, if not for the ref mistakenly disallowing Toni's header goal.
A fitting end to a pathetic match. Seems the only requirements are the ability to run around for three hours and exaggerate any contact. The whining and playacting by almost every member of the two teams was pitiful. There is good reason Americans have not embraced this sport. We appreciate good sportmanship and accepting the knocks of the contest without whining.
No way the refs saw it live, but really impossible to say that the red card was undeserved. Most likely, the Italian player deserved a yellow at least, but replays don't include audio so we'll never know.
The uncalled PK in the 51st minute was clearly a makeup for awarding a terrible PK in the 7th. Not at all fair, but no way to go back and take back the bad call in the first half. Refs treating fouls this way is part of soccer (and often other sports as well).
Italy dominated the first half, then France adjusted and completely controlled the rest of the game. In all, France played the better game and were unlucky not to win.
However, Italy played a fantastic tournament and deserved the ultimate trophy.
It is a shame that Zidane ended his career this way. It reminds me of how Jerome Bettis' career nearly ended in a goal-line fumble. But Zidane's is worse because it was a deliberate (albeit heat-of-the-moment) act.
Yes, it will be replayed repeatedly. Yes, it is probably the defining moment of this Cup -- this Cup's "Hand Of God" moment that will be replayed ad nauseum forever. And, frankly, deservedly so.
It was so surreal. So completely out of whack. It will not soon be forgotten.
Zizou, for me, has been forgiven. A crappy end to a brilliant career but to err is human. To err on such a big stage as this one, well, I don't know. But Marco must have said something really terrible to elicit such a response from Zizou.
Only God knows what transpired between the two. They may have some historical 'beef' we fans are not privy to (let's not forget Zidane spent a considerable amount of time at Juve).
But I do not think Zizou's actions cost France the game. He will forever remain the greatest, at least for the past decade, in my eyes.
Thanks for all the memories, Zidane!! Keep your head up.
I agree totally with what the announcer said immediately following the play. "We have just witnessed a very classy player make a classless act" I am not a supporter of the French team (I pulled for Italy the whole time) however I had all the respect in the world for Zidane who had shown maturity, sportsmanship, and class during the entire tournament and his career. Following this act, that respect was lost very quickly. Who cares what Materazzi said to him, words are cheap. I still have all the respect in the world for him, regaurding his soccer skills, not for him as a soccer player. What a sad way to end his great career, in one idiotic move. Sad as it was, the red card was deserved for this classless act.
Keep in mind that great players are made great for the way they play and act on the field. Zidane also had a very similar unsportsman like act in the 98 cup. The greatest players play with heart and emotion but are able to control the emotion. He made the stupid decision and it will be the ultimate blemish on his career.
I too would like to know what was said. Another media outlet is reporting that Materazzi hurled racial slurs at Zizou. If that's the case, Materazzi should be ashamed of himself. But then what should we expect from a guy who seems to delight in the story about how his kids are constantly told in school that their father's a monster? Perhaps those kids are right.
We still love you, Zizou. And thank you for a great career. It was our pleasure to watch you.
People let's not be ignorant and bias. It DOES NOT matter what Materazzi said. Zidane should not have done what he did, it was flagrant and violent. I don't care if he was born and raised on the streets. I don't care if he is the greatest footballer of the past 20 years(which he is and this coming from a Brazilian fan). I don't care if he is a legend. Zidane didn't embarass himself as much as he disappointed his fans the world over. Bias French and Zidane fans must acknowledge that Materazzi is not the villain, what Zidane did was NOT justified.
Materazzi obviously said something that provoked Zizou and he got what he deserved. The headbutt was merited and was glad to see Materazzi on the ground where he deserved to be, but it was tragic to see the Captain, the "old" and wiser player, who should have known better, lose his cool with only 10 minutes left in the game. It just wasn't meant to be. Go Germany, USA and Mexico 2010!!! Maribel
The match ended as soon as Zizou was tossed. There was no way karma would allow France to win after that. So sad. What a terrible let-down.
Speaking of bizarre karma, David Trezeguet, who missed the PK for France, is the one who scored the Golden Goal to give France the championship over Italy in Euro 2000. Wow. This Final may not have had the Hollywood ending we'd expect, but it certainly had its twisted intrigue.
As someone recently posted, it does even out in the end. No one can truly say that the French deserved to be in the final whatsoever given Thierry Henry's repeated theatrics and cheating that got them to go through the tourney on essentially nothing BUT penalty and free kicks. Les Bleus deserved to go home.
When it comes to Zidane, yeah, he will still be regarded as one of the greats...but also one of the stupidest. Who would do that in the WC FINAL with less than ten minutes to go until penalties?!? Hard upbringing or not, the man displayed a brilliant show of idiocy. Bye Zidane, what a stupid way to enter your career. Regardless of what another footballer says, they have ALL heard a bunch of it through many games. Zidane overreacted and let his team down. I, for one, rejoiced more in seeing Thierry Henry "the Cheat" hang his head down in sadness.
It could have been a better game of Fairplay. Fairplay has to come from within. Zidane, undoubtedly, the best player in the world of Soccer, could have made a better exit from his career than by just getting this bad name on this last match. Referreeing is not an easy one to do, being a soccer player myself, i know it easy to dodge referees. Taking advantage of technology is in no way wrong as it gives the best possible outcome. Whatever the end was of this world cup, it was a thorough show of good football from best teams and the best sporting extravaganza.
Too bad about Zindane, but let that moment of insanity not cloud a great career, or, more immediately, a great World Cup final and great World Cup. Sure the game wasn't perfect, but it was hard fought and bravely contested and exciting. The refereeing was reasonably good from the semi-finals on with few cards overall and a good flow to the game. No I don't like diving, but having played and watched a lot of soccer there is often a fine line between a foul and fake. I do think that Malouda was fouled on the play that led to the PK. Of course he embelished the contact, but there was contact that brought him down and he was a step from shooting on Buffon from a couple of yards out. To read some of the comments one would think that other sports (American sports) are officiated perfectly or completely fixed with replay. Right! Think about the criticism of the last Super Bowl and how Seattle was seemingly jobbed on a number of plays - and the NFL has five or six officials on the field and uses replay! Soccer isn't perfect but all in all it is a great game with terrifically gifted athletes, as was constantly shown in this World Cup. Let me add that I am an American who grew up playing baseball, football, basketball and finally tennis (I became a tennis pro). When I found soccer as a player and coach, however, I understood the beauty of the game which surpasses those sports.
Yes, Zidane did something studid. But this is far more honorable than winning gold and silver in the World Cup like Maradona did in 1986 and 1990 (in a less publicized episode, he made a 'save' with his hand against the USSR at a group stage in 1990). Zidane lost his temper. Maradona meant to play maliciously.
Still, we will remember Zizou as the greatest player in two generations. Thanks for all you gave to the game, Zizou! And let us not forget what a fantastic player he was this championship. We will not see anyone like him in years to come!
Actually, I disagree that France was the better team today. Eventhough France played better in the second half, but they couldnt beat the Italian defences on a single Field goal. Their only goal came from a Penalty in the 7th min.
I was pretty sure that Italy would lift the CUP after their game against Germany. That was probably the best contest of this World Cup.
While Zidane's actions are not to be encouraged, you can't help but wonder what exactly provoked him. And with the unmitigated and perhaps encouraged diving in this world cup, it was oddly refreshing to witness for once a clear foul. Zidane's remorseless slam was conducted without subsequent whining, drama or denial. More than can be said for the systemic dive drama that diluted the fantastic play of so many.
Please no instant replay... aren't our sports already screwed up with the incessant nit-picking, second-guessing and time wasting? Which brings me to this self-important article. From all appearances Zidane was dead wrong but it will hardly harm his legacy. How quickly we forget similar mistakes made by our heros of the past... Maradona and Pele included.
Materazzi has a nasty reputation for taunting opponents to violence. The Cirillo tunnel incident comes to mind. There was a moment before the head butt when he was holding Zidane about the chest and it looked as if he may've been engaging in a bit of nipple twisting before Zidane was able to pull away from him. Who knows what had been going on up until that point. I think a lot will be revealed over the next few days.
"I would like to know what provoked Zidane to headbutt matterazzi... If the ref wasn't entirely sure what happened, he should have sent both of them off or given a yellow card to zidance and allowed him to play."
What? How the heck could you have given Matterazzi anything...it was at least obvious Zidane had done something. There was NO sign Materazzi did ANYTHING. This was the right call...unfortunate, but the right call.
Great Player or not Zidane's actions are unforgivable. A Caption. A World Cup winner. A seasoned veteran. This is not like Maradonna's card against Brazil in 1982 or even Rooney's this year. A player of Zidane's level shuld rise above any type of verbal abuse by an opponant. He is not the reason France loss, but his actions should reflect on his career.
Who cares what provoked Zidane? How can you fools say Materazzi also deserved a card? Zidane is a disgrace. And France did not deserve to win anyway. They were plain outplayed by the Italians. They could have played 4 matches and never scored an honest goal.
italy ruled the first half. france the second half. justice was served in the OT. soccer is the beautiful game and it was beautiful that the team whose leader lost his cool lost the match. buffon made the save of the tournament and france didn't score a goal in real play since the brazil match. cannavaro is a bull and italia are champions!!!!
It wasn't all Zidanes fault anyway. Do you think there wasn't a reason for his act. I saw the playback tons of times and before he headbutted the other player (forget his name) said something to him. That must have been something very insulting and rude to tic Zidane of like that. Even though he should have conroled him self better and he deserved taht red card I still think he is a great player...
Zidane gets really frustrated when he does not find space to play. Brazil let him play and he danced with the ball. Against Italy - the best defense in the WC - he did not find the space and lost his head. Bad decision. Also bad decision not to come back to receive his silver medal letting the entire French nation down. He tainted his beautiful career with decisions that a real hero cannot afford to make. Au revoir France! Viva Azzurra!
italy controlled the 1st half. france the second. buffon made the save of the tournament. justice was served. cannavaro is a bull. france could not score a goal in real time since brazil. italy deserved the game and they are true champions. 2010 will be one for the thumb (unless the USA can snatch one for the pinky!) truly a rewarding ending and truly a deserving squad. zidane tarnished a legendary career. shame zizou!
No, the best player ever was in the stadium, but it wasn't Zidane, the thug. It was and evermore shall be Der Kaiser, and I am sure Beckenbauer would have gotten to penalty kicks to punish whatever evil was spoken to him on the pitch. Stuff the praise for Zidane, he's an idiot of Bondsian proportion.
Zidane's behavior just shows the complexity of his character. A great player, but prone to outbursts of rage. This was not his first headbutt. He should be remembered with fondness however, as the positives outweigh the negatives.
Everyone was spewing hatred at Luis Figo after his head butt, but when Zidane does it—‘oh, there must have been a reason for it, Materazzi must have said something’. Stop trying to rationalize it. He made a stupid aggressive play and it wasn’t the first time, PERIOD.
French fans: Your ‘legend’ has made quite a legend of himself, indeed.
One poster wrote: “You're going to base your entire opinion on one act, in one match, in one instance?” Actually, if you had read Bechtel’s article he clearly enumerates MULTIPLE examples of Zidane’s foolishness.
The person who said this is EXACTLY right: “Zidane's actions were classless and on par with Rooney's ejection. I lost alot of respect for him today.”
Guess this just shows that Zizou is not as "perfect" as everyone thinks. Sure the Italians are known for their diving, but it's obvious that Zizou obviously was having some major anger management issues when he head-butted him.
One good thing that came out of this: England's Rooney is no longer going to be the "bad guy" of the world cup. Zidane and the French team won that award fair and square in this world cup...
France was truly the better team on the pitch tonight, although for Zizou to exit in such a fashion might have been more disheartening to French fans than the loss. What a storybook ending it should have been.
The first penalty kick was undeserved, but the non-call in the box later should have deserved a PK. To me that was very frustrating. Both teams were diving frequently during the game, including the illustrious Zidane. The French midfield dominated the Italian midfield in the 2nd half and a good portion of overtime. The Italian defense stopped the French from finishing though. I saw the disallowed goal from the proper angle and Italy was clearly NOT offsides. That game should have ended in regulation.
He was a great player, but his anger did get the best of him. I hope that everyone will remember the good things that he has accomplished and puts aside his headbut insidence. Materazzi probably said something really bad to him to set him off like that. It wasn't Zidane's fault at all. I am so upset that it happened. I hope he has good luck in his retirement. by youth soccer player in the US
All time great were Pele, Beckenbauer, Cruiff and Platini that can play ball, keep their cool and become role models. This is not the first time Zidane shows his dark side. This red card came when his team most needed him as a real leader. Its red will taint his career and image forever. Au revoir mon ami!
zidane red card was desevered but the pk for france wasnt i dont want replay b/c it disrupts the flow of play
and for everybody saying that it is stupid to end on pks b/c that would be like ending the world series on a home run derby heres the difference: in soccer you actually run and you could see that all the players on both teams (except the subs) were gassed and that if they kept on playing that the goal that would win the game would be on a mistake or a set piece so i just rather go to pks b/c the last min. were mostly unexciting and both teams were walking
I wish they could find a better way to end tie games. I think almost anything would be better than penalty kicks. Maybe this is a naive suggestion, but what would happen if, for the second OT period, they got rid of the offsides call? Wouldn't it facilitate scoring if guys could roam all over the field? I know traditionalists would probably howl, but it would be more entertaining than what they have now.
I don't blame Zidane for what he had done. Matarazzi had said something really nasty and got what he deserved. Otherwise, Zidane woudn't have done it. People say one should hold one's temper, it's easy to say when your opponent is trying to insult you verbally. I'm sure , many of us wouldn't tolerate that too. Italians deserve the Oscar for Aussie game. Eugene
Who cares what Materazzi might have said to Zidane? Nothing said justifies that violent a reaction. He is the captain and he is supposed to show *some* composure and not overreact like that. If Materazzi had pushed him or took a swing at Zidane, then he would have had the right to defend himself. Sorry Zidane fans, but your boy lost it and he alone is to blame for tarnishing his image. I'm sure trash talking happens a lot during these games, so using that as an excuse is ridiculous.
What happens if one of us lose our heads in the office and hit a work mate? I am sure we would be immediately fired - and maybe even receiving criminal charges - no matter how good our professional past was. This people make way too much money to lose their head and assault an entire nation with one of the ugliest soccer scenes seen in ages. The aggression was far away from the ball and no matter who saw it it deserves a multi-game suspension...A pittiful shame.
Look, too many people seem to say that Materazzi deserved the head butt for something he said (which nobody actually knows) and on top of which, last I checked, smack talk is done on every field, in every type of sport and in no way does it ever warrant another player committing what would amount to a criminal battery outside of an arena (and in some cases still found criminal ie. Bartuzzi hitting Grier in the NHL). What Zidane did was WRONG WRONG WRONG!!! You want revenge, show that you are the best through victory. Enough with the excuses people...what he did was a DISGRACE!!!! It pretty much cost, or in the least GREATLY AFFECTED, both himself and his team a victory on the world's largest stage. Lest we forget that he has had a history of losing his temper and reacting poorly. The finger should be pointed in one direction, Zidane's.
Regarding the Zidane head butt; did anyone else see Marco Matarazzi come up behind Zidane, at the start of the sequence that led to the head butt, and reach around Zindane and squeeze his left breast? That act deserved a red card. Maybe that is why the assistant raised his flag!
I agree the head butt was an unworthy act. Two red cards were appropriate.
I am French and obviously disappointed. It could have gone either way. The Italian had an amazing first half and then the game was "ours" without any luck. It's tough for any team to lose in the PK session. I am very disappointed after Zidane's actions. I can't explain it. He let me down, he let his teammates down, he let his country down and he did it in front of a billion people and young kids looking up to him. Finally, I am very angry at the FIFA for letting the fourth ref decide of the red card after watching the giant screen. I thought video could not be used for this kind of action? But also, a month ago France was not even supposed to make it out of its group. Too bad, we lost it more than the Italian won it.
Well, the 12-year rule applies again for Italy... 1970: Italy made final and lost. 1982: final again and won. 1994: final and lost. 2006: final and won. Surely it's coincidental, but in sports, any pattern is worth remembering.
As for Zidane, it's such a shame. I suppose he's going to talk about it publicly in the days to come, to give his version of what happened, and maybe apologize to France and all the fans of the game.
A sad ending for the possibly the second greatest player ever in French football history (Just Fontaine?). Whatever anyone says, Platini was the best player France has produced. Zidane's dismissal did not change the course of the game, but I have lost a lot of respect for him. All Materazzi did was open his mouth. He did not spit or attack Zidane. As for the match, both teams played well defensively. The Italians were better in midfield in the first half, then the French controlled afterwards. I disagree with Buffon being lucky on Zidane's header. Buffon was in great position and showed remarkable reflexes, like he had throughout all matches. Zidane should have done better to head the ball downwards, much like Figo needed to do in the semi-finals. Without a doubt, these were the best two teams in the tournament, especially after the first round matches.
maybe there is something Zidane wants us to remember, just looking at how ugly the World Cup final was. Was it a fair game? Italians only taught us one thing, if you know how to play dirty in this world, you can win a world cup, baby.
I think both Zidane and Matarazzi should recieve a red card. I am sure What Matarazzi said to Zidane was as ugly as Zidane action. That does not mean that we all enjoyed watching the great Zidane during this world cup.
Obviously, no one will ever know if Zidane's ejection would have impacted the outcome of the game; there are too many "ifs". He certainly deserved the card, although I'd love to know (as would we all) exactly what set him off. I was rooting for France to win (and I'm Brazilian), if for nothing more than to see the Italians lose. Zidane is undoubtedly one of the best players of his generation, and I believe that judging his entire career by this evening's match and his ejection is sheer lunacy and is unwarranted. The man helped his country win the cup (against us, I might add) in 98 and has had an incredible run. Quite frankly, deeming him some sort of "failure" because of the red card smacks of the press band wagon and wanting to parrot what so many others are already saying. One action does not define character, period.
As a mother of an 8-yr old who idolizes ZZ, it pained me to watch his despicable act of anger. More painful was having my son ask me with tears in his eyes why he did that? I now have to figure out a way to condemn what Zizou did today and still teach a child that he is one of the best to ever play the game. Even if it wasn't seen initially by the ref's, I was glad to see the red card. The youth of this game need to see this will not be tolerated.
I think the red card was (well) called by one of the assistant referees watching the game from the sideline. Good for FIFA for stepping up and allowing the referees to communicate via headphones during the game. That act needed to be punished for the good of World soccer.
"And instead of making us look back fondly on his career, he made us wonder if we should have been that adoring in the first place."
Is this comment for real? Whatever Zidane did on the pitch tonight does not, in the grand scheme of things, reflect on his otherwise brilliant career at all. He shouldn't have done it - but all football fans should consider themselves fortunate for him to have played the game.
The line judged raised his flag immediately after Zidane delivered his head butt, he was just waiting for the referee to confer with him. Zidance is a baby who blew his cool. Some captain. Some example he set. Then it was the Italians who kept their composure during the PKs and cooly put them all in the net. Italy's 2nd disallowed goal was clearly onsides if you looked at the perpendicular angle replay. France played well enough to win during this game, but they could not finish and because of their captain being a hothead, they probably blew a chance to beat the Italians in overtime, because they were obviously very tired.
It is totally and utterly beffudling how a guy with Zidane's talent and leagacy could have lost his cool like that. His individual talent dwarfed every player on the field today, but I can't get that classless act out of my head! I wanted France to win, and feel they played better and dominated most of the game, but justice was done - Italy got the trophy and France/Zidane got the loss.
i saw the calls go both ways. i think sports justice was served today. there is petty and there is spirited. somehow, the balance was struck today, including the actions of the officials. bravissimi and good night.
I would like to see FIFA and all of its member associations using TV images after games in order to ban divers. This has marred the World Cup and while Portuguese players seem to fall upon the slightest possibility that there may be contact coming up, many other teams weren't exactly far behind. Since diving has once again become an art referees will need help.
To say that Zidane's headbutt was stupid and ill-timed would be an understatement.A player of his talent and experience committed the ultimate "rookie mistake".No doubt this act cost France the World Cup and will tarnish an otherwise fantastic career.In a game of emotions,it is best to keep your cool...sadly,Zidane lost his cool at the worst possible time.
In the end...this was the worst world cup from the standpoint of officiating. It's fitting that this ref "missed" several fouls the Italians committed on Zidane and when he missed Zidane's head-butt, he got a lot of help to help him decide on a red card. I'm glad the WC is done...good riddance...The smaller teams all suffered from a disproportionate number of cards from the officials during group play....and the team that "won" is one of the few soccer powerhouses left with no ethnic or racial diversity....pphhtt!
Regardless of "the great" zidane's stupid decision - italy should have won this game in regulation - the penalty call and subsequent goal should have never happened because it was not a penalty. The offsides call on italy's second goal was also a bad call - brazil had 4 offsides in the ghana game that weren't called and they scored on 3 of them...
the better team won today and the best team in the tounament won overall....
Instant replay would be bad for game flow. FIFA could - and should - easily review, after the game, questionable and potentially missed calls. In doing so, they should be allowed to retroactively take back or give out cards and penalties. No, this would not affect the game that was just played, but players might think twice about being idiots if they knew they would, eventually, be held responsible.
I am astounded that some on this board are willing to simply brush Zidane's headbutt aside! Let's not forget that he committed a similarly idiotic offense back in '98 with his stomp on the Saudi player. If he were truly a great sportsman, he would have been able to walk away from Materazzi's provocation.
At first, I didn't think he would get the red card, but I was so glad to see that he did--for such a vicious attack to go unpunished would reflect terribly on the game! The French fans and players should be most upset with Zidane because he let them all down.
Zidane should be ashamed of himself. But the team lost as a whole. The only gola they got in the past two games were from pk, questionable one today. They had multiple opportunities and only have themselves to blame. The game never should have went to overtime or pk because that was a goog goal in the 61th minute. These two teams also got to stop the acting and crying games, especially France!!!
