Marco Materazzi: Italy Legend Admits Regret Over 2006 World Cup Incident With Zidane

Marco Materazzi: Italy Legend Admits Regret Over 2006 World Cup Incident With Zidane

Elijah Odetokun
April 1, 2024 at 2:59 PM
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Z. Zidane
-MFrance logo
M. Materazzi
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  • Zinedine Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final
  • Zidane was shown a straight red card on the final game of his great career
  • Materazzi has admitted that he regrets how the incident tainted his career

Italy legend, Marco Materazzi, has admitted regret over the 2006 FIFA World Cup final incident with former French international midfielder, Zinedine Zidane.

Zidane announced he would retire at the end of the Mundial in Germany, and he led France to the final, but within moments of the end of the game, he lost his head.

Zinedine Zidane, Marco Materazzi, Italy, France, 2006 World Cup, Berlin, Germany.
Zinedine Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final. Photo by John Macdougall/AFP.
Source: Getty Images

After an altercation, he headbutted Italy's goal-scorer Materazzi, which led to him receiving his marching orders. France went on to lose the match on penalties.

Materazzi admits regret over Zidane incident

The former Inter Milan man had previously opened up on the incident that led to the incident on IFTV Podcast. He claimed the Frenchman offered him his jersey, but he claimed he wanted his jersey.

In an interview with The Times, he had a sober reflection on the incident and admitted it should not have happened as it is what his career is mainly remembered for.

“I don’t like it because it doesn’t do justice to what my career was. That episode should never have happened,” he said.
“In the tension of that final in Berlin, amidst the bickering and insults, Zidane offered me his shirt, and I said no, that I preferred his sister. Then he turned around and reacted as everyone remembers. I never saw Zinédine again.”

18 years after the incident, both players have yet to meet in person. Per The Guardian, the Real Madrid legend claims he would rather die than apologise to the defender.

Zidane's legacy has moved on from the incident. He won three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles with Real Madrid. He eyes the French national team job after Didier Deschamps.

Materazzi buys 2006 statue

Sports Brief reported on Materazzi buying a statue that depicts the 2006 World Cup final incident, when he was headbutted by the former Juventus midfielder.

Materazzi saw the statue at an art workshop in Naples and immediately fell in love with it. The mini statue was sculpted by Italian craftsman Genny Di Virgilio.

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Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.