On this day 13 years ago, Zinedine Zidane retired from football in style


Thirteen years ago today, Zinedine Zidane bowed out of professional football in the most sensational way possible.

Zidane hoped that his final act as a professional footballer would be to lift the World Cup trophy as he led France out against Italy in the 2006 final in Germany.

And it quickly became clear that the legendary midfielder wanted to go out in style.

He opened the scoring with an outrageous dinked penalty that hit the underside of the bar before it narrowly crossed the line.

France’s lead didn’t last long as Italian defender Marco Materazzi equalised with a header in the first-half.

The next 91 minutes were pretty uneventful as the tensions continued to rise.

And those tensions reached boiling point in the 110th-minute.

Zidane and Materazzi exchanged words, resulting in Zizou planted a vicious headbutt into his opponent’s head.

It was madness and although the referee missed it, he was informed that Zidane had to be sent off.

Without Zidane on the pitch, France went on to lose the penalty shootout as one of the greatest midfielders to have ever played the game retired.

It was later revealed that Materazzi said: ”I prefer the w**re that is your sister.”

But does Zidane regret reacting in the way he did?


Answer: No.

In 2010, Zidane said that he would "rather die than apologize" to Materazzi for the headbutt in the final, but he also admitted that he "could never have lived with himself" had he been allowed to remain on the pitch and help France win the match.

It’s a football moment that will be remembered for eternity.

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