I don't think that the Italian player took a dive when Zidane head-butted him. If you look at one of the replays, it looks as if he really took him off his feet. If Zidane had gotten that kind of power on a cross or two, maybe no pk's. You can't go nuts when someone says something to you on the field. Trash talk is part of every sport, and players have to deal with it. Obviously Zidane couldn't, and now its possible he has tarnished his reputation. Look at what the announcers were talking about during the trophy ceremony, Zidane's antics, not the Italian team. This is all people will talk about if he retires all together after this cup.
retrospectively, ITL should never have been in the final. Given fair ref, the US had a strong shot at defeating ITL. The 2nd caution on Pope in 5oth min was a surprise to ... the Ref. I was there and saw the shock on the ref's face when he looked at the card and noted it was Pope's 2nd. USA had ITL on their heels all 2nd half playing down 9 to 10.
ITL has taken every advantage of diving and feinting injury in this WC. The referees have not followed the Law or FIFA instructions. I saw at least 5 broken legs this afternoon, but through the magic of holy water the players arose and sprinted back on to the pitch. It strikes me odd that after this has occurred several times that most intelligent referees would recognize the contrived behavior and take appropriate action.
Decision 5. Any simulating action anywhere on the field, which is intended to deceive the referee, must be cautioned as unsporting behavior.
Obviously the laws and decisions, written in English, lose in the translation since "must" is interpreted as "maybe." There should have been at least another 50 cautions for simulating action.
France did not play well enough to win against Portugal, and you can argue that a fine bit of acting by Henry helped them beat France. What goes around, comes around. Also, I'm glad Zidane had this moment so I could stop hearing about him. He played one great match against Brazil and played well in spots against Portugal, Spain and Italy. He clearly does not belong in the same category with Pele and Maradona, though he was a great player. It's too bad he had to dishonor himself in the final as he did.
The French clearly dominated the second half and the extra time, but the italian team was able to overcome an initial deficit and hit a crossbar. So, the right ending was a tie. That does not exist in World Cup, so the penalty kicks decided. This time Italy came up in front. That's life. The French team won at the PK against Italy in 1998. They tied Italy at the 93 minute and won the 2000 European Championship Final with a golden goal by Trezeguet. So the two teams are really equal. The team that wins does it mostly by luck. This time the luck was with Italy. In the end, the ball is round, so there is always a luck component.
Surfing the net I still read insults to the Italian national team I think the Azzurri got more insults then everybody during this WC.Mafiosi , cheaters divers and so on... Coming maybe from fans that saw their team been eliminated on the road .I understand the disappointment but let's put away the feeling and take a look at the numbers ... Italy is unbeaten since 25 games( 2 years ) The defense allowed 1 gol to the opponent ( a penalty kick)the second one was an own goal . Italy scored with 10 different players Despite the defensive reputations Italy ended the semifinal game against Germany with 4 forward players and tonight with 3. 4 out 11 player for the WC all star nominated by FIFA are italians Last thing ... nobody could beat Italy so far and even if I understand that is better to see the brasilian dance on the ball The facts are that without organization and soul you cannot win a wc and Italy was the better organized team. PS On Zz, a great player a Maestro in the middle of the pitch that sometime loose it . go back in history you will find that is not the first time .
i think materazzi deserved what zizou did to him, as domenech said, we dont excuse his act but we understand it. CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT HE HAD BEEN DOING THE ENTIRE NIGHT FOR ZIDANE TO DO THAT?!?! he was intentionally trying to get inside zidane's head and he got exactly what he wanted, a retaliation which got him sent off. and i agree that the referee missed some very crucial calls, how can they use video replay to determine a card-worthy foul, and not use it to determine a foul inside the box on MALOUDA (who played a very impressive game) THE BIG THING WITH REFFING IS BEING CONSISTENT and i think the refs lacked consistency in this world cup.
I am so disappointed! This is the first time that I see a team win the world cup by explicitly playing for penalties. This Italy was so different from the Italy that beat Germany. Since about the middle of the second half, Italy was obviously playing for penalties, very unbecoming of worls champions. At least France were trying to win the game properly.
FIFA again showed that they are the root of inconsistency. They started the tournament by a card campaign, and when it failed miserably, they quietly told the referees to go back to their old ways. They staunchly refuse to use any sort of real-time playback evidence, yet Zidane was dismissed (rightly) solely based on that evidence. There is no way any official saw that headbutt when it happened. I am not sad for France losing, eventhough they were the better team, but I am hugely disappointed for Zidane leaving the stage like this.
Zidane deserved a good pop form Materazzi? Are you an f-ing idiot? If someone called you a racial slur they are the ones who deserve a "good pop". The red card was fair, but let everyone ease up on Zidane. I am sure he will be his own harshest critic on this instance.
Ugliest final of all time! From “Carnivore’s” assault on Henry and Zambrotta kicking Viera upside down within the first 5 minutes, through two more than questionable goals, an uncalled penalty, a questionable offside, and all ending in Zizou’s act of infantile stupidity.
Frankly, neither team deserved to be World Champion by what they showed today. I mean Italy only actually played for the first 45 minutes and didn’t create even one decent chance on goal from the run of play in the entire game. , France didn’t do much better, but at least tried to attach until the end (even when a man down). Unfortunately they showed little of the crisp offensive play that got them here.
This game was a perfect illustration of everything that’s wrong with European football. If not for Germany and Spain, one would even wonder if anyone in Europe still knows how to play an attractive clean game. I can only hope that since the next few World Cups will be played outside Europe, we will get Brazil and/or Argentina back in the final and that finally Mexico and one or two of the better African teams can become true challengers.
In the end, Miterrazi will be remembered as the punk that got Zidane sent off, while Zidane will be remembered as probably the greatest player of the last twenty years. His game against Brazil was a masterpiece and cements him in place as one of my all-time favorite players. France outplayed Italy from box to box- Italy is a team of a lot of diving punks with a great keeper and an outstanding sweeper that keep them in the mix. French players should hold their heads up high and the dishonourable style of football championed by the Portugese and Italians and Argentinians with their cheap dirty plays needs to vanish.
zidane is still one of the greatest players that has ever graced this beautiful game, and i highly doubt this will change the way many people view him, 1 bad incident compared to a lifetime of beautiful soccer? many people will see the amazing player i am sure.
Materazzi is a disgrace to the game. anyone who has seen what he does in league play would agree. Zidane is a legend. This game won't tarnish his image as one of the best footballers to ever play the game. The refs sure acted like they hadn't seen it live. Still, after all that, Zidane's red card was deserved.
Zidane's loss of temper is certainly worthy of condemnation, but no one will convince me that Zidane forgot where he was. For God's sake, it's overtime in the World Cup final. It appeared to me that Zidane was ready to head back into play when Materazzi said something apparently unforgivable, and to uphold his personal integrity, though maybe not his professional or nation's integrity, he put Materazzi in his place. Such severe actions do not happen on a whim, and if Zidane is at all like me, he may be sorry for what he took away from the team, but not what he might have taken away from his legacy. Materazzi will perhaps take pause before doing again whatever it was that he said/did to Zidane. Even if the rest of the world lost respect for Zidane, Materazzi most certain will have gained it.
Cantona did go into the stands and attack a fan, but there's a big difference in scale between Man U at Crystal Palace and the World Cup final in Berlin. This was a much bigger stage with a lot more at stake.
Wonder if the whole story will ever come out about this ugly and unfortunate incident that pretty much ruined the match for me.
While it was certainly a horrible move on Zidane's part (and as an aside, France CLEARLY played better than Italy and deserved to win - however, it isn't alway sthe deserving team, and Buffon saved it for Italy) I'm not sure why people are pretending it is so horrible.
It is tragic, since it is his last game and in the WC final, but really Zidane was in keeping with this world cup.
McBride gets elbowed in the face, Rooney stamps on a crotch, Figo headbutts, Argentinian players attack German players after losing... it was thuggish world cup.
It makes a refreshing change to see an Italian hit the turf due to a real challenge. They have a long history of faking, diving, acting and conning the ref which football could do without. Zidane was brainless and I can't condone what he did, but players don't do that on the Greatest Stage of all without provacation. ZZ will always be remembered in my mind as a genius....and that's coming from an Englishman!!!
I wanted Italy to win from the beginning - and was happy they won. That said, I also wanted Zidane to go out being remembered as one of the greats of the beautiful game. Unfortunately, one action will tarnish a lot of people's memory of an otherwise brilliant career. Zizou, I am sorry for you it ended this way. I guess that ESPN/ABC saying, one game changes everything certainly rings true today. Forza Italia! SD
It started with the the ESPN speakers who started supporting Germany.
Then they started talking about Zidane, Zidane, only Zidane.
During the match the ESPN speaker, who only remembered the name of Zidane and a few other French names, continue to call the Italian not by name clearly demonstrating he only knew very few things about the players and the #1 soccer championship in the world: the Italian one (most of the payers in the final play, by chance, in Italy, not in France).
Then the God Zidane ended his world cup in shame bringing with him the entire team which lost but possibly without this kind of shame.
Finally the fouth man said that he saw the action without any TV support and Italy destroyed the Pretentious French team at the penalty kicks.
Well, well, well. Now everybody noticed at ESPN that Italy existed and won, I repeat won, the World Cup with or without scandal. Now everybody doesn't care if there was or not a TV proof because what Zidane did was "ABSOLUTELY" disgusting.
Now, finally, when I saw the interviews to the French supporters saying Italy had a modest victory and that Zidane did what he did because of Materazzi, then ... adieu les bleu. Bon retourn en France ou les Italiens vous attendes au Champs Elisee. Goodbye Zidane, everybody will remember this stain even if you think it's not true. If are you going to go to Naples they are right now organizing a complete funeral of the French team with a real coffin and posters distributed in the streets to commemorate the passed away.
First, those of you complaining about divingget over it. Acting exists in every sport. Football, when receivers egg refs on to throw flags for being "held" or tripped up by the corner or saftey. Hockey has its fair share of diving and idiotic fighting. Baseball, let's just say I've seen plenty of bean balls and fights as well. Each sport has its actors, North Americans just like to think our sport are clean of it.
Second, Italy deserved the win. Zizou's head butt was idiotic but not "uncharacteristic". As a Juve fan, I've watched Zidane throughout his career and not just in the World Cups, and the one negative is that he has always had a penchant for losing his cool. The French penalty kick, should not have been awarded to begin with as the player penalized (Materazzi) committed to jumping before the French player had possession and then the French player ran into him.
So you want to implement video evidence as way of doing away with the mistakes in soccer? Have you forgotten that during the SuperBowl that didn`t stop the officials from getting 3 to 4 very important calls wrong (Rothlisberger`s touchown run for example). You can use the technology and still get it wrong. I agree with the fan who said that, usually, in the end this thing evens out. Point in case the first penalty didn't exist, the later one should have been called. That`s all you can ask for. I think that the referee did a very credible job and didn't allow the match to get out of hand. So don't talk to me about video evidence as this would only make the game longer and there would still be mistakes made. As for Zidane's action he disgraced himselft tonight. Millions of kids saw that and I don't care whatever Matterazzi said to him this happens several times in the course of a game (and in american sports also, or have you forgotten the shouting between pichter and hitter when the latter gets thrown at) he should have just walk away. The referee got it absolutely right (not calling it because he didn't see it was not an option after he became aware of it and those of you who said that if he didn't see it he shouldn't have call it should be ashamed of yourselves). You can spot an american fan a mile away.
"Midfielder Zinédine Zidane had been ejected after he committed an astonishing act of impudence and unsportsmanlike conduct in the 109th minute.
In the seventh minute, Zidane had put France ahead, 1-0, on a penalty kick, becoming only the fourth player to score in two World Cup finals. But he apparently grew frustrated after narrowly missing a goal in the first overtime period and at being nicked frequently by Italy's adamant defense.
In the 109th minute, Zidane head-butted Italian defender Marco Materazzi in the chest after the two had words (Video Clip). Materazzi, who had leveled the score at 1-1 in the 19th minute collapsed on the field. Italy protested vehemently and Zidane was ejected in the 110th minute, leaving France to play the final 10 minutes of overtime with 10 men." The NYTimes Amen
i cannot allow myself to question as to whether Zidane should ever have been appreciated for his ability, talent and accomplishments all because of his assault upon Materazzi. i have the full confidence that whatever Materazzi said to Zidane fully solicited Zidanes actions.
Zidane is kind of innocent, he is teased by the italian player which irritated him. Marco Materazzi yelled to him that he is an ungrateful dog due to his time in italian championship and relationship with Lippie. I feel sympathy for him.
The best thing about this whole final was Italy fans no longer whining about losing to Brazil on PKs (saying that was illegitimate; I wonder if they will say the same about this?). Italy played like crap all game but they hung on for the tie. Not exactly a shining moment for world football (Zidane's silly play, Italy's poor performance in the final) and certainly not a World Cup that will be remembered for very long.
To me this goes down as even worse than 1990 as the worst Cup I've ever seen; and the Final was the culmination. Italy barely squeaked by Australia in the first round, and couldn't score a goal against the US while up a man for an entire half. France struggled against Portugal and had an awful group stage. On the whole, both sides were fortunate to be there. This is certainly a final that the rest of the world outside of Italy can't forget soon enough.
Soccer can be a good game,but it will never be big in North America till they get rid of the theatrical childishness of grown men acting as if they,d been shot when all they got was a little love tap.Must be an european thing.
COME ON! What Zidane did, whether the officials saw it or not, makes him a thug. Don't cry about his "tough upbringing" , where would sports in the USA be if Jackie Robinson head butted someone everytime a rude comment was made?
Lets look at the actual game–the French scored on a phantom penalty and the Italians should have had two points as their second goal was clearly on-sides. Italy played with more guts and class and they are the deserving champions.
RE: Zidane---How can folks say it was one isolated act? In two cups he's been suspended for all or part of 4 matches. Two in 98 after stomping on the back of a fallen player. One earlier this year after two yellows. And then today. He also was ejected after a headbutt in the Champions league this year. That's not isolated. It's a pattern, and a sad one at that.
I think people are looking past the real story here. Instead of focusing on the Zidane hadbutt which was senselss, why is an idiotic action getting more coverage than the reak story? Stellar defense that handled everything France threw at them, controlled ball movement that resulted in two, yes two, goals (Toni's header was not offside the linesman called Toni offside when it was his teammate next to him that was), a cross bar off another Toni header, spectaclar goalkeeping, and overall a great performance from the beginning to crown the Azzurri champions. I doubt Zidane would have made that big a difference in 10 minutes considering Italy held him at bay all game and Buffon stopped his only real opportunity masterfully. FORZA AZZURRI!!!!
This headbutt deal. Zidane was walkin away when there was a comment made to make him turn around and spear more or less the derserving Italian who no one cares about anyways(notice no one even knew who he is until now). I bet he will think twice before runnin his mouth again. Italians should start their own league where they can fix their matches up and flop all over the field. Nobody wants to watch that garbage anyways. You won the world cup and people are still talkin more about Zidane more than your world cup. Zidane is a disgrace? haha Most countries wish they had players of Zidane's caliber(Italy you are one of those countries). Quit tryin to tarnish ZZ's career because you are jealous. Zidane will still go down as one of the 10 greatest to play the game. Headbutt or no headbutt. Period.
The horribly unfortunate part about Zidane is that he will be remembered for his skills, his vision, his passing, and everything, but he will also be remembered for the insane headbutt, the fact he wasn't able to collect the silver medal, and the fact that the last time he was seen playing for France was, unfortunately, the back of his head as he headed to the dugout.
Italy was the better team? Who dominated control of the ball for the entire second half? I believe it was France. And if you want to talk about offsides then you should talk about the take down that wasn't called. There were missed calls both ways but no doub about it France dominated play throughout most of the game. I suppose the Italians should enjoy this now since most of them will either be in jail or in level 3 shortly.
Let the legend of Zidane be his terrific play and sensational feel for the ball. Remember that all men get angry and all men make mistakes. Soon enough Materazzi's words will be revealed and suddenly everyone will be back on Zidane's side again, because he is a legend. France deserved the Cup, they played with heart and aggressiveness that caused their 4 best players to leave the game early (Zidane had heart; Vieira, Henry, and Ribeiry to injury substitutions). France put it all on the line, that is what the beautiful game is all about.
Soccer will be having video play backs from any angle necessary and this will happen in the near future. Part of the problem in refereeing is also that expertise and skill as a referee has to be balanced with nationality - get the best guys to call the game regardless of where they come from AND pay them better salaries. Regarding Zidane: there is a fine line between using anger as a motivational tool and destructive behavior - he lost and will be remembered for being taunted by a simple "Your mama.." call. I predict that next to fitness experts more psychological warfare expertise will become standard in a few years...
Whether an italian trick or not, Zidane knew much better than head-butting somebody, risking being thrown off at the WC final ... He looses respect not for the violence but because of his ignorance ... and as we all know, a player is made by its skills and by its smarts ...
Zidane's violent response really was sad and pathetic. As for many Americans watching this final, "beautiful" game is not an adjective that comes to mind. The American sportscasters were absolutely terrible. I can understand why so many Americans don't understand or like this game.
To those who say France played the better game... I'd have to disagree. Both sides played a lackluster game. France's frequent wild shooting gave the false impression that they were better, only because Italy did so little to counterattack.
The goal France got in regulation, while correctly awarded, was a freebie. Otherwise they spent most of the game spraying shots wildly off target rather than exhibit the patience to break down Italy's tiring defensive wall. Yes Zidane had a good header, but so too did Italy have some good set plays. France would have won if they made better use of their opportunities against an athletically better Italian squad.
Italy, to it's credit, had the more exciting chances at goal in the course of play, but they stopped creating good opportunities by the end of the first half.
This was a game that went sour in the second half, mostly because Italy once again tried to do as little as possible to win. In group play they'd have settled for a draw. You'd think with there terrible shootout history, a team with Italy's offensive creativity would have tried harder to win it in regulation. If not for Zidane's crazy act, this final would probably never be talked about again after this week.
Who knows what was said to Zidane, but anyone who has played any sports knows that trash talking - disparaging remarks about anatomy, ancestry, relatives, etc. - happens all the time, at all ages. These players have dealt with it all their lives, so for Zidane to have such a brain cramp at such a moment is both surprising and bizarre.
Too bad, though. It would have been nice for France to have won but perhaps inevitable that Italy did: They are almost the epitome of the cheating, diving, faking that has now become the game. The refs are naive amateurs among these professional tricksters and FIFA Neanderthal-like for its refusal to do anything about it. They may as well play without any officials - the resulting anarchy wouldn't be much different from what is happening now.
I was seriously shocked to see what Zizou did. I had no idea it had happened until I saw the replay. I agree with the people who say Materazzi must have said something. Because in the replay that showed not just the headbutt but also the bit that caused it, we can see that Materazzi was saying something to Zizou and Zizou looked angry but walked away, but then Materazzi kept on saying things which caused Zizou to burst and gave him the headbutt. It's a shame they don't have microphones because then we can hear what Materazzi was saying that angered Zizou and maybe it would be Materazzi who gets the red card.
Zidane is without a doubt one of the best players and this will not affect his reputation that badly as let's face it, Zidane is human too, and ALL humans bursts at least once. It's really a shame Zizou couldn't go up and get his medal. I mean, it's his last match!!! I feel really bad for Zizou, to end his career like that.
They should seriously get rid of the PKs. France was the better team ever since the second half and truly deserved to win. Just one little mistake and they miss out on the World Cup. That's just not fair.
Overall, I don't think Zizou deserved the red card. Obviously Materazzi said something to anger him. I could accept it if it was a yellow, but red is just too unfair as Figo did a headbutt and only got a yellow.
Zinedine Zidane is still one of the greatest player and this little incident should not be the only thing someone reflects on seeing as he has done great things. Be sure to keep that in mind.
Luis Figo headbutted a Dutch player in the face and got only a yellow card. He wasn't suspended even after FIFA had a chance to review it. But Zidane gets a red card for a head butt to the chest because the pathetic Italian rolls around on the ground like he's been shot! But that's typical for "the champs." Yes it was dumb thing to do, but it hardly deserves to tarnish ZZ's legacy.
I do not understand all the comments to the tune of "Italy didnt deserve to win" or "France was a better team." There was no such thing as deserved win or undeserved win. A win is a win, period. No if, and or but about it. And if France was a better team, how come they did not score on an obviously very very tired physically Italian team for latter part of 2nd half and overtime (a good 45 min. total). And talk about diving and officiating, Le Bleus fans better off do not mention it for France's 1st goal was obviously a result of diving, please dont tell me Thiery Henry didnt do dive in his football life. How about a ruled offside on what should have been an onside Italian goal in 2nd half? So, please, Italia is the best team of the tournament, played consistently well enough to win, and played to their strength instead of weakness. Well done Italia. You are the best of World Cup 2006, no if and but.
I watched at least part of every game in this World Cup. I started the day rooting for France and Zidane, and spent the entire PK screaming for Italy to win. I have spent my entire adult life as a high school coach in multiple sports, trying to instill in young people the principles of hard, clean competition. What Zidane did is reprehensible and inexcusable. It was an absolutely, totally selfish act by a man who was supposed to be the leader of his team. He could not possibly have considered for even a moment what his act would mean to his teammates and countrymen. That total lack of concern for others is EXACTLY what is wrong with society today. It doesn't matter what was said; teammates owe it to each other to be men and do what it takes to see the game through. Zidane chose not to do that; let him live with the consequences. I am just sorry that he had to take down his team with him.
Like Portugal, Italy is composed of a bunch of floppers, faking injury after injury, foul after foul...The ladies of soccer have much more integrity and cajones...The Italian probably deserved it, my only regret is Zidane didn't get away with it. If you're wondering who instigated it, let's remember that Italy spent WWII with their hands up!
I can't believe that people think that just because no one saw it "live" that he sould not have gotten a red card! and im MAD because when Italy was said to have dived in the Australia match every one was like "ohhh they dived that the only reason that they won"...Well what do you call the first PK that france got...the Italian did not even touch the guy...Ohhh well the better team won and what Zidan did was just not called for like push back say somthing back but dont use your empty hard head to do somthing like that.But I wonder if an Italian had done somthing like that to a Frence guy what everyone would be saying...ohhh well the better team won so VIVA ITALIAN!!
I am sick of people putting blame on referees for everything now, I think the referee did a commendable job today. Zidane deserved the red card, as the author mentioned the referee cannot be faulted for not keeping his eyes on Zidane and Materazzi away from the ball, but after a conversation with side linesman he made the right call. Materazzi may have said a lot of things to stir him up, but that doesn't matter, it's the visual that counts. Zidane, for being as great of a player he is, did a really terrible judgement and no one else, not Materazzi, not the referee but he deserves the blame for it.
