‘I’m not proud of it’: Zinedine Zidane opens up on famous World Cup final headbutt over 15 years on after his last ever game as a player ended in disaster
- Zinedine Zidane was sent off in the 2006 World Cup final for a famous headbutt
- It was the final game of his playing career, which France lost to Italy on penalties
- The former midfielder revealed he is is ‘not proud’ of the incident
- He was speaking for a special show produced to celebrate his 50th birthday
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
Legendary footballer Zinedine Zidane has revealed he is ‘not proud’ of the famous headbutt which saw his playing career come to a disastrous end.
The former midfielder retired in 2006 after a stellar playing career, with his final match being the 2006 World Cup final between Italy and Zidane’s France.
But the match would prove to be a sorry end to what was an illustrious career for Zidane, as he received a red card for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the second half of extra time, before Italy won the game on penalties.
Zinedine Zidane famously headbutted Maeco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final
The former France star was shown a straight red as Italy went on to win on penalties
Via Football Italia, Zidane told Telefoot: ‘I’m not at all proud of what I did, but it’s part of my past.’
It has previously been argued that Materazzi goaded Zidane.
Zidane had already planned to retire after the tournament, meaning the red card shown by referee Horacio Elizondo brought a premature end to his career.
Zidane had opened the scoring in the game from the penalty spot with a ‘panenka’ effort past Gianluigi Buffon, but Materazzi equalised just 12 minutes later before Italy went onto become champions.
On the penalty, Zidane, who was speaking as part of a programme to celebrate his 50th birthday, said: ‘I had a second or two to think about how to take it. I had in front of me a goalkeeper who knows me really well so I had to think of something.
‘In that effort, there was certainly technique, I don’t think there was madness. You can miss a penalty but in that moment it is what I had to do.’
Zidane scored a ‘panenka’ penalty past Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in the game
He was forced to walk past the World Cup trophy as he exited the pitch following his red card
The former midfielder has gone on to have a successful career as a manager
He ended his international career with 31 goals for France in 108 games, as well as a World Cup, won in 1998 on home soil.
He also enjoyed a successful career at club level, making over 500 appearances for clubs such as Juventus and Real Madrid.
He went onto become a manager, and won three consecutive Champions League titles with Madrid from 2016-2018 before leaving the club
He then had a second spell in charge between 2019 and 2021.
He has not had a managerial job since, but still has the desire to return to management eventually.
He told Telefoot: ‘I want to continue with that career because I still have the desire – it is my passion.
‘I am 50 years old, fulfilled, I’m happy, that’s the most important thing.’