• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Zidane 'never apologized' for headbutt: Materazzi

Dan MacGuill · 22 Jan 2013, 17:49

Published: 22 Jan 2013 17:49 GMT+01:00

It was the headbutt that was felt around the world.

No-one has been able to establish just what Italian defender Marco Materazzi said to the man known simply as Zizou, but the sight of the French player charging at his opponent head-first, minutes away from a penalty shoot-out in the 2006 World Cup final, is one of the most iconic sporting images of all time.

Now the whole affair has reared its ugly head again – so to speak – with Materazzi telling France Football magazine on Tuesday that the Frenchman "has still not apologized" and the chances of reconciliation are now slim. 

The 39-year old joked that, "even Kofi Annan and Nelson Mandela got involved to try to make peace between the two of us, " adding that "the UN called me, wanting to organize a campaign."

The former Inter Milan centre back said that being photographed in public with Zidane wouldn't be an issue for him. "I have nothing to hide, and I wouldn't have any problem looking him in the eye," he added. 

It was unclear whether a chance encounter in Spain before a Real Madrid-AC Milan Champions League game in 2010 had served to thaw their relations or deepen the rift.

"When I held out my hand to him [in the car park of the Bernabéu stadium] I certainly knew it was him," Materazzi said.

"But when he said later that he thought I was just a fan, he missed a chance to show some class,” the Italian lamented.

“The whole world would have said, ‘Look – Zidane is such a noble guy because he shook hands with this piece of shit,’” the World Cup winner concluded.

Despite some obvious bitterness about Zizou’s place in the pantheon of football greats, Materazzi also seems to have a sense of humour about the whole controversy.

While in Paris last November, the Italian came across the bronze statue, ‘Headbutt’ outside the famous Pompidou centre, an artwork depicting that special moment in football history.

He didn’t miss the chance to have some fun, tweeting a photo of himself in front of the statue to his many followers.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
14,000 pregnant women in France took 'birth defect drug'
Dépakine has been linked to an increased risk of various congenital defects. File photo: AFP

Health authorities have been criticized for their slow reaction to warnings that Dépakine can be dangerous during pregnancy.

How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Photo: AFP

Almost all of France is on a heatwave alert. Here's how to keep cool.

Heatwave warnings extended yet again as France bakes
Photo: AFP

The national weather agency has issued orange alerts to a further 23 départements.

Paris warned about high level of ozone pollution
Photo: AFP

Free parking on Thursday to fight the high pollution levels.

French Muslim body to talk burqini ban with government
Photo: AFP

The French Council of Muslims has called an urgent meeting with the interior minister citing a "fear of stigmatization of Muslims in France".

Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
Be quick - it's a scorcher of a summer in France this year. Photo: AFP

The tastiest way to get through the heatwave.

French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Photo: AFP

French schools will soon be forced to stage simulated attacks in a bid to prepare children for potential terror attacks, among other measures.

French police 'force woman to remove burqini' on beach
A file photo of a woman in a burqini. Photo: AFP

Pictures have emerged showing armed police officers in southern France apparently forcing a woman to remove her burqini.

Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
President Hollande, who hasn't yet announced if he will run, and Nicolas Sarkozy, who is eyeing up the top job next year. Photo: AFP

France is yearning for political renewal, but looks set to be stuck with familiar faces in the presidential race.

Frenchman 'kills Brit in stabbing rampage' in Australia
Photo: AFP

A Frenchman allegedly killed a British woman and stabbed three others in an Australian backpacker's hostel.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
'To boycott France is to surrender to terrorists'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
21 photos to make you want to come to France right now
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
This is how much the French are obsessed with cheese
National
French MP's call for Facebook ID cards blasted 'as idiotic'
Travel
Summer checklist: Fourteen great travel ideas for France
Travel
Here's why France is still world's top tourist destination
'Wealthy American tourists' snub France over terror fears
National
Where to go swimming in France (and where to avoid)
Society
23 subtle signs you'll never quite master French
2,741
jobs available