You people should understand that Zidane is a human being, he is not perfect. Yes he made a mistake, a terrible mistake, but that doesn't made him a worst player, he is one of the best soccer players that ever lived. Now the italian sure said something, and sure I think Zidane was tired and saying something offensive to Zidane, he went mad. He lost his temper, so close to the glory. I want you to understand you millions of people who may read my comment, that Zidane would always be the best of the soccer players that ever lived and he is a human being, and I'm sure he regret that error he made.
"and the team that "won" is one of the few soccer powerhouses left with no ethnic or racial diversity" What a comment!! As if it were Italy's responsability that the immigrants make only 2-3% of Italian population. The fact is that Italy has been until recently a land of emigrants as you can appreciate from the large number of Italian descendents playing for USA, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, France, Switzerland (where do you think the parents or granparents of Borgetti, LaVolpe, Bresciano, Crespo, Messi,Platini,etc come from??)
Anyone who says the red card vs Zidane should not have been called if the Ref didn't see it until he saw a replay does not understand sportsmanship.
They should have instant replay anyway and this World Cup sure proved it. I've been watching them since 86 and this was easily the worst World Cup in terms of wrong PKs given (USA Vs Ghana, Italy Vs Australia, France Vs Portugal, France Vs Italy). Just ridiculous.
Zidane tainted his legacy with a foolish, stupid foul. Congrats to Italy on a great victory. I didn't care overly much who won, though I preferred Italy since France won recently and I believe that they shoould not have advanced past Portugal who played with far more heart and talent in the semi-final match.
I think to be fair we should wait to hear what exactaly was said to Zidane before we pass judgement. I'm not saying it was justified, but neither do i think Zidane would headbutt someone for lack of a good reason.
i think you are absolutly correct in saying that they do need an extra pair of eyes or even instant replay especially in the final of the world cup. i think that the ref. made some really bad calls against the italians which could of lost them the game (the italian player really didnt hit the frenchmen in the 6th min. and the was a unnecessary point for france and the 2nd italian go wasnt actually offsides like they said) calls like this can lose the game for a team that really deserves to win. in this case italy came through and won but that wont happen in every case.
What a sad end to a great career. I hope this does not unduly cloud Zidane's place in football history. Another question....if you're going to headbutt someone why don't you go for their snoz and inflict some real damage? Getting red carded for head butting a chest seems a waste of effort!
Zidane's shocking meltdown notwithstanding, you have to wonder about Domenech removing Ribery and letting Trezeguet in, may have been just as crucial in sealing France's defeat. Still, you can see there is something not quite right with Zinedine, and i don't know that we will will ever know what is going on in his head. FIFA needs to get a hold of the atrocious refereeing, and fast.
By the way, I've heard materazzi kept insulting zidane's family and calling his sister a prostitute...
people should pownder about this kind of behaviour in a match watched by millions of people and dozens of video cameras from nearly every angle possible before criticizing zidane for not allowing a "hollywood-ending"...
I'm not trying to justify zidane's behaviour, I just think that grown ups would find materazzi's behaviour just as bad for the sport, if not worse.
The referees did the right thing with the Zidane head butt. The head ref went back to the player down to see if the injury was severe. Then when he looked over he saw his assistant with the flag up waiting to attract his attention. The head ref then goes over and hears what happens and then promptly gives the deserved red card. The ref handled that situation very well. Also, I think that the replay system would not work during a live game.
im a hcore italy fan and i still admire Zidane he shudnt have done that but deserves the red, and along with it some credit for what he has done for the sport of soccer. we will miss u Zidane. u were amazing...
I do not know what peopel are talking about when they say Materazzi must have said something.
big deal, do you think zidane has never talked trash to opponents in a match?!
Maybe Materazzi said "you are playing like a girl", maybe he said "I will sleep with your mother." Who cares? you don't assault the other player with a potentially injurious physical attack for being taunted -- or you would never make it past little league soccer!
Zidane's most noteoworthy event of his carreer will be this headbut. In today;s world tha tis the way it is it is part of the contract that coems with celebrity, if you make an idiot of yoruself in fromnt of the world it will be your definition.
This is about ego and arrogance. He should know what every 7 year old soccer player knows: your team is depending on you. He could paly to excellence and get accolades above his team that is his right, but it is no ones right to discgrace his team and leave them vulnerable by assualting another player.
what should be remebered is that this is a game, that Zindane let down sports fans in general with a poor decision and sportsmanship. Saying this sports are riveting because of the passion players bring to it. However my point is that something may have been said that Zindane may not have been willing to stand for, even with the most watched championship in the world on the line. The hardest trophy to win i beleive. Years ago he could have requested a duel. Any way a strange ending.
Zidane's coup de tête didn't cost France the match, but one sensed a certain impending doom for Les Bleus with his exit. Did anybody think they still had a shot going into PKs (particularly minus Henry, Ribery and Vieira)? Terribly sad since France simply dominated the Azzurri through much of the second half and extra time.
History will certainly judge Zizou for the kind of game he played through 109 minutes, although he didn't do himself any favors at 110. An honest apology would go a long way in minimizing the impact that tragic spectacle has on his legacy.
No matter what happened, Zidane is still one of the greatest players. Materazzi does not hold a candle to him. I will not be surprised if he said racial slurs, not suprising since he comes from a team that is now racked with scandal.
This was a far reaching effect in just 5 seconds. You all know;- If you cannot control your emotions whether positive or negative(good or bad),you will either gain or loose respectively,there is no question about that. Im so touched by Zidane's actions despite the popularity he had gained as a beacon of soccer. Just Imagine if a great man like Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela or the U.N.Secretary General Koffi Annan did something weird! What a lesson would that be for generations? A man who "handles" emotions is great. If I can meet Zidane I would give him a good lesson - In my life time,I have not seen any game that bridges human gaps and differences like soccer! If only he "thought" about how popular he is and what he has achieved. May this be a presumptive lesson to all the soccer players.
yes zidane was stupid to head butt the italian player. but seriously the italian team did not attack more than once in the second half of the game. yes i understand their defence is amazing but they didn't even make a run when it was 10 against 11. alos i think a replay system should be used to stop players faking so much. it becomes a contest of who can dive better not who can put the ball in the back of the net
Zidane is French after all and don't the French always lose bitterly? Sore losers forever. If his headbut were a few inches higher, Matterazzi would still be on the ground. Zidane will get his punishment of having to live in France for the rest of his life. Good riddance.
What Zizou did today was unfortunate, but by no accounts uncommon in professional football. We must be careful not to judge him as if he has broken some eternal rules of ethics. The effects of his behavior loom large in light of the gravity of the world cup final. But we must not let this tarnish his legend and his good nature. Commentators and announcers talk about the mishap as if Materazzi was such an innocent lamb. He did touch Zizou and did say something—I’m sure something insulting and humiliating—as Zizou was walking away. I wish he had composed himself.
everyone is so sure that Materazzi MUST have said something to provoke that 'justified' head-butt...well, i want to add that Zidane MUST have said something to provoke Materazzi into saying something as well. and for that matter, Materazzi MUst have said something before that, and so forth...
WHO CARES...it's just words. Zidane should have let his play do the talking.
Well, I would have to say that Zidane did well deserve that red card. Though i must say it looked quite odd to Zidane head butt someone in the chest (Dont you usually aim for the face?). It was a good game, second half Italy had a strong defense and France's offense was dominating. They kept Italy's defense running constantly, and many missed opportunities by both teams. Some bad calls were made and I am disgusted in how much faking to gain a foul occured. With this classless head butt, Zidane is still my hero, a great player, and my inspiration to play soccer.
But..FIFA did play the headbutt in the stadium and immediately changed the way the fans viewed the game. As much as I agree the foul was a red card offense (and I'm an Italy fan), the game is meant to be played as is, not like an NFL game where you stop every 45 seconds and discuss each play. A dive is annoying to watch but so is an over acted offensive foul in the NBA. An instant replay would be a silly addition to a sport that truly rules the world. Remember, it's the only "World" championship that isn't an American created event and actually encompasses the "world."
Say bye bye to the horse that ZZ rode in on. Pele was, and always will be the best player that ever played the game of soccer. For those of you who want to remember the way ZZ was - live in the past. The rest of us, and I imagine Italy too, will move on into the future.
Italy is the best team in the WORLD!!!!!! The world has lost all respect for ZZ. It was the worst show of sportsmanship ever!!! Both teams played a tough game and even if ZZ was around for the PK's ITALY would have still won!!!
I will agree with most of the comments here, only about how tough it is to lose on penalty kicks for the cup, but maybe you all can feel what the Italians did when they lost the cup the same way to Brasil in 1994. "Sucks doesn't it?" Don't forget the Quarter-Final exit in 1998 to the French. Italy needed to avenge this, and also the 2000 Euro Cup Final where five minutes of Phantom time was added to the game for the French, and we all know what happened. With this being said, now for the game....I have been disgusted watching the last three World Cups with this "diving" crap in this tournament? I have been watching soccer since i was a child, Seria A is my baby, but i also watch the Bundasliga, La Liga, and the Premier League pretty faithfully ,and you don't see refs calling penalty kicks unless it really is one, what is a penalty kick in soccer ???? here it is.... you need to basically decapitate a player's head while he is entering the box, player defending with cleets up, be the last defender back in the box, player has complete possesion of the ball while falling, defender hanging on to the jersey of attacker, pulling him down to the ground by his hair and jersey, then maybe and i say "MAYBE" it's a penalty, but i guess the World Cup has there own rules. But complaing to Fifa about thier World Cup Referees calling Phantom Penalties is like complaining to the IRS that our taxes are to high..."too friggin bad" Some people have written on these boards that "France Dominated" well i saw it as...France got a "Phantom Penalty Kick", 1-0, Italy dominates the first half and Equalizes with a real goal off a set-peice, Matterazzi makes it 1-1, France did play better in the second half, but if they dominated so much, how come they couldn't find a goal? anyone? anyone? That is because it doesn't matter how much you dominate, if you don't score a goal, you might as well be eating sandwiches out there, because it doesn't mean a thing. but the score was 1-1, it should have been 1-0 Italy at the half, and it should have ended like i predicted 1-0. But instead i was painfully staked to watch 30 minutes of extra-time, plus penalties, for nothing, but in the end the better team, "throughout the tournament" won this game, and that's Italy. As far as Zidane, i will always love him for his services to my team "Juventus" and i feel bad for Trezuguet for missing his penalty against his teamate "Buffon", both who play for Juve now. "CONGRADULATIONS" to Italy for making this one of the best days in my life, and now Italy has four world cups, the most in the Continent of Europe, one more than Germany, let's catch Brasil and get our fifth in the 2010 World Cup coming up in Africa.
To reduce dives - too hard to regulate this during the games without wrecking the flow. But have officials review video AFTER the games... if you're found to have taken a dive, you're fined or (better) suspended for future game(s). The punishment for taking a flop should have some teeth, because all this rolling around and flailing around on the ground is ridiculous, and it's destroying the credibility of the sport.
it's obvious zidane made a big mistake to lose his cool...but we should also assume that the italian guy probably said something very offensive(i.e. racist...)that upset zidane beyond the point of just cursing back. overall, I feel really bad for the guy, he seemed he was a calm, humble player. He just lost his cool...unfortunately for him, it was his career's last play and in front of a billion people!
I have never seen so many people want a wrong call to be made becuase of a technicality. The truth is Zidane's actions were classless, just like many of the french players. I think the refs made the RIGHT call regardless of the stupid technicality. Zidane's action should constitute assualt and battery, whether provoked by insults or not.
I love great game of soccer and I've watched most of the Germany World Cup 2006 games and I must say I was truly disappointed from past World Cups.
It should have been an Australia, Portugal or Argentina, Portugal Final. These teams had their chances striped from them because bad officiating. Germany would not have won against Argentina; Klose would not have had his goal if prior to the cross from Ballack the Ref had called an Illegal throw in from Germany.
The Aussies vs Italy come on a penalty shot in the 93 minute of the extra time, what a bad call, everyone's talking about it. Review it yourself and see. Australia was the better team that day. Reverse the senario and Italy would have freaked out.
Portugal vs France, come on Henry what a dive, which was the deciding factor. Portugal after that point was also starting to dive, guess what's good for the goose must be good for the gander. Figo another talented player.
This World Cup gave a new meaning to the word "ACTING" and selling yourself to "REFS" and get that critical call and possible. Penalty shot. Shame on you, the ones who don't even get clipped, then get up and go back down and hold their ankles in pain, but yet can run hard on it 30 seconds later. I thought Italy and France did a lot of great acting, good job guy way to show the young players what to do, forget about raw talent, it gets you no where.
To many dives or attempt to dive made my stomach turn professional players with all the talent in the world and they resort to this type of playing. I for one did not watch the Finals for I thought both teams during this world cup didn't deserve to be in the Finals. Hollywood would have been a good place for them.
I hope FIFA looks at this World cup, which I don't think was as exciting as past ones. Maybe a 2nd official on the field, maybe letting teams challenge 2 calls per game to a video review. What ever FIFA decides I hope it gets rids of all the garbage and Hollywood actors on the pitch. Maybe the 2010 World Cup in South Africa will be different, one can only hope.
As for Zidane, a talented player, as it has already been said, It’s not in his nature, but what ever Materazzi said to Zidane will come out sooner or later. Maybe then we will know why he was provoked to loose his cool. Great player, just unfortunate that it happened.
Best Tournament Goal I think was from Argentina’s Rodriguez who settled the long cross field pass on his chest, he then it fall and struck it with his left foot from somewhere inside the 18 yard box area. Great Goal I thought, about the only good thing I'll remember from this 2006 World Cup.
You idiots. France deserved to win. They had way more opportunities at goals.
Zidane is an experienced player. He shows immense calm and control on the pithc. Materrazi must have done something radical to piss him off.
You guys, especially the airhead who talked about judging Zidane based on one show of excellent football. **** off. He's been a prominent player all along. And YOU are judging him based on a SINGLE error, that which was made earlier today. He took France to the finals, and there is no doubt in my mind that he is a legendary player.
maradona was caught twice in anti-doping and had many problems with drugs (besides scoring that infamous "goal" with his hand), cruyff was a sold-out moneywhore (he arguably single-handedly turned football into the money making machine it is today when demanding pay to play for the national team, among other things), garrincha was a borderline mental retard (no kidding) and an alcoholic, the list goes on.
zidane? zidane is bad-tempered and lost it one last time at the worst possible moment. but a few months from now it will be more of a freak occurance than a stain in his career. a bizarre ending, certainly, but other greats of the game have done worse, on a regular basis, on and off the field.
"au revoir" (and "why, oh why?") to the greatest player of the last 20 years - zinedine zidane, who won a world cup with two headers and lost another with a third.
Excellent work by Italy. Finally the French fall. The French were riding on pure luck...Henry is the master of faking for fouls. Even in 1998 they won it on pure luck - penalties over Italy and an extra time win over Paraguay. The French didn't deserve a 2nd star on their jerseys. and I hope it remains like this forever... As for the French team being representative of France it clealry is not - if France is some 80% white, why is the French team so hopelessly not? Because they get players from their Colonies - French Martninique, Congo etc. Nothing French about the French team- its team Africa.
"human element" ..! because of the wrong judgement of one man a whole nation suffers. Why cant we just have a replay system that decides wat happened? football has become similar to world wrestling, where if u decieve the referree u can cheat...! (at least in wrestling its fair coz its all entertainment)
I'd like to think it plausible that a racist taunt that came from the mouth of Materazzi. It would not excuse what happened, but it'd help explain this exceptional man's lapse in judgement. The hero's demise haunts me. I wish him well.
It's a shame that Italy won. After the wonderful exhibition of attacking soccer in extra time against Germany, they lost their nerve in the final.
France clearly dominated the second half of the game. Italy was not even trying to move the ball out of their end for most of the extra time. And they are rewarded with the World Cup when they didn't have the guts to attack, even with a man advantage!
Buffon has my vote for Man of the Match. The save on Zidane's header saved Italy's butt.
My hat is off to Italy's back line. What a defense!
I think Zidane's headbutt was the most surprising moment of this world cup. Not because he did it- despite the announcers' claims, everyone who follows soccer knows Zidane is a hothead, but because when we saw an Italian down and when the replay played back, I am positive that most people expected it to be another example of the Italy/Portugal syndrome (shameless diving). No one will say it, but the US soccer federation should write a check to Zidane because I guarantee that increases soccer's popularity in this country. I'd rather see fifteen Zidane style headbutts than one more Italian dive.
And let's be honest- he did it because he didn't think he was going to get caught. I don't think I can even call the play stupid. Wayne Roony was stupid (and much dirtier) when he committed his foul. Zidane's occurred well behind the play and none of the officials had any business seeing it.
As far as his legacy goes, he is th best player since Maradona (klinsman and ronaldo[brazil] might disagree). I find that really convenient since Maradona has been trying to committ legacy suicide for the past 12 years, but no one seems to notice. He is still a soccer god (he even beat pele out in online voting for the best player ever) despite having been thrown out of the 94 cup after testing positive for drugs.
Zidane will be remembered. He brought France their first world cup and carried them on his shoulders to the finals when no one had them advancing out of the second round. He was a warrior on the field and went out on his own terms, however misguided they may have been. If players like Donovan, Beasley, and Reyna showed a tenth of the heart, competitiveness, and overall ferocity that Zidane displayed, maybe the US wouldn't have gone home after the first round...
I didn't expect that kind of behavior from Zidane. Even though the Italian team likes to play boy cry wolf, Zidane shouldn't have done that. If he wasn't DQ ,he would have kicked in the Penalties and who knows, maybe it would go into sudden death. But to the world, instead of remembering Zidane as a great player, we will all remember how he acted in the last game of his career. He didn't even get to stand on the stage with his team. I can’t tell you how shocked I was when I saw him head butt Materazzi.
its a farce that people can forget in one instant the magnitude of the figure that was zidane. the memory of such a player should be savoured and revisited regularly, as he was truly a maestro. it is a blessing that in our lifetimes we have been given the opportunity to witness something as divine; his grace on the pitch, regardless of ones nationality, can surely be appreciated by those that love the game.
"Materazzi's actions could have been deserving. And Zidane being the team's captain perhaps felt he needed to carry out a swift punishment, which he did. Lastly I hope very much that Zizou's legacy is not tarnished excessivley. He has a history of a short temper, which is warranted by a tough upbringing in France."
"Deserving"? "Warranted"? Are you kidding? Get real. This isn't the first time, and everyone knows it. zidane showed the world the animal that he is. There is NO excuse for what he did. He committed a disgraceful act and FULLY deserved the red card. I respected zidane a great deal before the match, but no more. I will now take great satisfaction in the fact that he ended his career in shame and will wake up every morning for the rest of his life regretting his action.
Im not italian or french but these are the facts, Italy won, get over it, we are all jealous, they're not the first to win on penalties and they wont be the last, Zidane is one of the greatest players in the game of football but he has a history of losing his cool in games and this was not his first headbutt, no matter what Materazzi said to him they were just words and there was no justifying that vicious and horrible act. The last thing I want to say is that the worst media in the world is the english media, they always blame other players and countries for their teams unimaginative football, use speculation as facts and always have an excuse for how badly they played. The only time you won anything was in '66' on home soil with a lot of help from the refs, since then you never even made it past the quarter finals and the way you played in this World Cup it was a shame that you got that far, only to come up again with excuses for your poor showing, Rooney deserved the red card against Portugal, so said the ref and the FIFA review committe, stop blaming Ronaldo for Rooney's lack of class and bad temper, he is so young and already is known for losing his cool in big games. And at last, as far as diving, every team does it at one point or another and if I remember correctly it was Alan Shearer who was booked for diving in Euro 2000.
Toni's header was WAY offside and France was the better team....for a while. One of the greatest players ever ended his days on the pitch in a disgraceful way. For the past 12-14 years ZZ has embraced the Beautiful Game with class, elegance and skill. Let's remember him for the passes he made, the two headers in WC-final 98 and the pasion he has always shown for the game. ZZ is crying his heart out 2nite, cause no cash can ever make him forgive himself!!
I'm not a huge fan of the idea of having another ref on the pitch to assist, but anything that would cut down on the diving would be an improvement. The French earned a penalty kick off what amounted to a dive, (in my opinion), and the Italians were on the ground more than they were on their feet.
It's embarrassing how these are supposed to be some of the worlds greatest athletes, and my grandmother could keep her footing, (while playing), better than 90% of the players on the pitch.
FORZA AZZURRI!!! No one complained when Brazil won on penalty kicks in 94! Going back to tonight's game, Italy deserved to win the Cup, the penalty awarded to France was dubious at best and the French couldnt put it away thanx to a great Italian defense. Lets not forget that the Italians had to have been phisically & mentally exhausted from the great semifinal victory against Germany.
The comparison to Rooney is inane. Rooney was beeing kicked from behind for five minutes and trying to gain his feet. Stamping was wrong, but there is no way that he knew who or what (exactly) he was stamping on. Fifa's 2 match ban confirms that they know that a red was a harsh call in that situation. The only question about Zidane's actions was how he could possibly act in that manner. I have watched football for 36 years and was as surprised by that outburst as by anything that I have ever seen. I respected Zidane immensely, although not a French supporter, but this madness must reasonably colour our view of his legacy. It's a damn shame that he ended in this way.
It looks to me that those of you who do not understand Zidane's anger have never been played a team sport with passion. Yes, he could have act differently, but hey, he is a athlete caught in the middle of the action + all the pressure. Besides, he is human... It wasn pretty, but this cannot diminish his talent! We, that are all mediocre should be more indulgent when in presence with a true and EXTRAordinary skills!
