• France edition
 
Zidane 'never apologized' for headbutt: Materazzi
'Headbutt', a bronze sculpture by Abdel Abdessemed, outside the Pompidou centre in Paris. Photo: Channone Arif

Zidane 'never apologized' for headbutt: Materazzi

Published: 22 Jan 2013 17:49 GMT+01:00
Updated: 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
EU tells France to allow unions in the military
France has been told to allow unions in its armed forces. Photo: AFP

EU tells France to allow unions in the military

The European rights court on Thursday ruled that a blanket ban on trade unions within the French armed forces was a violation of the rights of military staff. READ  

Helicopter crash in France leaves five dead
A helicopter crashed in France on Thursday killing five Swiss people aboard. Photo: Doubs Prefecture

Helicopter crash in France leaves five dead

UPDATED: Five people were left dead and two others injured when a helicopter crashed in the garden of a suburban house in eastern France on Thursday. READ  

In Images: French sports hunks bare (almost) all
France's eagerly awaited annual gallery of semi-naked sports hunks that is the "Dieux du Stade" calendar came out on Thursday. Photo: StadeSA

In Images: French sports hunks bare (almost) all

France's famous annual gallery of lean, muscular and semi-naked stars from the world of sport came out on Thursday in the form of the new "Dieux du Stade" calendar. Fans of barely clothed athletes won't be disappointed. READ  

University rankings
'Lack of English' holding back French universities
French universities have fallen in the global rankings once again. Photo: Jean-Pierre Clatot

'Lack of English' holding back French universities

Only two French universities made it into the top 100 of a new global ranking. A problem with branding and a lack of research in English explains the poor scores, says the man behind the annual league table. READ  

Rant about Monaco's prince lands man in jail
It's a crime to insult Prince Albert II of Monaco, shown here, as one man found out the hard way. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

Rant about Monaco's prince lands man in jail

Visitors to Monaco would be wise to mind their tongue. A Tunisian man was slapped with a three-month prison sentence after being convicted of insulting the principality's royal family during a "vulgar" rant. READ  

The Local List
What the French find weird about Anglos
Here's what the French think is odd about Anglos. Photo: Man eating: Shutterstock

What the French find weird about Anglos

What passes for normal behaviour and customs among Anglos can look pretty alien to the French at times. Here’s our list of the things the French find weird about us. What else would you add? READ  

Sarkozy's seven ideas for how to save France
Sarkozy has come up with his plan of how to fix France. Photo: Eric Feferberg/AFP

Sarkozy's seven ideas for how to save France

Nicolas Sarkozy’s return to French politics continued apace this week when he presented his plan for how "hope" can be restored to France. We've narrowed his personal rescue package down to seven key proposals. READ  

JobTalk France - Job fair
Paris job fair opens with 10,000 posts up for grabs
There are 10,000 jobs up for grabs at the Paris Pour L'Emploi jobs fair this week. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

Paris job fair opens with 10,000 posts up for grabs

Anyone within reach of Paris and in need of work could do worse than heading down to Place de la Concorde on Thursday and Friday, where 2,000 top recruiters will be taking CVs as part of the annual Paris Pour Emploi job fair. There are 10,000 jobs up for grabs. READ  

France moves step closer to plastic bag ban
Plastic bags will soon become a thing of the past in France. Photo: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP

France moves step closer to plastic bag ban

The prospect of a nationwide plastic bag ban in France moved a step closer this week with the proposal included in the government’s energy bill that was debated in Parliament. Paris is leading the race to be the country’s first plastic bag free city. READ  

France sends more fighter jets to fight Isis
France is sending more fighter jets to bomb Isis targets in Iraq, the country's military says. Photo: Alexander Klein/AFP

France sends more fighter jets to fight Isis

France confirmed this week that it will be sending more fighter jets to the Middle East to carry out air strikes against jihadists from Isis who have taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Gallery
It's that time if the year again: French sportsmen reveal (almost) all
Gallery
So what do the French find really weird about Anglos?
Travel
Paris museums to open seven days a week but unions are not happy
Culture
Caption contest: What happened when Jay Z met Sark O?
International
This explains why the French never seem to get a sense of déjà vu?
National
VIDEO: Here's a view from the Eiffel Tower you haven't seen before
Travel
Do Paris's iconic rooftops deserve Unesco World Heritage status?
Opinion
'France cannot reform, the pilots' strike showed us this'
National
'We just don’t work hard enough in France.' Is that true?
International
France has moved to beef up security in various public places
National
Hiking naked in France does not come risk-free
Culture
10 French customs that confuse Anglos
National
IN PICTURES: A look inside France's 'most notorious' prison
International
Isis urges killing of 'spiteful, dirty' French
National
Paris installs new device to stop 'love lock' craze
National
Paris cabby dies in vicious high-heel attack
National
'Paris is a sexy city, its beauty is inspiring'
Culture
Depardieu: ‘I drink 14 bottles of booze a day’
National
Top French chefs want banned bird on menu
National
VIDEO: Making of French rugby hunk calendar
National
Ten great bars in Paris only locals know about
Society
France's top expat tribes: Which are you?
National
France to set flat-rate for Paris airport taxis
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se