Ten years on and it remains one of the most shocking moments in football history.
Zinedine Zidane, one of the greatest footballers of all time, ended his playing career in disgrace with a brutal headbutt on the Italian defender Marco Materazzi during, of all matches, the World Cup final.
The precise words Materazzi uttered that night to antagonise Zidane remain something of a mystery, although all accounts concur that the centre-back had insulted a member - or members - of the French captain’s family.
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A decade later and Materazzi has confirmed that he insulted Zidane’s sister.
And while the 42-year-old admits he was wrong to do so, he still insists that the current Real Madrid boss was wrong to react like he did.
Materazzi: I spoke about his sister
"What I said was stupid," Materazzi has told French newspaper L’Equipe, per Spanish newspaper Marca. "But it didn't deserve that reaction.
“You would hear stronger words said on the streets of Naples, or Milan, or Paris, much more serious things."
"My mother died when I was 15, i would never have insulted his.
"I spoke about his sister."
Video: Zidane's headbutt on Materazzi
Will Zidane ever forgive Materazzi?
One suspects that Zidane will never find it within himself to completely forgive Materazzi, although there was a small glimmer of hope before the Champions League final in May.
After being described by the Italian as a “fine coach”, Zidane responded by saying: “If he said what he said, then good.
“There's not much I can say."
Who was more in the wrong on that fateful night in 2006: Marco Materazzi or Zinedine Zidane? Have your say by leaving a comment below.