Hey, we all want our sports heroes to be "human", to be "relatable", and in the end, Zizou was just that. As an american sports fan, this was the first world cup i really watched, and let me tell you, I am totally a fan of Zidane. In a competition fraught with whining players who crumble to the ground like they stepped on a land mine, usually after they push themselves off their opponent, Zidane stands out. He whirls around, totally clobbers the guy who he has beef with, whatever it is, and walks away. He doenst act, he doesnt purposely overreact, doesnt argue with the officials or make pained and surprised faces (thats you, C. Ronaldo, you diva). We forget often that the greatest players are pathologically competitive (Michael Jordan has been rumored to cheat at card games!) and their passion is all consuming. With Zidane you can see that he personified the cliche of "leaving it all out on the field", since whatever that Italian defender said to him, he must have thought it was a personal insult that he needed to take care of. So when the consequences came he didnt shy away from it, but defiantly accepted it. I have a feeling someone like Jordan, Ali, or the Babe would've done the same thing.
zidan made a mistake, but he is the best player in the world ,no ? about it. im a brazil fan, but i think france played better because itali were very tiered. zidan made this world cup fun to watch, and i think he is the best midfield in all times. go zidan, and go brazil in 2010
When on earth will FIFA bring back the "Golden Goal" concept? A match of this importance should NOT be decided by penalty kicks..You put your blood, guts, and glory on the line until you have a WINNER, by a score of 2-1, or whatnot, not this ridiculous line of France 1 Italy 1, Italy 5-3 PK..
If these futbol players are as tough and in shape as they appear, then playing until someone scores in "sudden death" would be a fitting way to end a marvelous match..
This was the ZiZou swan song? More like an ugly duckling. The refs have a hard enough job and when we get to see 50 different camera angles, in slo-mo, of course we can make the right call. The first PK for France wasn't warrented, but the second tackle (not called) was! The Italians were not offside on their second. And the headbutt? What the hell was he thinking?! Maybe France played young but their old hamstrings let go on two of their best players. The stifling defence made him even more frustrated and he just lost it. And so, fittingly, did France. Oh and I agree that something has to be done about the diving. It wasn't just the Italians..it's been going on for years. Remember Brazil v. Turkey in 2002? Henry as well. See ya in 4 years! RD in Canada.
Zizou is still the greatest of all time.everybody makes a mistake.Zizou is an easy target because of who he is and what he has achieved in his career.with that being said, we all know that Italy played dirty in all their games: elbowing McBride and the Aussie penalty issue are examples. So they knew that Zizoucould single handedly determine the outcome of the game so they had to find a way to get him out. injuring his shoulder didn't do the job so hurling abuse was the next alternative.i have a good idea what was probably said.
Let remember how Diego Mardona career ended in 1994. But does that lower his stature of what he did in 1986. I think the media just trying to low ball Zinédine stature just because he is muslim and italian player call him terrorist. I would rather take a man who will stand up to racist bigot italian than doped addict like Mardona.
This one act alone to me certainly does not affect my overall view of the greatest player of all time. Clearly Marco said something viscious to Zidane and he responded with the head butt. In light of this, however, without Zidane France probably wouldnt have made it to the final. And lets not forget his importance in the 1998 World Cup. I know one thing for certain, i will continue to always wear his jersey whenever I play soccer. ZIDANE ZIDANE ZIDANE
As an avid soccer fan, I am utterly offended by the rampant racism that is widespread in the European Soccer Leagues. Black player are called monkeys (think of the E'to case)and players of Arab descent are called "dirty arabs". Not knowing what happened b/t Metarazzi et Zidane, I can safely assume that the incident derive maybe from a racial slur. For people who are not confronted with such discrimination, it is hard to understand Zizou reaction, for those of use that suffer it, we completely sympathize with him. He has been a great player, one of the best or the best of his generation. Please spare us of your non-sensical Hollywood ending.
The Italians should be awarded a FIFA Oscar fot their acting performance. Zidane was simply walking - some 10 feet ahead of Materazzi.Matterazzi plotted a Zidane send-off by uttering a racial slur fully knowingly that Zidane would re-act as any proud person would do. Referee did not see a thing. Italian co-conspritors arranged with the other Officials to bring the incident to referee's attention. That's what happened.
zizou was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but should never had done that stupid, mindless play I hope that for his sake his career is remembered for his great play, not this classless act (a 12 year old soccer player, and world cup fan)
Colonial-France does not have a traditional soccer culture, they play soccer as they play Rugby, and do not live place to fine, tactical and technical sport, but rough body check, disgracious movements creating danger to everybody. Brazil suffered this violence too and their athlets -who have something to lose- preferred not to force and go home safe, instead of being involved in a road fight. Zidane's behaviour pointed out perfectly the spirit from the French side.... Germany-Italy was an example of good and fair soccer, in the best tradition of continental Europe. Fairness in the field and in stadium, where civilized supporters mixed without any problem. Let it be like that.
I suppose Materazzi said nothing particular insulting to Zidane. Players send always insults to each other without provoking such reaktions. Sometimes they revenge doing bad fouls such hard takles, elbowing etc. but during the game of course. The ugliest thing is that Zizu didn't react immediately, no: after making three or four steps away from Materazzi he tourned back and lauched his head agaist the italian defensor's chest! Good Cantona mate...
I'm so tired of the ref bashing throughout this year's World Cup. Adult players act as if they have been shot, knifed or otherwise butchered every time the opponent touches them. This makes it extremely difficult for the referees to sort out what is a legitmate foul from what is, simply stated - Oscar level acting.
It's simply disgusting to see these world class players rolling around in death-like pain only to jump up and race to the other end of the pitch.
Compare hockey and American football with soccer - can you imagine a hockey player acting like he is on his death bed when checked.
Until soccer players realize they are their own worst enemy, officiating by the best in the world will always be problematic.
i don't know what Materazzi said to Zidane but whatever it is, Zidane could not end his career like that. i guess what made ZiZou attack that player is that he doesn't care anymore what punishment he takes, it's his last game. but i think the refree made the right decision by throwing him out even if he is the legendery Zinedine Zidane.
"Just a headbutt" is a ridiculous way to describe the hit that Zidane inflicted. This is an athlete with neck muscles conditioned to snap his head forward and drive a ball 20, 30 yards. He hit the Italian in the center of the chest, after waiting for his enemy to be distracted - essentially a sucker punch, right to the solar plexus. No one has mentioned the cowardice and viciousness of the action. It would have been one thing if he had gotten into a fair fight and allowed himself to go a little over the top, but his action was malicious and premeditated. That is the antithises of class and sportsmanship. What a great way to be an ambassador to billions of people.
Just like the rest of the broken country that France has been since WWII, Zidane revealed himself to be a nothing more than a classless idiot. While a great player, could one ever imagine Michael Jordan head-butting someone in game 7 of the NBA Finals?
That act alone will forever tarnish his legacy, and deservedly so. As for France, tell us more about your Maginot Line! And your meathead Zidane!
i don't know what Materazzi said to Zidane but whatever it is, Zidane could not end his career like that. i guess what made ZiZou attack that player is that he doesn't care anymore what punishment he takes, it's his last game. but i think the refree made the right decision by throwing him out even if he is the legendery Zinedine Zidane.
FIFA needs to review video of the games and severely fine and suspend players when a fall is judged a 'dive' by the review committee. That is the only way they are going to stop it. Another ref on the field would help too. I saw far too little of the ref conferring with his linesmen in this Cup, dispite the mics that seemed to be for that sole purpose!
ZiZou's career has been wonderful ever since he was givin a chance to play on such a high level.As a second half substitute against Czech Republic in 1994 he scores 2 goals in 17 minutes, remarkable. What about in '98 i think it was when ZiZou visit's Ronaldo in the hospital unannounced.... the man has class. Do not let his legacy be blemished by one action. It is the World Cup, very few people in the WORLD ever feel the emotion running thru their bodies (let alone for 120+ mins). Yes his actions are unexcused. If Barry Bonds can use roid's and still be a legend so can Zinedine Zidane.
Besides.... I'm sure his back hurts from carrying France for the past 8 years
I would just like to know what Materazzi said to Zidane---obviously, Zizou KNEW this was a big night, and since Materazzi got the last yell or catcall in as Zizou was walking away, it had to be something unpleasant. BUT yea, he did deserve a red card for it. However, I honestly don't know if it really damaged the team's play---Buffon was amazing, Henry and Riberry were already off the field before the PKs, and there was no way those Italian PKs could have been stopped. It was a tough break, but the defining moment in the game was not when ZZ got sent off, but when Riberry's shot went wide.
It's too bad Zidane reacted the way he did, however there is much racism in France and on the soccer field. When materazzi provoked the French captain with a racial slur he lost it and understandably so.
doesnt understand the hollyood ending? are you serious? maybe it wasnt the disney ending, but you couldnt write this type of drama. everyone in the world not from Italy wanted Zidane to go out holding the cup over his head. And now we are all torn with how we view our generations legend. He did what noone expected. After considering coming off with a shoulder injury, to almost winning the game with a header.. to crashing out violently ala Eric Cantona. No, I thought what I saw tonight was a edge of your seat reality sports movie.
This was replayed over and over on American TV ... this was a blatant and totally uncalled for aggressive maneuvre that would be potentially a felonious assault in a court of law. It was unprovoked and intentional. Clearly this "star" hardly deserves to be classed in the same breath as Pele, as some have said, who was actually classy player. Regardless of what happened, the officials made the right call.
Zidane's head butt was awesome. Materazzi went flying. Italy had it coming this whole cup. They deserved to have one of their players get worked. I just wish Zidane got away with it. I've seen video of Maradona jump kicking opposing players on the pitch but no one talks about that when they mention his name. Zidane will go down in history as one of the greats. He can head the ball and the opposing players when needed.
I totally agree that something needs to be done with soccer. I grow up loving "futball" and watching it on every single stage. However, I totally agree that something dramatic needs to be done to fix officiating, improve scoring, and put forward a fairer method to decide tied games.
Firstly, it is a shame to see so many close matches between quality teams decided by penalty kicks. In the match today, the two goal keepers didn't even have a say about the outcome!!! I think playing it heads-tails with a quarter was fairer.
Secondly, it can be very frustrating to see some teams playing 4-5-1 or even 6-4-0 like Italy and Germany do. It's one thing to be smart and pullback if you are tired and weak, but to consider this style of playing as the “way” to go is outrageous. It really hurts the game. Italy surely has lots of offensive options, yet it felt like every time Henry had the ball, there were 7 Italians in the box!!! (Same goes to most European teams here.) If a team controls the ball 70% of the time and still loses, you know that there is something wrong with the game anymore.
Thirdly, fair officiating; since games are so close anymore, the slightest mistake by the referee can kill a team’s chance at glory it might have really deserved. Solution: make the game fairer by letting capable teams SCORE. Today the game was so close that a bad call at the beginning of the game and an onside/offside bad call almost cost Italy the WORLD CUP!
Simply put; the geniuses of the game need to make rules that give more teeth to strikers and playmakers.
Congratulations to Germany for such great organization and atmosphere. Congrats to Italy for winning this thing. Viva Argentina.
What gives me pleasure is realizing that all you pathetic frogs in your socialist country are now finished that you're vaunted 'Zizou' is retired...And he disgraced your country deservedly so--Maginot Line! Viva La Frogs!
Noble athletes can control their temper--could you ever imagine Michael Jordan attempting that garbage? and how stupid can you be to do it in front over over 1 billion people? Only a Frenchman...
Do you have any idea the trash that players say to each other all game long, every game? It's a mind game, and Zidane lost it and attacked Materazzi, end of story.
On top of that, he is a role model to the younger French and international soccer community. I don't care what someone says to you, in a position like his he needed to be the bigger man and walk away from whatever Materazzi said.
It is quite depressing, to see such an amount of hate against the Italians. After all, Italians are not used to throw bombs on civilians.... thanks computers, maybe the next generation will be more aware of the reality and give price to the ones who deserve it.
Best aalysis I've read. However, there is no way he should go...soccer has tons of "off Ref" stuff going on--similar to hockey. Guilty as charged (off camera) but the refs made up the rest based on unofficial video.
I'm no fan of France, but it's great to see a player show he won't take any BS.
Viva Zidane...but more importantly congratulations to Italia!!
I used to like Zidane, and there is no denying that he is one of the greatest players ever, but he is so smug and arrogant and tonight the whole world was shown his true colors.
I am glad Italia won, they deserved it. The "penalty" that led to Zidane's goal was no penalty at all, and Toni was not offsides when he headed that ball in.
The France midfield dominated Italia's, but the Italian defense is impenetrable. No doubt that Buffon was the best player in this whole tournament. The two goals he let in were 1 own-goal, and 1 PK. No real goals were allowed by this giant in the net.
In my opinion, Zidane will always be remembered as one of the best football players of all times, regardless of what happened today. The lesson to be learned from this incident is that one should always remember not to lose their temper because whether you're right or wrong, when you lose control, you lose your case! So, he lost his temper, and kicked the guy to the ground. So? I can understand. God knows what it is he heard that provoked him. He wanted to make a point, and he wanted to make it quickly. Besides, it is not like the other player was really injured or bleeding. If it wasn't for a good reason, Zidane probably wouldn't have done it. It is bad enough Zidane got a red card and to be fair, OK, maybe he deserved it. People need to leave him alone now, and stope gossiping about this silly incident. I think Zidane will remain a strong and distinguished legend in many people's eyes, especially those who've been familir with his work even before this last match.
A lot of the comments on here have said that Italy were lucky, but that isn't the case....
The French were awarded a penalty that shouldn't have been awarded. Florent Malouda should have received a yellow card for diving.
In addition, Luca Toni hit the crossbar in the 36th minute - quite unlucky. Then Toni's goal in the 2nd half in the 61st minute was incorrectly flagged offside - once again unlucky.
Although France attacked more from the second half on, their final ball was poor, and hence, they rarely had good scoring chances.
In fact, from the 2nd half on, France only had 3 legitatimate scoring opportunities: a Henry shot on goal in the 64th minute, Ribery shot that went just wide in the 100th minute, and Zidane's header that was briallantly saved by Buffon in the 103rd minute.
In contrast, Italy had two legitimate scoring opportunities - Toni's header (which should have counted) in the 62nd minute, and Pirlo's free kick that went just wide in the 77th minute.
So I fail to see how France dominated.
In addition, Florent Malouda should have gotten three yellow cards in the game - one for diving in the sixth minute (instead France got a penalty), one for elbowing De Rossi (in extra time I think), and one for dissent in the 110th minute (which he received). He's lucky he remained on the pitch for the entire match!!
Overall, I can see why soccer will NEVER mean in the US what it means in most of the rest of the world. Great athletes, lots of skill but totally ruined by way too much subjectiveness and silly united nations like antics.
The incessant diving and crying is making a mockery out of a potentially fine sport. Compelling at times, but the sport just does not have that certain rigidness of result that the American sports do. Truth be told, replay should be used or post match bans should be given out to obvious divers and whiners. FIFA looked at the tape to ban Torsten Frings for the Semifinal for his part in a little brawl. How about what goes on during the game??
Italy needed a terrible call to beat Australia. Luck and calls are just as important as skill and execution and this is why the sport is so interesting to the masses but also why it will never reign surpreme in America. We like fairness that all can agree on.
Oh wait, let's ask the Seattle Seahawks if this is true? lol
What Zidane did was terrible and he deserved a red card. I was in France in 98 and the level of acting going on in 2006 was way worse. The refereeing was really not good but why no cards given for taking dives. Academay awards maybe but my gosh if we all fell over after such little (or in some cases no) contact, the streets would be littered with people crying out in fake pain. Yes, things like Zidane's act of stupidity should be red carded but to me a bigger problem is all the diving, and whining, that occurs. Makes them all look ridiculous. Congrats to Italy.
If it is true the Referee and his lineman used instant replay to make the decision on giving the Red card to Zidane, they should've remained consistent throughout the tournament and used instant replays to call glaring penalties and offsides they missed during live action. The referees and linemen disgraced themselves throughout the World Cup.
as a brazilian fan, france and itali were the best two teams that improved with everygame. they were very orgnized and tough in defense. in the final itali played better in the first half. and france were the better team after that. but some times the better team dont alwayes win????????? as for zidan, i think he is the best player in the world, and france should be proud to have him, he imroved the game of france big time, and by the way he is way better than platini. i think he regret what he did . and i dont think he will make any diference in the final 10 min. wow wow wow wow zidan.
As a Frenchman I can honestly say that Zidane deserved his red card. Ie was a class less act for football. But as a black man, I can imagine what Materazzi said to him. If you watch the replay, Zidane goes past him without touching him and suddenly turns around and lays him out with a vicious headbutt. Materazzi avoided the press after the match and refused to answer what he had said. FIFA should investigate the matter and take action. Violence has no place in "football" but neither does racism. I don't condone Zidane's actions..... but as a black man, I understood what he must have felt a that exact moment.
comon lets not forget what zizou did for his country and the team he played for .. the guy is a legend by all means .. and what he did there at the end of the match for SURE for some reason and also some damn provoking reason so he lost his nerves at this momnet .. am not trying to say forget what happened completely but its just to put in mind that what drove such a great player to do such a thing for sure was something huge and forced him to do so or lose his temper in a sec. and by the way am Italia fan . but i just like great players wherever they play and thats the thing we must all do .. have some mercy with Zizou .. the legend :)
Today's world cup was the worstest of all because the player that always shines,the player that have shined in 1998 was descrimeneted by words about his believe from a italian player.It was a totally wrong thing for ref to do to give him a red card without knowing why did he do it.Zidene is the best soccer player of all times.He is a legend.I still love him and have respect to him as much as I had the first day.Zidene rocks.France Rocks.Italy won by cheating.
We dont know what the Italian player said or did to Zidane. I think he was set up by the Italian players from the onset by taunting him relentlessly.
It was a total shame for Zidane to have been Red carded. When it is the 110 mins of the final of world cup and it is his last match ever. It was absolutely not needed. A yellow card would have been enough. After all he has brought so much to Football, he has been such a great force for Football, he made the "beautiful game" even more beautiful. If it is possible to make world cup any more beautiful than it already is.
So I say I am glad Italy won it, they were a great team. But France could have won it, they lost it by a sliver. Vive Le France :) Vive Le Zidane :)
I will miss the World cup terribly :( It is truly the GREATEST sporting event in the world by FAR. It really show cases the great countries, that is those who make it out to Quarter finals and beyond are always the most democratic & liberal countries, on the path to peace and prosperity. And last but not least, Thank you Germany for being such a great Host nation
the zidane headbutt wasnt bad. he was clearly provoked. he was injured, and materazzi was holding him back then said something to insult zidane. it is nowhere near as bad as rooneys. he stepped ona guys man area without reason. zidane atleast knew it was his last game and was tired of the crap he was hearing from gods gift to the world aka italianos.
Zidane is still my hero despite the red card ! Let the history judge his headbutt... But for Materrazi, you are indeed the " Best provocative player of the match" ! Sic ! Materrazi also deserve a real "red card" for his provocation either !
Zidane ! We will never forget your spirit as the French team leader! Viva La France !
Congratulations to Forza Italia,however...FIFA should make this change for the next World Cup.They should implement sudden death overtime to decide important matches.To have a game decided by a shootout,penalty kicks,whatever you call it,cheapens the results.It is sort of sad to see two teams work their tails off only to see the game decided this way.Sudden death overtime adds more drama,opens up the game more,makes teams earn their victory.If it works in the NHL,why can't FIFA adopt it?
First of all Zidane is Berber(it means he does not care) Matterazi got what he deserved because he probably said something nasty. They might have won the cup but they did not deserve it. the funny thing is I wanted the Italians to win the world cup after their epic game with Germany. With or without the fairy tale ending , Zidane will remain an icon.
Soccer is a difficult game to understand, there are four schools on it: Italy, Germany, Brazil, Argentina. This four teams made together fourteen (14) World-Cup Titles. The only "Physical" team among them is Germany, and they play fair. All the other Nations have just to learn technique and fairness.
Ah this event just adds on to the other ugly events and situations that have happened in this World Cup. From the diving on the pitch, to the bad calling by the refs, to the punching after that game, and the many other situations that have put black spots on this year's World Cup. All and All Zidane is one of the greatest players and weather you dislike him or like him he at least showed passion for the game unlike what we saw from certain teams and players.
Question....what was the only thing worse than the refs, the non-stop diving and acting, and Zidane's billy-goat impression? Dave O'Brien and Marcelo Balboa. They were horrible....non-stop drivel. Mute, mute, mute. O'Brien wouldn't know soccer if one nailed him in the nuts! Balboa....US team this, US team that.....you can use other examples and analogies. And Lalas.....you were SOOO right about Ronaldo (slammed him after the 1st game) and Beckham (slammed him right up to the point when he scored). And Wynalda.....you're a mess too.
The Balboa and O'Brien duo were actually commending the refs after the 1st half (umm, did they see the dive that led to the 1st PK....plus what was the deal with just 2 minutes of injury time for the 1st half...Henry must have been done for at least 3 all by himself)
Folks, let's keep some perspective. Zidane's violent act deserved a send-off, no matter how it was seen, but before you assume the assistant referee (AR) only saw it on replay, remember that the referee was dealing with the potential of other violent acts, and acted to control the players 1st before punishing the original conduct. Yes, Zidane was tired and probably provoked, but his actions were terrible and were properly punished.
Before you go down a path toward 2 referees on the field, remember that FIFA has acted to give the AR's more responsibility and there are 3 referees on the field, and all call fouls. The AR's do not issue cards, but almost without exception if an AR calls for a card, it is given. If you add another referee on the field, what you get is more problems like in the NBA, where one referee can be whistle-happy, the other has swallowed his, and the players have a very hard time adjusting to different tempos at each end.
I favor some 'adjustments' to make play more fluid. The NBA and NHL both have with some success. Where I think FIFA failed was trying to implement changes just before their biggest tournament. Changes should not be made in between the Confederations Cup and the World Cup. The world is too big of a place to make global changes in a one-month runup to the World Cup.
Hollywood, tres non. Cinema Francais, based on a novel by Camus.
A career ended as it began. Zizou, you should have been nicknamed Taureau.
There is "class" in the sense of upper-class deportment, and there is class as in being born Moroccan in France. Even Jackie Robinson punched an umpire. He just didn't do it immediately prior to walking into the sunset.
Amazingly, the country of Italy, the national team, the Italian league, etc. are being villified as racist yet, have any of the bloggers posting this garbage ever watched a Serie A game?!?!?! The teams are FILLED WITH FOREIGNERS, I suppose the Serie A teams are RACIST for paying Henry, Trezeguet, and LOADS OF OTHER players of african or foreign descent MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF EUROS TO PLAY IN SERIE A!!!!!!!! I would love for these bloggers to look at the lineups for teams like Inter, Juventus, AC Milan, etc. ENOUGH WITH THE IGNORANCE ALREADY!!!!
What Zidane did was absolutly right, materazzi called him names and Zidane made sure that materazzi wasn't gona get away with it. Don't you think that Zidane knew what the consequences of his act would be, ofcourse he new. He wasn't out on the pitch to prove any thing, even if he hadn't played the final the World knows that he is a legend. There is no doubt that France was a better team on the fianl day, only Italy got lucky. In my opnion Zidane is a true legend, he stands for his values, morals and his game and it only takes a real man to stand up for what he believes in no matter what the occasion.
Unfortunately this will taint Zidane's legacy, since this is the last thing most of us will ever see of him. If he was coming back for SA2010, then it would be a different story.
I agree that the Italian dude must have said something to set him off......but at that point in the game, you just have to keep it together......easy for me to say of course, but Zidane is a veteran of tons of big games, and I'm sure he's heard every insult possible, and few that aren't. Still, bad ending or not, he's the greatest player of his generation (Figo couldn't do it in the WC, and Weah never got there), and I salute him.
Zidane is a great player and should be recognized for it, but his actions were not of a team captain in this game. i think he deserved the red card in this match, but we shouldn't let it tarnish his career. i think FIFA should start a review of contraversial plays in critical matches, such as world cup and chapionship games to prevent currupting this beautiful game of ours.
well.. i think french and english players have lost their senses and they are trying to justfy a foolish thing, ZZ deserve it... suuch an ugly thing by him...even if refree havn't seen this..it was a foolish act from such a player.. as far as game is concern, Italy scored 2 field goals(2nd one was clear onside n given offside mistakenly) and french only manage to get a PK, if they were too good, y havn't they scored a field goal or any offside one... finaly, team played well throught out the tournament and the final deserved it n they got it... nothing to blame anyone...
I was rooting for Italy, but unlike the author of this article, I think Zidane's aggro did cost France the victory. France was clearly the superior side for most of the second half through overtime. They were as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than Italy even when they were playing a man down. It's possible that Italy would have held out until penalty kicks, but going 11 on 11 with Zidane for another ten minutes -- the odds were good that France would have broken through. And even if not, you still have Zidane as one of your penalty kick takers + plus you aren't battling the psychological disadvantage of not having Zidane as one of your penalty kick takers. I agree with Domenech: France deserved to win. I also agree with one of the previous posts: penalty kicks are horrible. Allow extra substitutions and have them keep playing until someone wins the actual game, not some crapshoot as both losers and winners refer to PKs.
As far as Zidane's sending off: it was a vicious headbutt to Materazzi's sternum; it has to hurt his legacy.
True, athletes are just people and fallible like everyone else. I understand that everyone has weak spots and Zidane's is his temper. But it's going to hurt his legacy. Especially since he did it in the final of the World Cup in his very last international game.
He can remedy his legacy, however, if he takes responsibility. And I don't mean just saying that he's sorry for letting his teammates down (although he should apologize for letting them down). I mean he should take moral responsibility and apologize for the vicious headbutt. LIKE ANY PERSON SHOULD. As much as that headbutt modeled poor behavior, he now has the opportunity to get up and sincerely say that it is difficult at times for him to control his anger, but he has been working at it, and he knows that what he did was wrong, and he intends to keep working at it. I would respect that. That would be a great thing. Because everyone does have weak points, but it takes a strong person to admit it and to commit to improving himself/herself. Very few people are given the physical gifts that Zidane is blessed with. Everyone, though, has the constant opportunity to become a better person and to inspire others to become better people. So I'm hoping that Zidane collects himself and calls a press conference tomorrow and provides us with a different ending.
Don't make excuses for why Zidane has a temper. As captain, his first responsibility is to stay on the field to lead his team. That headbutt was astoundingly stupid, regardless of what provoked it. France might very well have scored again if it had remained at full strength.
headbutt?! the italian guy totally faked it!! I must have watched that replay twenty times. Zidane was walking away, then turned back, his great heroic head hanging slightly forward in shame when materazzi runs up to him, swings his chest forward into the legendary dome of zizou and then throws himself back onto the pitch. this was a disgrace for true football fans everywhere and nothing more than a way to rob a true hero of his deserved legacy.
Zidane's headbutt was undoubtedly one of his most uncharacteristic moments. I couldn't believe my eyes. He is normally so classy and still the hero of millions of kids, and I am sure he already regrets it. But sometimes people can be infuriating, and Materazzi definitely knew exactly what to say. Although it was one of those moments where Zizou lost control, it seems like he tried to brush it off, running past Materazzi, but Materazzi just kept talking and pushed him over the edge. I really felt horrible for Zidane because we don't know both sides of the story yet, which just made Zidane look like a mindless predator. Maybe we never will know what was said. But with a hero like Zidane, I have to believe that what he did to the Italian was deserved, even if it was violent. Zidane is still my hero.
I just don't get the hype about soccer. I honestly tried to pay attention but they're just so boring. How can you spend 90+ minutes playing, and then end up with a tie game?? Then only to have the title of best in the world to be decided by penalty kicks where the goalie hardly has any chance to actually block the ball?? boring. i'd rather watch hockey.
As most of you are clueless about the 'beautiful game' perhaps you'd all be better off commenting on the conduct of some of your overpaid NFL,NBA and Baseball athlete's and their inadequacies. Football is an emotional game at any level, easy to see a reaction to an action by by an 'emotional' master of the game.
Did you see today's worldcup? The one where only Zidane played...ABC did a horrible job. They only mentioned Zidane the whole time. Even after Italy hoisted the cup, they rambled for 3+ hours about Zidane. If Rooney, had head-butted someone, they would have crucified him. But, Zidane was still scoring free penalty kicks. ABC talked, as if , it was exciting.
Zidane is the greatest player of his time and he's up there with the all time greats Pele, Johan & Diego. But, he should not have done what he did. Congratulations to the Italians, they managed to win a world cup by playing ugly soccer, dives, and goating great players into dumb acts. I wonder if the Italians somehow influenced the ref?? Long live Zidane. Long live Zidane
Sure, the headbutt was kinda stupid, but Materazzi probably deserved it . You don't just punch a guy during the WC-Finals in front of a billion people without a reason .
It's not gonna ruin Zizou's legacy at all, though . He made a bad decision at the worst possible time, but a couple of weeks from now, it'll be just another game . he's had a history of red cards, so add one to the list . No big deal !
And he's not gonna lose endorsements or anything, because people like guys with "character" . Anyone remember Eric Cantona ? Another Frenchman who was collecting red cards for a living . He's out of soccer for like 10 years now and he's still shooting NIKE-spots as the bad guy, because people love those "don't mess with me !" - guys .
Zidane will remain the best player of his generation EVEN MORE SO with what happened last night as it reminds us that he is human after all. Also, Italy DID NOT deserve its place in the finals. When you need a "dive" to win most of your games, especially against Australia (!!!), with so many talented players... What a shame !
Football is no more football It is very clear since the beginning that the Italians were using shameful skills other than football. I was waiting the referee to red card an italian player, i was waiting to see some italian play... Human Beings have a certain level of patience at the end, I dare anyone to be in Zidane shoes, let us look at ourselves before judging hastly and wrongly. Hani firstname.lastname@example.org
I am more curious about why Zizou did that. Although that act is not commendable but if Materazzi's remarks are of racial insult, than it might be some thing Zizou has to respond and let the world show its dark side. There are somethings that are bigger than the sports itself. He might have been encountering racial insults all his life, this incident could sum up the life of a true star. I hope 2 Billion people will get the whole story not just the final act.
I am still astonished by the remarks of Spanish coach about Henry and more so by the Spanish foot ball governering body for keeping him.
FIFA should also think about using techonology to remove racial insults on the field as well (Micro phones??). If red card is given for physical insults why not for verbal as well? - If maybe difficult to implement now but something to consider for future.
As far the image of Zizuo is concerned. He was a player of great quality. I will remember him as true Champ, one of the all time greats.
anonymouse 1:38 - You're a moron. how can you say NBA/NFL athletes are overpaid when soccer - oh sorry - football players get just as much, if not more, money?? Get your facts straight first before you run your mouth. As for 'beautiful game' that should be changed to 'beautifully flopped game' after seeing how everyone acts when they've just been barely touched.
Bad, bad, bad Italians, you toke away the victory we wanted and forced our dear Zizou to save our honour. Bad Italians, I will boycott you: tomorrow no pizza for me, Tuesday no lasagne, Wednesday no Chianti and parmesan, Thursday no latte or parma- ham, Friday no spaghetti or milanese, and Saturday I will sell my tickets for Verdi's "Aida" in the Opera-House
while I will watch the world cup again, I will never read a blog full of such garbage. France was lucky to win?! Racists? Materazzi deserved it? I think there should be an age limit to post because I am so sick and tired of hearing from people who sound like they're 12 and live in their parents basement. And the sour grapes? omg, what a bunch of crybaby losers all you supporters of France are. I was hoping the French would win because they are all racists at heart (why is LePen so popular?) and it probably kills them that half their team is from Africa. But at the sametime, Italy won...didn't "deserve" to win, wasn't "lucky" they just won...so get over it!! Neither team "deserves" to win..what is this? 12 yr old little league? And who cares what Materazzi said to him? Your whole team and country is looking to you for leadership!!! Even Zidane's own teamate said after the game that is was a serious infraction! his own teammate!! So good ridance to you all and you can all climb back into your holes for another 4 years. (this is not for the people who blog thoughfully and with some class...)
Anyone who can any longer call Zidane a hero is an idiot. Obviously, the posters who blame Materazzi have never played sports because from day one, you are taught to focus on the game and not "trash-talk". Zidane got what he deserved with the red card, he's a moron and good riddance. The game will be better off without him.
It doesn't matter what materazzi said. a great player shouldn't lose his cool. no matter what the other said. don't belive the news that materazzi said his a terrorist. no one calls a guy from algeria (in Africa) a terrorist. It usually posted at middle easterns not africans.
The linemans saw the foul and told ref through his headset. stop making excuses.
Let me just say this: as an American ( insert insults here... no worries, mate ), and an avid sport's fan, I don't think I missed a day of this World Cup. It was awesome! I grew up playing ice hockey, and played indoor soccer for a stretch, but never really got into it until this World Cup. Thank you Europe, South America, and the rest of you soccer nuts for a truly entertaining series, and especially the final game, which makes the Super Bowl pale in comparison.
He headbutt a guy in the chest, big deal get over it, he's an incredible player and if you let this define your respect for him, then shame on you for being so critical. Maybe we can put you into a similarly desperate situation (a World Cup final) and see how well you contain yourself in the final minutes of an OT?
The ref also missed the illegal use of hands on the Italian goal when the header put his hand on the shoulder of the defender and either held him down or helped himself up higher. Then the takedown of the French player in the box late in the game. They really need two refs, one for each side of the play and they should have instant replay and review of plays. Give each team two chances to have a play reviewed. Also, more yellows for obvious diving will sort that sort of thing out quick.
For those saying that the "offsides" was a bad call, learn to play/watch the game. It was clearly offsides (when the ball is kicked, my friends)
Zidane...what a waste of a great career. The only thing he is ever going to be remembered for is being a an idiot who let down his team in the final few minutes. What a chump. He deserves to be forgotten. See ya!!!!!! (And it isn't the idea of headbutting, or throwing punches, etc. It is the fact that he did something to be ejected at a critical time in the game, and let his team suffer for it. What a jackasss) Sucks for him...to be remembered as a jackass for the rest of his life.
An English newspaper this morning suggests that the insult that made Zizou lose his head (litterally)was indeed racist; Materazzi seems to have used the word "terrorist" while referring to Zidane's Algerian ascent.
This being said it must not be the first time he hears that stuff and it no excuse; legally video refereeing is not in the book so pictures should not have guided the decision but in the end I can not deny the red card...
It did not make France lose the game though, not finishing off an opponent totally dominated for 60 minutes did.
Now it is rebuilding time for France as the Grandpas are retiring(ouch!)...
I am french, and am actually quite ashamed today to be french. I was at a bar with fellow french people watching the game, and the fans actually cheered when they saw zizou headbutt Matarazzi in the stomach. I found that to be barbaric. Despite what everyone on this site says about Italians, the italian players and media were disgraced at rossi after he elbowed Mcbride. How come nobody on this website asks or assumes that MCBRIDE didn't say something bad to provoke the italian player into giving him the elbow? I am glad Italy won, despite not liking the team, because France did not do much other than a steller performance against brazil to deserve the world cup.
It wasn't the headbutt that changed the game. It was Zidane's inability to put that header in the corner. Anywhere else and Buffon would have been helpless. You could see the anger on Zidane's face. He had played 110min of grueling football, he was injured and he missed what should have been a tap in. Nobody was anywhere near him and Sangol placed the cross perfectly. This may sound harsh, but one of the best 5 players ever has to score from there and Zidane knew it.
Fact, Italy won, they are worthy! Fact, ZZ used his head in a way that did not help the team win. The comments from the French are embarassing and are doing more to damage their International reputation. Move on... -Fan in Germany
I think ZZ is one of the best soccer players in the world and we should not judge him as if he had done something so horrible that does not deserve forgiveness from us. Instead we should remember him as the excellent player that he has been with all his human virtues and defects. Santiago Tenesaca
congratulations,ITALY. At last you manage to beat France and your BUFFON-CANNAVARO thing deserved that. Zidane should have kept his cool, whatever the clown told him. As a Coppola's addict, I can't wait to see the match France-Italy coming soon, 6th of september. What will happen to the clown,then? THURAM FOREVER (the real coolest guy...)
well well well, 1st its portugal are dirty they do this and they do that, yes well apart from a bad rap they got "undeservedly against netherlands" they didnt do much wrong. where is all the talk now about france? the penalty for a foul on malouda was hardly credible, it looked a dive, all the dives by the same malouda in the 2nd half didnt result in anything thankfully, yet there is the endless onslaught on ronaldo because his teammate rooney is stupid enough to get himself sent off.
im glad italy won, they deserved it, all be it with some dubious penalties and diving themselves.
Zidane is a mature athlete, a captain of the squad and more importantly should have known better than to resort to school yard tactics. He let his country and team down. What shame to end such a brillant career with such a stupid reaction.
The only thing this proved was that Zidane was not a "God" but a mere man. A man who failed to rise to the challenge and resorted to being a thug when it was time to choose.
"Seriously? You're going to base your entire opinion on one act, in one match, in one instance? Are we all to be judged in that way? Should we judge the writer of this column for one sentence or one incorrect usuage of a word? If you look for perfection in ordinary mortals you will always be disappointed."
Seriously, don't try to compare what Zidane did to an incorrect usage of a word. What he did was a cheap and classless act, it doesn't matter what he has accomplished in his career. Somtimes, one bad decision can ruin everything and that's exactly what Zidane did today. Yes, life is that unfair.
Franz Beckenbauer on German TV said immediately after the match that what ZZ did is bad indeed, but he forgives him, he'll remember the good things ZZ did, "er hat das Speil gegen Brazil allien gewonen" / he alone won the game against Brazil, that he would love to see ZZ play for Bayern Munich next year.
Anyway the referee did what he had to and so is the outcome. Let's hope that the French will be able to build a new team with new talent able to make for very entertaining games to watch and lots of goals in the future.
Besides ZZ case, I want to express recognition to the gunner of Arsenal FC Thierry Henry, he had a busy night and did a lot of good work.
I'm an Italy supporter and I respect and admire Zidane very much. However, it is absolutely ludicrous that anyone would think Materazzi deserved that headbutt. Regardless of what he said, Zidane was wrong. Athletes have been spitting curses and the like at each other since the school playground years. If any of the Italians did what Zidane did everyone would want his head. Just because Zizou is a spectacular player does not make him above the 'laws' of the game or sportsmanship.
And to those who STILL go on about Italian 'simulators'. Give it a rest. The French only earned that penalty because Malouda dived. Materazzi actually moved his leg out of the way so he wouldn't hit him. Watch the reply 10+ times again... I did.
Portuguese players dive way more than the Italians. But in any case, give the champions credit. They won. Brazil won in 1994 on penalties too yknow. No one can play 'attractive' football 100% of the time.
As for the match-fixing scandal; it does not involve the players at all. Do not attribute the wrongdoings back in Italy to the players on the field.
I guess Zidan was under pressure, exactly when he was injured and he asked to be replaced. He is a great player indeed, but this ending will never be forgoten especially ending his outstanding career like this. Sorry Zizuo and hard luck with Real Madrid
Zizou did his best for France and you're right the damage he did to himself was more than the damage he inflicted on his team, so let's put this behind us. Instead, let's remember that Zidane scored the first and only goal of the match in a stunning penalty. And above all, let's remember that Zidane had been the inspirational figure of Les Bleus.
Zidane is not a moron. What a moronic comment. However, as a native French who's passionate about soccer, I am not very happy with the state of the game. Diving skills are key, PKs should never decide a finals, and the team that doesn't play win (France won that way before). I think FIFA needs to seriouly look at his game. I am increasingly becoming a fan of American football. Go Redskins!
Zidane's head but was seen by the world in replays.....did anyone notice the lack of class by the head French trainer Domenech by removing his medal from his neck as he was leaving the awards platform. Maybe Zidane's lack of sportmanship was the result of training...
Whatever Zidane did, there must be a reason which none of us know except him. He is human too. He could be angry(I can imagine what materazzi said to him). Feel so much pain to see such a great player (one of the best player in the history) to end his glorious careen in this painful way. Zidane will be remembered as one of the best sportsman and he should be forgiven by his countrymen. Feel so sad for Zidane.
I'm of the belief that whatever Materazzi said, it probably deserved far worse than a head butt, and that if Materazzi said it to Zidane in a pub, he would be yelling it from ten feet away with a mass of people between the two. Italy is sort of like Portugal, they make it a prevailing strategy to dive, goad, and get opposing players thrown out of games. The real shame is that the game was decided on penalty kicks. A terrible way to end a game.
Fifa does need to institute video review and suspend players for diving after the fact. But they should also institute a rule on the field to combat it. I suggest that any time play is stopped for an injury, the injured player must either be immediately substituted for or sit out for a period of ten minutes. I watched pretty much every World Cup game, and there were only 2 real injuries-Michael Owen of Engalnd and Jan Koller of the Czech Republic, and both of those players were in questionable health before they ever played a game. It really is a beautiful game, but it's a shame that most of the players are so pathetic that they'd rather take a dive to get a free kick than actually trying to score a goal.
We should be watching a beautiful game - but the modern game is no longer that. 3 things that will improve the world game: 1) If a player goes down and requires medico attention then the player should be required to stay off the field for 5 mins (or more). The game is consistently stopped for players who are feaking near death only to go to the sidelines and start imediately to jump up and down to get back in. 2) There should be a post match trial by video - where all dives carry various degrees of penalties (match suspensions) 3) Get rid of penalty shoot outs!!! So many teams appear to settle for the shoot out as soon as the fist whistle is blown to start the game! If at full time the score is tied - immediately take off two defenders from both teams and go into extra time. If after the first 15mins the the score is still tied, remove another player from each team and so on after each 15min interval. Let a team score a REAL goal to win a match. If they do not have the fallback of the shootout - THEY WILL!!!
I also do not believe that the foul was seen by a offical, I do believe in fact that the lines man who made the call viewed the replay on the giant titantron in the stadium. My reasoning for this thought, I noticed before the match started that there was at least a 4 second delay on the stadiums screen, between the T.V. viewers and the stadium viewers for the screen's broadcast. So I think the the second offical watched it on the screen, and made the call. It was a red card offense and yet Zidane should not have been sent off. What a career. I still wanna know what was sadi like the rest of the people around the world. Thanks for reading.
A player of such caliber and experience should have walked away to whatever Materazzi might have told him. What a shame and he will be remembered for this. The last shot of Zidane in the WC will be of this incident. He put a cloud over his legacy. Very unfortunate. I believe FIFA should put in place some sort of instant replay for fouls only committed in the penalty box. believe me it will not waste much time. Players and ref already wasted time when a penalty is in question. Why not put in place an instant replay? Italy should have won 1-0. The penalty was not near being a cute foul. The ref made a big mistake. Never give a penalty in the final of a world cup if the foul is not clearly obvious. I vote for instant replay. In conclusion, I am an Italian and support Italy. I am glad they won. Also, they should have played a bit better because they could. Also, I am saddened by Zidane's behaviour. He could have caused a heart attack on Materazzi. He should be banned from the game and any association to it. He could have killed the man. Sad ending for a great player. Viva Italia!!!!
Posted: 8:05 PM by Anonymous replying to the gentleman who said:"... they deserved Oscars! ps, boo hoo Aussies". Please sport and in particular football means non violence and accept to loose!!!! For your information: World Cup Champions 2006 Italy 2002 Brazil 1998 France 1994 Brazil 1990 West Germany 1986 Argentina 1982 Italy 1978 Argentina 1974 West Germany 1970 Brazil 1966 England 1962 Brazil 1958 Brazil 1954 West Germany 1950 Uruguay 1938 Italy 1934 Italy 1930 Uruguay
All of you who excuse Zidane's action because Materazzi maybe, possibly, could have, conceivably, perhaps, perchance said some racial slur are seriously deluded. Grow up, we do not nor will we ever live in some fantasy post-modernist utopia, things are said, nasty things, but they do not excuse such bizarre behavior. And even if we are to assume that Materazzi said something of that sort (which is presumptuous and unfair to him), Zidane is a grown man and on the biggest world stage and he plainly and simply blew it, both for himself and his fans.
Italy was the better team (with the faux penalty, non-offsides offsides and the shot hitting the crossbar, Italy could have won 3-0) and Italy is unequivocally world champions.
YES it was a mistake, but NO it was not a shameful one, YES it was classless, but NO it was not idiotic. I am pretty sure what Zidane heard was a grave personal insult, if not a racist one too, and I don't blame any MAN if he couldn't swallow that. Sometimes no matter how "smart" you are, you'd rather punch that jerk and pay the price instead of bearing -for a long, long time- a memory of his insult and the only chance you had to do something about it. But again, not everyone can undertand that sense of pride, and for those it is sheer stupidty. Sure it was a mistake, but I don't blame Zidan for it, and It definitely did not cost his team the Cup.
I agree wholeheartedly with the two previous posters. ANYONE who has played any sport on any level knows that throwing insults, slurs, and other trash happens all the time. That doesn't make it right to insult or offend someone based on their heritage or family, but it is something that has everyone has learned to deal with while playing competitive ball from the age of 5. Nothing that could have been said warranted the flagrant and vulgar action performed by Zizane. For the people who think Zizane is the victim, I guarantee you he was slinging verbal jabs just as Metarazzi was.
Talking smack is nearly constant in basketball, football, hockey, and baseball. They are simply words, get it over it! I guarantee you that almost every single person has at sometime been called an offensive word and also at some point insulted someone else. The difference is, not many people decided to drive their head into someone's lungs.
Several of you show even more ignorance and blinding bias by attempting to insinuate that the italian players are involved in the game fixing scandle. It doesn't take very much research to find out that NOT ONE professional player (in the WC or not) is being investigated or accused of any part of the scandle. It's at a club and administrative levle. Get your facts straight before you start spewing your uneducated opinion.
I'm also sorry to inform the French and their fans that it is likely Zizane will go down as a vilian in the game of soccer. Yes, it stinks, and is likely inaccurate, but that's the way the ball rolls. Especially due to the fact that millions upon millions of people were watching the game tonight who had very little to no idea who Zizane was. The only thing they will remember is his unsportsmanlike conduct. Zizane will certainly become a household name through out the world, just not for game play.
Well, that headbutt was pretty amazing in its own right. He really laid into that guy. I don't particularly care for either team but I really felt that Italy won in pks made the whole game pointless for me mainly because they were outplayed I would say 90% of that game. This is and will continue to be my greatest complaint about the sport. The Italians are very, very lucky that Buffon played on their team. But, hell, they won and thats that. Sports are sports and this stuff happens and wicked headbutting as well.
I feel that his Zidane had to go out he did the best possible way i.e. in style Plus he’s now going to be remembered as the badass that head butted and leveled a dude in the final game of the world’s most important soccer event
a few points, firstly materazzi only wasn't booked because he was on the ground,secondly in my opinion zizou should have headbutted fabio grosso coz grosso broke the hearts of aussie,germany and france and finally aussie should have at least lost that game on a penalty shootout coz grosso's dive should have given aussie a freekick and not an italian penalty from matty in N.Z.
This World Cup wasn't very respresentative for football as a sport. And when a lot of 'first time' viewers, obviously attracted by its highlight reel promotion, starts comparing it with Americanized sports: imagine this. This is crossing 90 yard with without stopping the clock plays every 'down'. A lot of whiners probably don't know Materazzi 'aka' The Razor or 'The Butcher'. Every incident involving him has two sides.
What? your kidding right? "let this not cloud our view of Zidane..."??? Please!...let us remember this is not the first time he has assalted another player. last time he put his heal in the back of a downed player and was ejected the same way.
the Italian should have said soething that question marked his honor, there should be an investigation on it. Zidane is wrong in doing that but the Italian was wrong to provoke him verbally, is there a red card for such a verbal foul? Zidane is a great player and would be a legend what so ever.
Ohh pleaasee..this was not the first time Zidane had issues with discipline. He was suspended for France's final group match in this World Cup after receiving yellow-card warnings for fouls in each of France's first two matches. During group play of the 1998 World Cup, he received a two-game suspension for stamping on the back of a Saudi Arabian player. In 2000, he was barred for five matches after HEAD-BUTTING (so not his first time really..) an opponent while playing for Juventus..
it's sad to see zizou make an exit the way he did. on the other hand, it's great to see a punk like materazzi get nailed. players who shit-talk deserve to get laid out on the ground. zizou deserved a red card, but my only hope is that materazzi suffers some long-term heart damage.
this world cup was disgusting. primarily, the portuguese and the italians. they are truly ruining soccer w/ their theatrics and underhanded personalities. ronaldo, murihno, materazzi, de rossi, all roma, lazio, and inter supporters.
zidane simply did what anyone who wanted good soccer has wanted to do to an italian or portuguese.
i like most sports, though soccer, basketball, and hockey are my prefered. but to compare the pressure on zidane to that on jordan is absurd. only chicago gave a damn about his exploits. a whole country cared about zidane (or any other WC player, except for the US; why do we even support donovan anymore?)
pele==money hungry (cosmos?), maradona== drug addict, ego-centric, all around crazy zidane== short fuse
i don't really see why a headbutt to a degenerate would relegate zidane to the 2nd tier of soccer greats.
The call shouldn't have been called because the refs saw the replay on the screen. Everybody knows that. Who cares if Zidane did it. He owned Materazzi with that headbutt. I mean it was beautiful and Materazzi must've done something to provoke it and he probably deserved it. Either way Zidane doesn't take crap from anyone. He's still the best hands down.
I read these postings, and can't believe, how americans want to change the worlds game. You guys, whatched your first world cup, and pretend to know the game. Diving is a part of the sport. As referee mistakes. Who follows Football knows that. This game is more than 100 years old. Fifa don't change the rules every couple of years. And thank god! As a fan sometimes it's frustrating to accept bad decisions, especially when your favorite team loses, but hey, I'm willing to accept it. Refereeing in this world cup was bad. Too much red and yeallow cards. Champions League refereeing is much better. Fifa should take example from champions league. Other then that it was a great world cup. Can't wait for South Africa 2010! Forza italia!
I know u zidan! Almost everyone’s favorite and an extra ordinary player who having own extra ordinary touch in every moment, which I can realize with seeing ‘shocking’ headbutt!!! Materazzi might use bad words to you.
Putting instant replay into soccer is by far the single worst idea i have ever heard. There is a reason theres a running clock and only one break in the action, the fluidity of the game. Add 2 minute long breaks to watch something that should have been seen in the firstplace like a headbutt, and the entire sport is ruined.
Hey, to everybody who posted negative comments, how dare you judge one person's entire career based on one act, one game, one moment. As if you know him personally. As if you know what's going on inside him during that game. Who know's what Matarazzi could've said to him, to warrant that headbutt. It doesn't change a bit how great a football player zizou is. A lot have said, he should've kept his cool. Wow! As if you yourselves can handle it. So to you bozos, including the negative press, who act like you're perfect and know life better than anyone else. Well, I hope that someday, you will encounter the most frustating moment in your lives, so damn low that you will do a shameful act, far worse than what zizou did in that game, and never recover.
For all those who say that Zidane will now be remembered for his head are totally right. Yet not his headbutt of Materazzi, but rather his two bullet headers against Brazil in the 98 world cup final. Although his headbut of the Italian woos was inexplicably stupid, it probably was provoked. No one, I hope adn definetely not Zizou, would headbut a guy for no reason. Materazzi said racial slurs about his being Algerian and then told him that he is in debt to Italian football and Marcello Lippi (the Azzuri coach),a dn that Zizou is an ungrateful dog. No doubt Italians have been saying this crap the whole tournamnent long, and Materazzi finally go twhat the whole team deserved, a beatdown. That was a nasty awesome headbutt. In the end, Zidane one of the most beautiful, creative, talented and passionate players oif all time, and unquestionably the greatest player of his time, will be remembered as that, the greatest, not a vicious man. All great athletes have a dark side. Michael Jordan gambled and threw away millions. Ricky Williams smoked pot (O.K. so he's not a great athelte, but he was good in his day). Long live the memory of the 98 world cup final, and long live the memory of Zizou. Merci Zizou
It's really a tragic end of an ICON. Zidane, no doubt, a heroic player lost his temper in a crucial match. It's really shamful. But at the same time we all must salute Zidane at the toilite of his career.
Now think about this: the man who is captain of his team, the man who is one of the greatest footballers of all time, a living legend, a man not known for dramatics and play acting, a man ending his career with hopes of lifting his team and country to one more world cup victory, a man who knows the whole world is watching and knows all about video replay cameras, just all of a sudden decides to committ a foul and get himself ejected from the most important match of his life? It seems to me that the REAL focus of interest in ALL of this must be: "What the hell did that Italian player say, or do, to goad a man, at such a crucial point in his career, into this kind of action?!" OK, granted, Zidane has previously committed one or two acts like this, but that hardly qualifies him as a "hot head." Come one people, this guy is defined by his cool, calm, and mature play on the pitch! I hope the truth will come to light about what, exactly, provoked this unfortunate episode and that the Italian player who provoked it will get his just reward.
"Anyone who can any longer call Zidane a hero is an idiot. Obviously, the posters who blame Materazzi have never played sports because from day one, you are taught to focus on the game and not "trash-talk". Zidane got what he deserved with the red card, he's a moron and good riddance. The game will be better off without him."
You need help,sir.Seek some counseling.He's still the greatest. If focusing on the game was that easy there would be no referees or regulations etc.He's a very emotional person.He probably got severely insulted.That's no excuse but it's a reason.At least for him.
Mighty Zidane! dost thou lie so low? Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well.
I know not, gentlemen, what you intend, Who else must be let blood, who else is rank: If I myself, there is no hour so fit As Zidane's death hour, nor no instrument Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich With the most noble blood of all this world.
Stoop, then, and wash. How many times shall Zidane/(Caesar) bleed in sport?
I thought the headbutt was awesome. I hadn't really paid attention to Zidane before this World Cup which is one of the only one's I really paid attention to. There's only so much crap one guy is willing to take. Sure, it cost France the World Cup (maybe) but why would Zidane care? He already won them one back in 98. I can't imagine what you would have had to say to get such a prompt and aggressive response. There are some things you just can't take, even if you are considered a great player. And c'mon, it took the refs about an hour to make the call. Sure, it was the right call, but the refs were so inconsistent the whole time I wouldn't have been surprised if he got away with it. To me, it makes Zidane even better, a Frenchman not willing to just lay down and take crap. Kudos to you Zidane, you're my new hero. You've gained one American's respect for your country of France. You don't owe them anything!
Frankly, Zidane was a good player but not the GOD the media was making him out to be. The reporters and commentators like to just pick a topic and run with it and Zidane happened to be it this time. They were saying what a classy player he is (before the head butt). Oh please....
I don't care what that guy was telling him to piss him off that bad but given the circumstances he should have controlled himself better. That's just plain stupid.
VIVA ITALIA!! Italy definitely deserved to win. They had the better team thruout the tournament. It was Team Italia that won not individuals...how many other teams can boast that? Besides enough said about Zizou. He's an experienced player with excellent skills and it exactly because of that his actions are inexcusable. Like it or not he let down his fans, his country and worst of all himself.
"Regardless of "the great" zidane's stupid decision - italy should have won this game in regulation - the penalty call and subsequent goal should have never happened because it was not a penalty. The offsides call on italy's second goal was also a bad call - brazil had 4 offsides in the ghana game that weren't called and they scored on 3 of them...
the better team won today and the best team in the tounament won overall...."
You obviously know nothing about football.Germany had the best overall performance and some bad luck.Italy got lucky several times.France was the better team in the final but unlucky also.
From the BBC: 13 members of the deliriously-happy Italian squad are drawn from the four clubs implicated in the match-fixing scandal and they face the ultimate dichotomy. On Tuesday morning last week, prosecutor Stefano Palazzi recommended that four of the country's most famous clubs - Juventus, Lazio, Fiorentina and AC Milan - be relegated from Serie A for their alleged part in a match-fixing scandal.
On Sunday they celebrate winning Italy's first World Cup in 24 years; next Friday, they might be looking for new employers following the demotion of their clubs. Yet Italy coach Marcello Lippi has managed to use the match-fixing scandal to forge an amazing togetherness and team spirit in the Italy squad. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/world_cup_2006/teams/italy/5150352.stm
"Italy is the best team in the WORLD!!!!!! The world has lost all respect for ZZ. It was the worst show of sportsmanship ever!!! Both teams played a tough game and even if ZZ was around for the PK's ITALY would have still won!!!"
I was in favor of Italy but Zidane is one of my favourite players and seeing him doing such a terrible think actually makes me wonder what that Italian must have said. There are things we all are sensitive about and if that Italian player has hit zidane where it will hurt him the most then i am with Zidane. I would really like to hear comments of both of the players on this incident.
Zizou made an unjustified and impulsive error at the spur of the moment. It can happen to the best of us. Only sanctimonious individuals who place sportsmen on too high a pedestal, can devalue his legacy as a footballer on the basis of 2 minutes of madness. It is ridiculous that anybody would write off years of top class football due to an implusive reaction. It is not like he engaged in a long pre-meditated violation of a sacrosanct ethical code such as taking drugs. There are extenuating circumstances (the act was impulsive and he was provoked). Having said that he did not have a sense of occassion.
Having said that, I do not subscribe to the mythical status ascribed to him, due to the magical performances against Brazil and Spain in this world cup. He has been one of the top players and maybe the useful purpose that this event will have is it will quieten those seeking hollywood endings. Heroes are human beings and personally I prefer flawed heroes rather than media fabricated, mythical heroes.
let's face it.....France conducted a football clinic and loved it.....Italy wanted to WIN......no matter what.........materazzi said something terrible to Zouzou and got wacked.......but hey.....was that a great wack or what?.........in all fairness, Materassi played his part well......that was a stage fall to beat all stage fall.........now if we can only help the poor Italians to play football rather than focus all their attention on winning Bingi in Amsterdam
I still don't get what I saw last night projected off the wall of a large screen next a favorite beer garden of mine as I witnessed one of the most uncharacteristic scenes for a 110th minute of any World Cup ever. It's almost as if they switched channels for a split second to some meaningless match being played in the streets of France. There's no way something like that could have occurred. Not from any player wanting to help his team win a World Championship, so late in the game and certainly not from a Zinedine Zidane.
I wish I could be venting about a team playing the last 75 minutes of a match to reach a penalty shoot-out or how great it was to watch one of the greatest players of all time in his last match or just about anything but this. Unfortunately though, Zidane lost it when it counted the most... for himself, his team, his nation, the Cup and every fan around the world who watched.
Sad end to a great tournament and career. Congrats to the Italiens.
Words are words? Wrong. I am a damn hippy, but when someone says something to provoke a fight, sometimes you must call their bluff. I cheered out loud when Zidane got sent off and feel it only makes his career greater. He took the card like a man, and it energized the French squad, like a coach being sent off in basketball. If matterazzi was a man he would have jumped to his feet to defend himself, instead he writhed on the ground like an injured snake.
France should have won! They played better, and Zidan´s missfotune needs to be analysed!! The provocation from Italy was totally uncalled for, he should have got red too!! Viva la France!!! You are the winners,no matter what the result was!!!!
Once again defense and guts wins championships in any sport. Italy had the best defense, especially up the middle with Cannavaro, Materazzi and Buffon. 2 goals the whole tournament with one being an own goal and the other on a (dubious) penalty kick can not be just good luck. More than any other team, Italy showed determination and courage in winning when they had to. Even in PKs. Think scoring on 5 consecutive PKs is easy after having played 120 minutes in 2 consecutive games?
Zizou? Not the first time he has lost his head. He will be remembered for this forever, especially if this was truly his last act on the football pitch.
After the penalty, I tought it would end just like Portugal - France. That penalty killed the match since the beginning.
But Italy reaction was great, they dominated the first half and eventually managed to even up the score. It takes something, to react to such a blow.
France only managed to shoot the ball on target four times, in the whole match. I wouldn't call that "dominating the match".
Sure, in the second half they had more breath to spend. But despite that, they only managed to shoot 4 times on target.
The fact is that Italy was the best team in this World Cup. Football is not only about showoffs in the opponent's side. Football is also about not taking goals. Nobody ever managed to score a "regular" goal against Italy. And so, they won. And they deserved to.
Zidane was the bst player on the field---head butt or no head butt!! The Italians didnt were outplayed throughout the game---- and they should have won an oscar award for acting--not the World CUp. Zidane still is the Best---and even a 100 head butters would nto tarnish his image!!!
Zidane is a TOTAL sideshow. Italy won this World Cup on their merits. That was the greatest PK round - in the Finale - I have ever seen. France did well too. Italy is ecstatic and rightfully so. Good for them. Excellent defense and everyone in the top 15 players at some point contributed this WC. Bravo!!
Italy won this game. The true score was 2-0. The French player who was awarded the penalty should have been given a yellow for simulation and Toni's header was clearly onside. Italy won in regulation. France needed an undeserved penalty kick to score. If the Italian goal had stuck Zidane would have gone out a hero instead he will be remembered by many for his brutal act of violence. The rightful owners of the Cup are the Italians...FORZA AZZURI...We now have 4!!!!!
After watching practically all the World Cup matches I have to say yellow cards should be handed out to many of the referees. No doubt though that both Rooney (England) and "Zizou", (France), merited their red cards but there were many unmerited "offsides" throughout the WC matches. The red card should be handed to the Russian ref who handed out a record 16 yellow cards in one match. The refs can, not only, influence the outcome of a match, but also, the character of how a match is played in the friendly or otherwise temper of each team its opponents.
even if Zidane did what he did that doesn't make less an human being i think the person to lame is the italian why should he do what he did if he were in his shoes what would he have done? I dont consider that a bitter end for Zidane but i would say a Glorious end cut short. I love and I will always do. Zidane is still one of the greatest player this world ever produced. He is a mentor to many even his former team mates can attest to that.
well, it looks like FIFA just elected Zidane as best player of this world Cup... So for the moron (previous post) who seems to play a lot of sports and who apparently knows to focus on the game and not on trash-talks, that's for you.
We will remener Zidane, we will forget about Materazzi.
1. 2 referees 2. No more penalty kicks, in regular time, or afterward. 3. A real clock for the game. 3 periods of 30 minutes of real play. If tied after 90 mins, another period of 30 mins, ad infinitum. 4. Why have 22 players when you can only play 14? more substitutions allowed, especially if you go overtime. 5. Hope for a game with an average score of 4-3, instead of 1-0 or 1-1. Then one bad call won't decide everything. 6. No more red cards. Send guys out for 10 minute penalties, like hockey.
It's a small mistake compared to a career full of achievements. Zidane deserved the red card, but the Italian player must have said something really bad to get him to react this way. For someone like Zidane, respect is of utmost importance and I am sure the Italian player made a very disrespectful remark that led a decent, gentle and well mannered Zidane to behave this way. He is still the BEST and I am sure the Italian player will feel ashamed of himself for what he said.
The fact is, both France and Italy are countries that have been in decline for hundreds of years, and football is one of only two things that can excite them. Actually, for Italy, it's apparently the only thing. The French, at least, can get themselves worked up enough to protest against the idea of perhaps having to do more work. Italy has barely been capable of governing itself since even before the fall of Rome, and France's major contribution to the modern world is the idea of the 35-hour work week, with 5 weeks paid vacation. I guess working 8 hours a day was just too much for them.
In short, the French and Italians should both hang their heads in shame because their football teams are the only things in their countries they can sometimes be proud of. When they're not headbutting people or rigging matches with the help of referees, that is.
The final encapsulated what football is all about. For the uninitiated, a Football match is about moments, like in life, of triumphs and failings, of passion and pain. For the impartial fans of the game, it was a glorious final indeed for everything it displayed. The sending-off of Zizou, a footballing hero still in my heart, displayed why most Americans do not really appreciate the beautiful game. Football is never about the hollywood ending which Americans expect but that of a Shakespearean tragedy which everyone else in the world have been accustomed to.
All of Europe is waiting for Zidane to explain himself. I am interested to know more about whether he was called a terrorist.
If so...it wouldn't explain using a lethal weapon (the most powerful headbutting forehead in the world)on the solar plexus of someone who was not expecting it.
And this taunting talk...I didn't see too many words used. Certainly the words were over for several seconds before the attack. The Italian clearly didn't expect to be attacked after the words were over. I am fascinated to know what was said. The nipple twisting concept? I didn't see that, but could have happened. If so...the Italian was clearly out of bounds and the truth should come out...but the red card was deserved by the one who physically attacked the other with premeditation.
Zinedine Zidane got mad at an Italian player. Why would somebody walk back to a player to hit him for nothing? There is no fire without smoke. A player cannot physically assault you but can verbally assault you without being punished? They should have both been red carded as well as Bufon (who is implicated in serious cheating in the Italian soccer championship and may be charged) for talking to all the refs - he is a player not a ref. In the end we have an Italian team who barely played in the second half and during the overtime. Most of the Italian players are implicated in some heavy cheating scheme in Italy and they won the world cup by default. Nobody likes the way the play nor their attitude (the whistling proved it) and they will be severely punished for their cheating. If the Italians wanted the cup at that price without courage or honor let them have it - the French do not want it. (Posted by Marc - a Canadian living in France).
haha when is it ever a good idea to attack another player, especially at a critical moment in the game and in your career? zidane has the emotional IQ of a monkey. never seen tom brady or MJ do something like that.
I also don't know how a team that wins cannot "deserve" to win. But I know France deserved to lose. they scored their only goal on a flop penalty kick (btw zidane's pk attempt was terrible and he was fortunate it went in...it was obviously off target)
Italins will go any dirty lenght to get what they want. They tryed it in serie A it's working out and now it worked out for them in the world cup.
The head-butting was deserved but ten mins later wuold have been a perfect time.
ZZ! You've proved urself the most skillful player and you've also proved urself a MAN. Your legasy will live 4ever. ZZ is not just the MVP of this world cup. He's simply the BEST. A thuoght from Dublin
How can you try to justify Zidane's action? It makes no sense. He can be a good football player. Only that. He has no brains. My first thought after seeing the replay of the headbutt was "God, Zizou is crazy. He is a potential killer". Shame on him.
Yes, it's true. Italy is my team, but I also admired Zidane. Not anymore.
So Buffon, Canavaro and Materazzi beat Zidane, Henry and Vieira. Good for Italy, bad for football. Destruction of the game triumphs over creation. OK, teamwork, passion, discipline, and so on are good qualities, but not interesting to watch. Elbow in face of Brian McBride, false penalty in last minute against Australia, foul on Viera that led him eventualy out of the game, a just penalty on Malouda not awarded, provoking Zidane, no rael intention and ability to score... You just cant say bravo Italia.
I don't know about you guys but I THOROUGHLY enjoyed seeing that spectacle hahaha. Yaaa he, like everyone else, is human and therefore allowed to play with such passion and intensity right? I don't think it's very cool to put him on such a pedestal, which you've created, so that once he fucks up you can declare that you've "lost respect" for the him. I'm also not too sure if he has played the way he has because he was feared your judgement. It was his choice so don't cry about how your precious personal image of him has changed. Too bad it hurt France's chance for the cup so badly though, really wanted them to beat Italia. Oh well phenomenal header that was matched by the save then an unexpected header into materazzi chest. Oops this is so long, but honestly it's a passionate game and we love to see this no? Yay Zizou!
Fully agree the FIFA should use TV feeds to monitor the games better than the referees can today and it would no doubt help to reduce all the dives, Schwalbes plus wrong calls on off-side (which usually hurts the offending team). I am not sure if it would have changed the outcome of this final: also with cameras the refs would have given one PK to France and would have seen that Toni's header was indeed off-side. However any FIFA cameras would not have recorded what Materazzi said that ignited Zidane.
It is a shame the WC is decided by PK's: this is one big lottery. Italy didn't win because they were better last night, they were just more lucky than France. That doesn't mean they didn't deserve to win; overall Italy played a pretty good tournament, but the same goes true for France.
Back to Zidane: it is ridiculous to question the red card. He deserved it. He is a great player but unfortunately he has got a dark side.
Italy: go out and party, but keep in mind that tomorrow everyone will talk again about all the ugly fraud that has systematically wasted your competition and will ruin your reputation as a strong league.
Overall it is a WC with a hang-over. In many ways!
Some Swedish TV-stations and newspapers don't understand how important it is for a soccer player like Zidane to keep his cool: there are millions of young soccer fans, thinking of Zidane as a role modele.
For some Swedish journalists, they just keep talking about Zidane's football skills: well, isn't that like talking about John McEnroe's feeling for the (tennis) game and NOT mentioning how he acted on court?
tomorrow no pizza for me, Tuesday no lasagne, Wednesday no Chianti and parmesan, Thursday no latte or parma- ham, Friday no spaghetti or milanese, and Saturday I will sell my tickets for Verdi's "Aida" in the Opera-House
I got the joke.... :-p. Better ban one thing per day, so that other things can still be tried.
Remember that Zidane was tired and playing injured. Pain tends to provoke anger and he probably just snapped. In retrospect, he should have left the match when when he was injured. Too bad. I feel sorry for him.
First off, let me say that Zidane's actions were extremely stupid. Secondly, he is one of the 5 greatest players ever. The way he directs the game from the center is incredible. Say what you want about Ronaldinho's tricks, but he cannot control the game the way Zidane does.
Now to the point. Some people here have said that it does not matter if one of the referees saw the play live, saying that he should have been sent of regardlessly. I do not believe this is true. If none of the referees saw it live, than he should not have been sent off. When an offside goal is scored the refs are also not allowed to look at replays. So if his red card was given because of TV replays, it was not justified, because that would be inconsistent refereing. So the red card was definitely justified, but not if replays were needed. I think he did this to signal to everybody that he wants to be left alone from now. I would be very surprised if we see Zidane anywhere near the football (soccer) industry in the near future. He will look to get away from the game, kind of like Sampras after he retired from tennis.
anonymous said... Zidane didn't deserve to be sent off, there were countless times he was taken down hard and he didn't react, to say he let down the country is wrong, how many of you can say you have had the country's hearts and minds behind you putting on all the pressure you probably wouldn't handle, if we knew what was said, we might've wanted him to stand up for himself, the difference is France are sporting, and Italy are cheating, crying, oily mamas boys and if they want to act like men and antagonize someone to the point they catch a crack then so be it, the officials should stop the acting, crying, misleading, winging, bad sportsmen and then maybe a true sportsmen wont be forced to act in this way.
Zidane finally showed his true colors on the world stage. He has always been a dirty player. Forget about all the good things he has done. Not many remember he recieved a red card in '98 for stomping on a player, but it was in the group stages, but now in the final...dirty player. He should not be mentioned amoung the greats of soccer because of his actions. There is no excuse.
And FIFA is a joke, still letting him win the golden ball award. Especially when they refused to give the best young player award to Ronaldo for "fair play". Even if the votes came in before the headbutt, they should have disqualified him for the award.
When all is said and done this hasnt been the best of world cups. Yes there were some great goals in the beginning and the fans and the hosts have been fantastic. But Germany 2006 will be remembered for red cards, for players cheating, diving, feigning injury and for players getting fellow professionals sent off. Even the main man Beckenbaur has stated this, but will Fifa do something about it? And there hasnt been too many really great games. Germany v Italy and Croatia v Australia were probably the best (both played in Dortmund). Some of the group games involving Ivory Coast and Ghana, and Argentina v Mexico were alright.
But in the final only won team really played football. Yes the Italians were awesome in defence the whole tournament, but in the final, they were clearly playing for penalties for most of the second half of the match. Plus the fact that the French were the better team, it a shame that Italy won the final on penalties. There glory will certainly turn to potential disgrace when their major clubs are relegated.
Its a shame Zidane blew his fuse in his final game. But even the most cool and calm players can react if provoked. Zidane should be remembered for being the greatest player in his generation, probably ever.
Zindane was fantastic even with the red card. One can only guess what was said to the him to make him snap. There's only a few things that will make a man stop in mid-stride, turn around and seek retribution. I think that line was crossed in the heated exchange. But, I don't think we'll ever know.
I don't think any of us can claim to never lose our temper at horrible moments, especially if caught in a situation we perceive as incredibly unjust. A bad mistake to be sure, and a deserved card, however I don't think he ruined any memories, at least not mine. If you considered Zidane more than human I suppose your respect may be lowered, but I'd say that was a silly thing to do to begin with.
FIFA wake up. Decisions at critical moments need to be confirmed with a video replay. I repeat, only on critical decisions. How can a great game be decided by a referee's mistake? More eyes and brains will make better decisions. Never mind the flow of play, we get many of those from players with horrible acting.
not good judgement on zidane's part, but it was a great headbutt. france was still dominating the match 10 on 11. zidane's foot in the shootout would have been good as with henry's and ribery's, but it might not have mattered. france's lone goal was from a dive. italy deserved to win.
with that said, the USA is the only team to not lose to the Italians this World Cup. how about that?
he was a great player, but now I truly believe he is an idiot. this isn't like Ronaldo's running up to the ref to take out Wayne Rooney...it was purely intentional, and at that moment, while I was rooting for France before, it officially flipped over to the Italians
I tried to get into the World Cup again this year, but all the diving, flopping, and poor sportsmanship left a sour taste. The Zidane fiasco was the final kicker. The rest of the world can have this Cup.
Zidane is by far one of the most amazing soccer players in History of Soccer (next to Pele and Maradona, of course). But lets not forget that this type of thing happens, specially in Soccer. Its not his fault the Italian was pissed and said something stupid that knocked him down. Afterall, its not fair to send off just one player and not the other. Zidane did not start this, he just ended it, and quite badly, but still. He is the greatest player, and thats that, PERIOD. Thank You...
I still have more respect for a player whose passion gets the better of him in the heat of the moment then I do for the players who dive at every opportunity (Del Piero, Totti, C. Ronaldo). Diving is a conscience decision of tactics, a headbut is an act of pure emotion. Ill take the emotional ones on my team any day. Still the greatest player ever.
What an awful way to end a career. I was rooting for Italy, but I really feel disgusted that the legacy of such a great player will indeed be influenced by this moment of madness.
Yes, Materazzi probably said something disgusting, about Zidane's wife, family, ethnic background, etc., but I don't know how you don't go into these games without expecting to hear the worst.
In my mind what always distinguished Zidane from other players of great talent in his generation (Figo, Rivaldo, that prima donna Beckam) was his Jordan-like ability to lead the team and come through in the clutch.
Zidane failed in his leadership role yesterday, and probably gave a lot of the momentum back to Italy.
I think a lot of the posters here who say Zidane is a great player and a champion even though he has a history of violence on the pitch are representative after all of the people who made a sensation of Zidane as a great sports figure. But these days we allow everything for the sake of entertainment don't we? The standards of correct social behavior, never mind sportmanship, have gone to the toilet, because after all Zidane made people a lot of money with his talent and so why not lower the bar and justify lack of sportmanship in an athlete? Even deliberate violence? Oh but they say, Materazzi must have said something... Really, so next time you say something to me on the road and I come out drag you out of the car and thrash you in front of your family I will be justified, because of my background growing up? If that's acceptable to you then Zidane is the role model you guys deserve for yourselves and your kids. And so don't blame "my" roadrage when I headbutt you to your steering wheel, after all Zidane does it and he's a champ, and besides you'll have to consider it was just a moment for me, otherwise look at my record I'm an upstanding citizen who grew up in a tough neighborhood.
Question is, with a record of violence on the turf how is it that he managed a long carrier and gain such respect?? For Zidane it wasn't enough to wait till after the game he had to show the world exactly what people have praised him for and justified the past years after all: a cowardly, lowdown act of violence. I think he shouldn't show his face in France at least today or tomorrow because Zidane showed the temperament of a primadonna who could care less about dishonoring his country and team in front of the whole world. If that's your kind of hero and sportsfigure then someone screwed up with teaching you big time.
I can't begin to imagine what went through Zizou's mind just before the head butt, but I can say that it was the worst display of leadership I've ever seen, akin to Brett Favre getting himself thrown out with two minutes to go in the Super Bowl with the Pack at 3rd and goal. No matter what was said to him, it was just plain dumb.
As for the sport of soccer itself, it will never EVER catch on in North America until they do something about the play acting. The dives are bad enough, but then to roll around on the ground until a STRETCHER has to come out for crying out loud...well it's a bit too much for this born and bred hockey fan to stomach. We here in the New World like our sports a tad more rugged. Somehow, I don't see any of the soccer world's glamour pusses getting stitches on the sidelines and heading back onto the field. Do you?
Zidane definitely deserved a red card-whether the card came after a few minutes of consultation with the linesman or not- it was vicious, and a red card was certainly warranted. That being said, it was one incident (of a handful) of a handful of blow ups in a excellent career. It came at a horrible time in both the game, and certainly wasn't behaviour fitting of his stature in the game but it doesn't overshadow his brilliance. The same people who are getting all worked up about how Zidane has irrevocably tarnished his legacy are the same people who think this was a brilliant win for Italy. I found it difficult to watch Italy's games (and to be fair, Thierry Henry) due to the amount of diving, whining, and gamesmanship. Italy played a brilliant defensive game, but I prefer watching teams who can score in the flow of the game- not just off set pieces.
Whatever happened happened but however you look at it i think italy deserved to win. Funnily enough i wasn't cheering for italy. Zidane should'nt have done what he did....maybe. Put yourself in his place though, tired, frustrated and all fired up. The last thing he would have wanted to hear was lip from materazzi. Anyone who plays any sort of contact sport should be able to justify his actions no matter what. Anyway all is said and done and italy took home the cup. I feel sorry for the guy i mean he did let his team and country down but let's not forget all that came before and his glorious career. But here is the bottom line - "Italy took the cup home but Zidane got the headlines."
Ultimately things even out in the end - lose a WC in shootout, win a WC in shootout. After all is said and done, Italy was a deserving winner. Toni was not in an off-side position on the second goal. Zidane will always be a truly classy player despite his momentary lapse of sanity; he ranks with the very best that ever played this beautiful game. Brava Italia!!!
The person who equated the Zidane headbutting incident to Shakespearean tragedy was dead-on. For this soccer legend to implode like this with 10 minutes remaining in an otherwise spectacular World Cup is the stuff of opera. It doesn't matter how Zidane played during the rest of the tournament, or what Materazzi said to him, or whether the refs saw the incident and should have given him a red card, the headbutt incident will unfortunately be forever attached to Zidane and his legacy.
Second, the person who declared that the NBA, NFL, etc., are just "soap operas" compared to football/soccer is missing the point: This World Cup was notable as the biggest soap opera of them all: What people will remember most about this World Cup is not the spectacular goals and plays, but rather the dramas associated with the tournament: Why did Zidane do it? What did Materazzi say? Did Rooney intentionally step on the Portuguese player? Will controversy over his actions cause C. Ronaldo to leave Manchester U.? Did Italy deserve to win? etc. What makes the World Cup so special is all the drama and passion that accompanies the spectacular play, and I can't think of another sporting event that compares in this regard!
You guys make me laugh... You are all praising the Italians now, the same ones you were bashing when they tied the US team 3 weeks ago. They played the exact same way they did yesterday and suddenly they are the best thing that ever happened to soccer?? Be consistent. Zidane is inexcusable, I agree, not even a little bit but if you knew soccer, you'd know that Materrazi is a thug with a long history of violence and provocation. Zizou's reaction was unexpected and he should have waited to be in the locker room (!!). The FIFA should be ashamed of this WC especially about its management of the refs. Sepp Blatter should grow up and allow some kind of video back up. Zizou was the MVP of this WC, no question about it. In 6 months nobody will remember Materrazi. You guys forgave Iverson, Bryant, Bonds,Artest,Bode Miller,Rodman, T.O., Ricky Williams, OJ Simpson, Jordan ... for their bad behavior. Give Zidane a break, please.
ZZ made a last terrible double mistake he mistook his headbutt on Buffon(what a goalie)and just after he mistook again his farrewell headbutt... should have hit the head of materazzi, tactically(italians beeing reduced to 10)and philosophically (the filfth beeing in the man's head,not in the chest) ahlala ZZ,so long and have a peaceful life
The French were "lucky" to get this far in the tournament. The PK against Italy should not have been granted because there was no contact. The French PK against Portugal should not have occurred because there was no contact. Italy deserved to win. They had amazing defense and also a strong offense.
Zidane. Throw him out of the game. What a disgusting, loser, action. I'm glad I'll never see him play again. Pity.
instant replay is a great idea for 1) did the ball cross the goal line and 2) for penalty kicks to determine if there really was a foul, since PKs can alter a match and 3) for injuries/penalties that the ref doesn't see that could result in a red card.
either that or a 2nd ref whose job is to watch what's happening away from the ball.
It wouldn't have mattered if Zidane got sent off or not. He didn't lose it for the France. Italy won it outright with PKs. Frances second guy missed it, if the 4th guy had missed it then maybe you can say well Zidane needed to be in there because that guy wouldn't have been in there normally but that didn't happen..And who cares what Materazzi said or if the refs saw the headbutt? Maybe we sould talk about the 6th minute BS PK call and that flop? Zidane showed he is classless player. I don't care what anybody says to you, you can't headbutt them. Can you imagine if they didn't catch the headbutt??? Check your history he's done it before. And given all the extra elbows Italy got in the face and getting stepped on after fouls, especially Luca Toni, I'm surprised more cards weren't given out to France. Italy had the best defense in the cup and there mid-field is far superior to everyone else. They were a more-balanced team which tends to win in the end because you don't have to rely on one or two players, like France. Henry still couldn't come up big in the big games and Italy had the will and determination to win. Italy deserved it and played better throughout the tournament than any team. VIVA ITALIA!
ahlala,ZZ, you made a last terrible double mistake: you missed your last official headkick,saved by a gorgeous Buffon you missed materrazi's head,which is full of filfth, and by heating the laddrone's chest, you quitted the football's history by the narrowest door
Anyone who says, "we shouldn't let this cloud our view of Zidane," probably has violent tendencies themselves. Soccer is a physical, aggressive, and contact sport. Nonetheless, it is not violent. He should not have been awarded the Golden Ball, he was an embarrassment to his team, his country, and forever tainted his outstanding career. He should be given a heavy fine and go down in history as the man who lost the cup for France. Viva Italia!!!
The Italians are the worst side ever to lift the trophy. The French outplayed them in all aspects yesterday. I can't imagine what Materazzi said, but it was must have been horribly insulting to provoke Zizou to do something like that.
All of you who are condemning Zizou as a player, his whole career summed up in one moment, then you must be perfect yourself, because everyone makes mistakes. I am sure he is shamed and would take it back in a moment if he had the chance. We all make mistakes, because no matter how great we are or have been, we are imperfect human beings.
I'm stunned by how many people defend Zidane's action because maybe the ref didn't see it live?!?!? If Zidane didn't head butt, there would be no controversy! If Materazzi said or did something to get to him (which there is no doubt he did), he did it TO GET TO HIM, and Zidane was drawn into it like a rookie. Perhaps the great Zidane could have learned a little from the 21 year old Schweinsteiger in Germany's consolation match. 2 goals in the match, and then he is called off by his coach. THAT'S how you leave a World Cup game.
Yes, he had a great career. Yes, he is an amazing player. Yes, we should remember more than the head-butt. But let's face it: that's how sports works. Does anybody remember anything else Bill Buckner did in the 1986 World Series OTHER than that infamous error? Like it or not, this is now Zidane's place in football history, and he's got no one to blame but himself.
The game better off without him? Are you insane? when he plays good futbol hes a marvel to watch. To me thats all that matters, when the ball is on his feet...he does amazing things with it. ANd if no one can respect that, then your not a true soccer fan
These comments have become a referendum on soccer rules, and I couldn't agree more - something must be done. The two problems are acting/officiating and the way pivotal games are decided.
USe of more cameras and instant replay is the only way to control the acting; run it like the NFL where each coach only gets 3 challenges per half.
To decide a world cup based on penalty shots is OK but the goalie must have a reasonable chance to defend... move it back a few meters. Or, go to a perpetual overtime period with golden goal.. eventually, someone will score.
I think you may be right about adding another set of eyes. I feel that the best thing to do is actually have a ref for each box who watches only the action in the box. The replay of video would be better but I think this would only lead to heated discussions and delay the game further.
You mentioned in your article that FIFA doesn't show controversial replays during the games, but during the broadcast both announcers said that the headbut was replayed on the screens in the stadium, and may have been the cause of the ref's decision to send him off. Either way, the headbut was clearly intentional and the red card was well deserved. Zidane is still one of the greatest players to touch the ball, and even though this is a dark spot on a fantastic career, we should not forget his years of greatness.
Materazzi is no angel, but Zidane's disciplanry record is hardly exemplary for someone of his status. he was expelled in '98 for stomping on a Saudi opponent, he was expelled twice in the Champions League, once for head-butting, and once again for stomping. So please stop eulogising him. A professional can take insults thrown at him. Del Piero has been insulted all his glorious career, and never once has he behaved like that; he's always been a gentleman on and off the pitch. Whoever accuses Italians of cheating evidently has a very blinkered and ignorant vision. France had a dubious penalty vs Portugal, and another one in the final. The best team is the one who wins on the pitch. If you dominate play but don't score, you're not better than the other team, it's as simple as that. It reminds me of the Indiana Jones movie...a bad guy doing all sorts of impressive flowing stunts with his sword, while Indy just cocks his gun and pops him out. Football is also like that.
Video replay during the game may inhibit the flow, which would take away from the experience, making soccer less appealing to prospective fans and perhaps even causing existing fans to lose interest.
Using video replay after the games to issue fines and suspensions is a great solution to the problem but it may not have the necessary effect, as there would be no immediate consequence for the action and no immediate effect on the result of the match.
The second on-field referee is the best answer to the problem and would certainly create more match flow and less uncertainty in foul calls and card issuing.
I think Materazzi's comments should be made public so that the world can see what kind of sportsman he is. While it would have been obviously better if Zidane controlled his temper and ignored the provocations, we should also keep in mind that he is human, and anyone in his place may have done the same. Zizou is still the greatest player and he deserves to be remembered as the King of Soccer.
Vindication! Azzuri has been vindicated for years of horrible luck. The penalty kicks of '90, '94, '98, and the horrifica display by the refs in 2002. Looking back, Italy dominated for the first 70 minutes until it seemed as if luck and bad calls had issued yet another terrible fate. A bad offsides call negated what would be a 2-1 lead. Italy rebounded after the Henry dive in the first 6 minutes, but they went flat after the ruled offisides call. Yet, they persevered. Winning the way they lost so many times before. In PKs. Azzuri earned this victory and we got to see the real man Zidane is. Not the greatest in the world, just a mere Frenchman.
I don't care what was said to Zidane, could have been the worst possible thing anyone can say, it doesn't justify what amounts to assault. So he said something to you, how about walking away or if you can't do that say something back. Apparently Zidane didn't have the intellect to do either. And no excuse of upbringing or any other crap justifies it. Anyone suggesting otherwise should start watching the WWF instead of Football.
Some of these comments reveal more about the commentor than the incident.
There were two dynamics present on the field that day. One was controlled by the rules of soccer and the other by the inner controls of each player. At that moment, Zidane failed in both dynamics.
To suggest that the head butt was "provoked" is to give credence to the notion that personal issues are more important than the team or the game. Such an analysis probably has a place in a bar room fight or in response to an attempted mugging on the street, but it has no place in a sport where teamwork is at the heart of the game and failing as an individual is tantamount to failing the team.
There was something on the mind of Zidane at the moment he chose to risk his team's and his country's glory simply to satisfy his personal needs and it wasn't the greater good of the many.
I would support letting each team call for two replays per half with some sort of a penalty if they loose the call. There needs to be a third party off the field who reviews the officials on the field. AJC
You simply cannot write "Purely from a football standpoint, Zidane's sin was grievous, but it certainly didn't cost France the Cup" with such certainty. Had he been on the pitch for the final 10 minutes, France would have almost certainly scored. Had he been in the game for the PKs, he would have led off with a certain and resounding goal that may have set a different tone. Zidane cost France their best shot at the Cup. In the end, therefore, his actions cost France the Cup.
It is unfair to pass judgement on Zidane when no one outside of Team France and Italy knows what was said. To dethrone such a great player over an incident without knowing the full truth would be both irrational and biased. Zidane's World Cup play was brilliant and a pleasure to watch.
Great players just don't do certain thinks even if it's their last game. Look at the great players of the past. Leave it to the French to complain as usual. Now people are saying that if Zidane would have stayed in--they would have won the game. Seems if the ref would have not given the French that doubious PK, things would have been different as well. Time to move on :-)
Let's get this straight: (1) France won their last game with a flop in the box and almost won this one with a flop. If there are any people calling the Italians actors, look again. (2) The French coach made numerous questionable changes...subbing out Ribery AND Henry??? (3) Even if Materazzi was talking trash, so beit...it's part of the game. Look at Bird and Jordan...some of the biggest trash talkers, yet some of the most loved athletes. Restraint and control is what makes a good athlete these days...as bad as that sounds.
Whoever said diving should be a red card is an idiot. I hate diving too, but sometimes you go down when there is no foul and it's not a dive. Maybe you tripped on your own or lost your balance, sometimes the other play bumps you which causes you to lose you balance but it's not a foul. Now you want a ref to interpret this and possibly give a red when all you really did is fall down. Let the refs decide even more games, that's what we need! The rule that should be put in place is, if you leave the field after an injury you shouldn't be allowed back on without an extended period of sitting out (maybe 10 or 15 minutes), maybe not until the second half if it happens during the first half).
Get over yourselves. If France had won the PK shootout, nobody would even remember the head butt (that was probably totally justified). You all are so tied up in the drama. I am not judging a brilliant career by one moment (and the writhing on the floor was a pathetic attempt to influence the pathetic referees to give a red card).
I think it's rediculous that people question the call against Zidane, citing the fact that the headbut was not seen and should not have been called. What kind of logic is that?
I think FIFA should institute a challenge rule, similar to what the NFL has. If a coach challenges a call/non-call, the incident is reviewed and if the coach is correct, the call is reversed. If the play stands, the coach loses a substitution.
Of course, I'm an American, so I'm sure neither FIFA nor it's billion some odd fans care one bit what I think.
Surely Zizou will remain the greatest football player, no matter what happened last night. On the other hand, it's sure that it was the famous Italy's trick to provoce incidents and stimulate, as they did during the whole match, when they physically could not any more keep up to France physical and technical performance. Materazi and Zizou should make public their debate. Then the public can judge. Italy's victory did nothoing but gave a bitter memory to all "fair play" fans in the world. France deserved to win, as they are the real winners of the this World Cup.
If a racist remark was involved, then we must be honest and say that is far worse than a headbutt (to the chest no less, hardly something that would make the 6'5" Materazzi fold like a chair). Cheeky jibes, trash talk, and loose elbows are part of just about any sport. As shocking as the headbutt was, was it worse than Figo's? Or De Rossi's elbow? Let's not get too full of ourselves. The so-called beautiful game can be ugly, too. Deal with it.
Zidane has a history of classless acts...He should be considered as a great player but never as a role model...A hero?... I don't think so... Playing for Juventus five years ago, Zidane butted Jochen Kientz of Hamburger SV in a Champions League match, also earning a red card. In the 98 WC, Zidane was red-carded for stomping on an opponent while playing Saudi Arabia. Everyone seems to ask "what did Matterazzi say to provoke Zidane?"...Well, I think Zidane has a few loose screws, and his playing history proves it...
In my opinion France outplayed Italy. I was proclaiming how much of a tragedy it would be if Italy won by shootout from 75 minutes on.
If I thought I knew what tragedy was, I had no idea! Even if France had won it would not have made up for the tragedy of Zidane's display in my mind. It ruined the game for me.
Thats being said, he is only human. He is still one of the all time greats, and while quite possibly a poor role model, still a hero in my mind. Heros are human too, and anyone who thinks otherwise is an imbecile e.g. "Anyone who can any longer call Zidane a hero is an idiot".
Disgraceful. If the Italian said anything warranting retaliation, Zidane should have aimed his head across the bridge of the Italian's nose. The card was justified, but if you are going to get sent off for something like that, make it count.
Zidane did nothing to tarnish his career. He simply acted like a man. Something few of the Italians understand. It is disheartening to watch a team when its defenders are just as proficient at diving as its forwards. If they are going to fall down anyway, may as well make them feel it.
In my opinion France outplayed Italy. I was proclaiming how much of a tragedy it would be if Italy won by shootout from 75 minutes on.
If I thought I knew what tragedy was, I had no idea! Even if France had won it would not have made up for the tragedy of Zidane's display in my mind. It ruined the game for me.
Thats being said, he is only human. He is still one of the all time greats, and while quite possibly a poor role model, still a hero in my mind. Heros are human too, and anyone who thinks otherwise is an imbecile e.g. "Anyone who can any longer call Zidane a hero is an idiot".
Although Zidane should not have done what he did. This incident brings up the serious issue of racist slurs. Materazzi must have said something really disgusting for this to happen. Italians should be ashamed of him for his blatant racism.
Physical violence is never the answer but verbal insults should also be unexcusable. Zidane was walking away and Materazzi clearly said something to provoke him. Most people seem to forget that Materazzi has a very established reputation of being a very horrible person, he himself admits it. That being said, I really doubt that someone who uses racist slurs on the field on purpose to elicit a violent reaction from an oponent deserves to be called a champion.
Personally, I enjoyed the "golden" headbutt. Zidane should have headbutted the entire Italian team along with the dopey Referee.
Watch a replay of the game and notice how many times the Italians went out of their way to foul Zidane, Zidane ended up on the ground, and Mr. Dopey refused to call the fouls. Along with those brilliant non calls, Mr. Dopey did give the French a penalty shot they didn't deserve as well as take away one they did deserve.
The headbutting should have started with Mr. Dopey.
I really enjoy watching soccer with one exception - flopping. I think replay should be used, but don't stop the game to check it out. It should be reviewed after a game is played, and a committee would then suspend players for following matches. This would work as a deterrent to this ridiculous part of the game.
Zidane has proven what we've known all along: all the brilliance aside he is an arrogant man who thought he was bigger than the World Cup and Football but was shown up by Materazzi and he couldn't feal with it. Good Riddance Zidane and Good Riddance to the French "Golden Era." Don't let the door hit you on the way out. And if it does? You definitely deserved it!
I was Italian fan in that game, but i still respect Zidan as one of the greatest player in the football history eventhough he had a bitter ending yesterday. Leading his team to the final was really outstanding. player like Zidan is born once.......thanks Zidan
It's hilarious that people are defending hitting another player.
I'm not sure what it is like in France, but here in the US if I go and call someone a name, racial or not, and I get assaulted, the assaulter goes to jail. Using physical violence to combat verbal attacks is low class, plain and simple. He lost his temper, hit a player, and was sent off. He is a fantastic PKer and he could have cost his team a championship.
To everyone that is defending him by saying that Matterazzi "deserved" it...well, all I can say to you is that I'm glad I don't know you in real life. I wouldn't want to offend you and then get into a fist fight.
And for those that say that France "deserved" to win...this is a game people. At the end of the day, Italy hoisted the trophy and they won. Period. There's no "moral" victory, there's a champion and a runner-up.
This has to be one of the worst World Cup's I've seen. When the commentators use the expression "He sold that well..", you know this was a fiasco. I love soccer and love watching it, but this exhibition surely turned off those that were "giving it a try." This surely will hurt any growth in popularity of viewing the sport in the US.
ZZ certainly deserved the red card. such conduct is cleary unacceptable even if he was provoked. i mean, imagine if all players who are provoked act in such a manner! what would be left of the game? as for the frequent diving, yes, it is quite frustrating to see players dive so much. this world cup was cleary the illustration of such conduct. however, i will NEVER stop watching it. it is definitely the best sports event in the world!!!!! Congratulations Italy! See you all in 4 years in South Africa!
so italy won the trophy, but the oscars are going to be a tight race amongst all of the teams. this sport has been destroyed by the dives and the dramatics. the players are more actors than athletes. by falling and rolling on the ground, carried off in a stretcher, only to return five minutes later miraculously playing full strength is appalling. however, replay would slow the game down way too much. instead of refs handing cards for minor tackles, call it a foul if it is and award a kick, they should hand out way more cards for theatrics. these players are ruining the sport and eventually will lose the respect, and viwership, of the fans.
Italians player r provocative.I think matterazi provocked either his race or his religion or anything like that that he could no longer be pation.Italians did not deserve to win.Anyhow i dont think a football history has seen such a great player like ZIZU.
As far as I am concered Matterazi probably got what he deserved. He's delt out his fair share intentional fouls. Zidane is one of the greatest players ever. Matterazzi should've kept his mouth shut. The offical shouldn't call what isn't seen. That is part of the game.
As far as the instant replays, that is part of what ruined American football. Leave them out of the greatest game in the world. (if it ain't broke don't fix it!) Dives should have greater punishment, but only if the ref calls.
Zizou sould have kept his cool, but nobody at this point knows what happed and based on his play during this WC it must have been something nasty. It won't ruin his career.
I'd feel a little more sorry for Matterazi if he wasn't such a dirty player. Italy continually "dived" throughout this tournament, and I'm just sad that a team that was so out played won the Cup. But.. That's the game!
I can hardly wait for the next one. Hopefully the officiating and coaching/playing will be a little better
What does it matter that he head butted an acting italian, who are you to judge an human being and his reactions. Apparently there was an absene remark said by that italian. Zidane was walking off and he walked back to headbutt him I think FIFA should investigate the statement made. Zidane was wrong and he clearly deserve the red card but we are all human and if there is nothing that stimulate your passion, then you are in the wrong planet. Farewell Zizou, you are part of writen your name in the legendary book of soccer and you have definetly proven you have class. Zizou have demonstrated leadership nomerous times. One act does not label years of great performance and everybody those not want to go to hollywood.
Congrats Zidane, you might have gotten a red card but you remain in the game for ever.
Are you all incapable of mistakes? I think not! Yes, it was a dumb act on Zizou's part but we have all been in a position where we have been provoked into doing something we otherwise know is wrong. What was said to him had to be just a vicious as his retaliation. And if it was an attack on his ethniticity, like it has been speculated, I would have a hard time not head butting someone too. I wish he would have maintained control, just like everyone else but it will in no way make me think less of him. His achievements, talents and brillance are undeniable and I will not let one error in judgment cloud my respect and admiration for him. I do however hope it inspires him to return to play again for his national team in Euro 2008 in an attempt to erase this incident as the last visual of the otherwise great Zidane.
While I will not justify the actions of either Figo or Zidane, there was a big difference between both headbuts. Figo's headbut was more of a headtap. They keep showing it in slow motion and only showing the tap, so people forget the fact that Figo's headtap came after the Dutch player pushed him. Go the game, it's clear as day and the Dutch player was not hurt, you can clearly see his fake faint. Zidane's headbut was clearly more impactful as he rushed into the Italian's chest. Clearly he must of said something racial about Zidane's team or something about Zidane's roots, which has always been a soft spot for him.
Zidane is a great player (may be the best) and a wonderful passionate and generous human beeing. Mishaps can happen. Watching his face while being excluded was both tragic and pathetic. But I felt more compassionate with Thuram when he cried. The italians did fine and prevented the french to score; it was sometime beautiful to watch and some time boring and dull (from both side); they also deserve to celebrate being the best. ... And what about Klinsmann and the Germans (so beautiful!!!)
Zidane got what he deserved period! Will this and should this cloud his career as footballer....Yes! On the world's biggest stage, in front of BILLIONS of people both young and old he committed a grievous/heinous act. FIFA cannot not allow this to go unpunished! They should suspend him for a minimum of a year.
He needs to be made an example of what not to do and be punished accordingly.
In my mind he will always be remembered for this... He will NEVER be in the same class as Pele! If I was Pele, I would be greatly offended if they mentioned Zidane in the same breath as me.... Could you ever see Pele doing that? I think not!
"Zidane will forever be remembered and disrespected by this mistake"
That's clearly a statement from someone who doesn't know anything about football...
There is simply no way zidane will be regarded badly because of this final, it was just a red card, and he was much less violent than, say, rooney smashing argentinian genital organs...
zidane's football is what I'll realy miss, not a wannabe hollywood-ending.
And don't you think you could behave better than zidane in the same situation, it's really tough, some players really go to the heart of the matter and get reaaaaaaaally personal and disrespectful, it's not like "I will sleep with your mother, ha-ha"...
Materazzi is just an average world cup player, one among others, zidane will easily outlive the whole situation... or perhaps not to people who only watch a couple of matchs every four years.
The Italians are divers? Did you see Malouda flop on that "foul" in the seventh minute? Did anyone even touch him? Not to mention Henry milking that contact with Cannavaro, acting like he had a concussion when no one ever made contact with his head.
[sarcasm] Yeah, only the Italians dive and flop. No one on the French team would ever play disgraceful football like that. [/sarcasm]
The Italians got their Karmic payback when the first penalty was awarded on the Malouda flop. They overcame it and managed to win a tough, close game on penalties. In the end, France just could not break the Italian defense without flopping in the box.
I had never seen Zidane before, since I have not watched much Soccer, but I must say, he was a very impressive player. That play that set up the header, which almost made it into the goal was a beautiful play. Only a superb save by the Italian goalie saved the game there.
I was stunned by the head butt, and I think it turned the momentum around for the Italians. But I think Zidane is and was a great player. If he had head butted anyone but the trash-talking Italians, it would be a bigger stain. People will forgive him.
Zidane will always be remembered as the BEST. He has given to Football more than most in the history of football. Insults have no place in football. Matterazzi will be remembered for spoiling a beautiful cup and Zidane got the best player award. People feel morer sorry for Zidane then happy for Italy.
Funnily enough, Italy has almost emerged as more of the villian in this World Cup than Zidane. There are more comments about their "acting" than about their talent. Since Zidane has been known to act aggressively in the past I wonder if the Italians found out what sort of thing made him mad and worked on that.
Although I am very dissapointed by Zidane's reaction, I, like the French coach, understand it. European soccer, especially Italian, is full of racism and intolerance - black and other non-white players are constantly abused by fans and others players. Few times in italian and spanish club games black players have walked off the field in tears because of insults hurled at them. That is the reason why the main theme of this cup has been to combat racism.
If these allegations are in fact true, I think that Materazzi should have been expelled from the field immediatelly. For FIFA to promote tollerance on one hand, but allow such disrespect and hatred to be directed at one of its best and most respected players is shameful. Zidane has generously donated his money and has unselfishly lend his persona to many causes against racism and fundamentalism. He did not deserve to be treated that way.
Can you imagine what the reaction in the US would be if the star athlete in the NFL or NBA had been provoked by racial slurs in championship game?
The other mistake I believe FIFA made is the replaying of the incident live on the monitors for the first time in the history of the game, which undoubtedly affected ref's call. I don't excuse what Zidane did, but if they replayed the final moments of Italy vs. Australia game, Italy may have never been in the finals. In fact, the outcome of the tournament could have been completelly different.
Zidane ensured his name would be remembered forever, this wont be the year the italians won the world cup, this will be the year that Zidane produced a red card for head butting.... and you know what, thats fine with me...i dont think the italians play a polished style of soccer that they are capable of, but my hats off to Buffon the best keeper in the world. I think PK's should be abolished and golden goal reinstated.
The people who say that Materazzi deserved the blame and that Zidane was innocent need to grow up. There is no excuse for violence because of some words. Materazzi may also need to grow up, but what Zidane did was much worse.
"I would like that FIFA research that Materrazzi told to Zidane in order to justify the red card. Zidane is a gentleman. He is de best"
There is nothing one can say to another to justify what Zidane did. He is a thug, and quite a selfish one at that. He showed an complete lack of respect for his team, his coaches, and his country by putting his team at such a disadvantage.
Perhaps his behavior could be rationalized if his career wasn't marred by several similar incidents.
I would love to know what exactly the italian player said to zidane. whatever he did in response it doesn't matter. zidane is still the greatest player and deserves a huge showing of support in france and all over the world. the italians were mean/rough/and babyish when they fell down 'hurt' throughout all their games. france and zidane played better and deserved to win. in my mind and heart they are #1!!!! Vive Zidane!!
ok well zidane is probably one of the greatest soccer players to live. he did deserve the red card BUT none of the referees saw it. it's against FIFA rules to show replays of controversial plays. the 4th and 5th refs saw it and let the center know. i guess if any of the refs saw the actual headbutt happen, it would be okay for the red card. ZIDANE IS GOD
Zidane is the best and Italian actors could not stand it so they've used thier gesture/speach combined with cry and most of all a dirty provokation to give a judas kiss to the world cup trophy. Shame on them ! ...Viva Zidane !!!!
The call was a great call by the referee , A player like this should not have lost his mind regarding his pressure , he deserves to leave his career in such a way and to lose the game , it will teach a lesson to all those Frenchies to keep they head on , and i'm extremely excited for the Italian's they desreve to win the World Cup especcialy Canavarro
Zidane is still the best player ever.Whatever he did was uncall for. For the italian player I guess he deserves it too, don't mess with a Marseillais!!! Oh well he is still the best cup player.Enough said it was a beautifll game regardless of Zidane's incident.France played beautiful and so did Italy Congratulations to both nations.
"The headbutt was very justified. The Italian's were harassing and name-calling Zidane all day. Words can hurt just as much as a physical action and Zidane was right to stop the bullying!!!"
Are you kidding me?
Imagine Jordan punching someone in the 7th game, or Tom brady stomping on a defensive lineman's leg in the Superbowl....umm, you can't.
Totally classless act.
The only positive is that it shines a light on the primadonna culture of soccer. The diving, the whining, and the stretchers...oh my goodness the stretchers. All of it makes the game truly unbearable to watch at times.
Zidane is still the best player ever.Whatever he did was uncall for. For the italian player I guess he deserves it too, don't mess with a Marseillais!!! Oh well he is still the best cup player.Enough said it was a beautifll game regardless of Zidane's incident.France played beautiful and so did Italy Congratulations to both nations.
What about the millions of kids who watched this disgusting display of cowardice by a would-be hero. Nothing, and I mean nothing, excuses this behaviour. Just watch, in the next week our own ten-year-old soccer kids will be trying out his cowardly irresponsible way of playing game. His records should be expurged from the books forever.
BUT...there clearly was great French frustration over the degree of physical play that was not being punished by the referee (or at least inconsistently so). First, Cannavaro KO's Henry in the first minute...no sanction whatsoever. Second, Cannavaro jumped into Zidane on a header and brought him down hard...no call on that one either. That was when Zidane sat on the ground with his shoulder in that weird position (I think it was actually dislocated) gesturing that he should be taken off. If you saw the replay of the head-butt, Materrazi is on Zidane's right side holding him, and - I think - either grabbing the arm to pull it out again or else telling Zidane that that was all part of the Italian masterplan. Zidane's shoulder is the missing part of the story here.
Funny, people saying Americans don't like soccer because of the refs and the divas. The Superbowl was marred by bad calls and the NBA playoffs had similar problems.
Instead of players diving on the field our athletes don't play hard if they think they should be paid more and in some cases just don't show up at all.
The main problem with America and soccer is the lack of scoring. For as much as the refs often change the results of our games, its not as obvious as it is in soccer.
The whole match fixing in Italy comes down to the fact that the refs wield too much power to change a game. I agree with the commenter who said soccer's biggest problem is its inability to change to rules for fairness and fan enjoyment.
I love soccer, but World Cup is the only tournament that I have watched for the last 12 years. (not paid for cable in US)
After seeing ZZ was banned for the Togo game, I lost my respect for ZZ. One red card in '98 and nothing in '02 and one ban in '06. That's 2 out of 3. I do not know of any player having a similar track record. ZZ is a dirty player!
So we all saw Zidane's headbutt, but what about those filthy lips of Marco the Italian defender. Is it fair to sound off filth and instigate a passionate player to react. Yes, Zidane made a mistake by responding to Marco's filth, but in my opinion Marco Materazzi should have been sent off also for foul language, which is a FIFA rule.
I bet that Zidane would have doen the same thing again if thae same thing was saif to him.
Zidane only showed yesterday night what he really is : a violent man, unable to understand that soccer is JUST a game and nothing more. It's not the first time he hits someone on the field. Great ending for this so-called rule-model for kids. Now he needs to explain his attitude. Some say he has been insulted, but nothing justifies such violence !
When Cantona kicked the spectator at Crystal Palace, sure people went to to crucify him, but he is still considered one the most exciting and dangerous strikers of the past 25 years. The same will go for Zidane. I don't care if he got thrown out of the match, he was fed up with Matterazi, and he wasn't going to take it anymore. He's done too much to let some schmo talk jive to him in extratime. I applaud ZZ for what he has done this World Cup and if I ever find myself with Zizou in bar in Paris, I will gladly buy that man a pint.
Plzz, don't be so judgemental on this things. Be in a situation , where your mother and your race is slured. Then, you will know how you will react. Materazzi, has no right to give a racial remark on Zidane. totally, unproffessional , I think Italy should be stripped of the World Cup for damaging the spirit of the game. If you would have watched the quarterfinal,then you would have know how opposing captains took oath to say no to racism.... I think Zidane did the right thing by standing up to this discrimination.Jai Zizou
"Buffon was lucky that header by ZZ didn't go in in overtime."
wow...did someone really write this? how was he lucky if he deflected the ball over the goal? what are you talking about?
"What a lousy game. The headbutt was the only exciting part. FIFA should reinstitute the golden goal and keep all the players playing until someone scores!!!"
have you ever run around non-stop for two 45 minute intervals? the play is sloppy enough with the extra 30 because the players are so gassed. soccer overtime cant go that long...
and the reaction to zidane is truly a joke. not that this is what he should be remembered for because he was truly great, but to excuse what he did and place the blame on Materazzi is such a joke. it was a cheap shot and he would deserve a multi game ban if he werent retiring. AND the game would have ended the same had he not been carded. trezeguet would have shot and missed in the penalties and god knows italy would not have conceded in those final ten minutes.
it must suck though for all the italian haters (who are mysteriously quiet all of a sudden)...come on, lets hear how lucky they were...
Really glad to see that all those pregame "Say No To Racism" photo-ops made such a deep impression on Materazzi.
Also: all the diving, open disrepect for the refs (players either arguing calls or grinning like hyenas), and the flying elbows and headbutts really helped support FIFA's Fair Play agenda. I'm just glad that I'm not a youth soccer coach, trying to promote the game after those fine examples.
We shouldn’t judge Zizou but we have to also think what did Materazzi say to Zizou. And again FIFA should take care of the dirty words that players say to each other, especially if they are ugly racial words.
So right after warmups the Italians take acting lessons from their coach who was a former actor. I rooted for France in this game and thought they outplayed the Italians - that header goal from M shouldn't have been counted since he was pushing down the defender but whatever.
The headbutt - INEXCUSABLE AT THE TIME, ABSOLUTELY INEXCUSABLE AT THE TIME. No matter what that dude said, he should have waited until after the game and THEN headbutted him!!
It's a bad way to end his career but we know his class on the field and nothing could ever taint that. Every player has made bad decisions on the field. Unfortunately his came at the worst time. I can't even imagine what Materazzi must have said.