SHARE
COPY LINK

FOOTBALL

Zidane ‘never apologized’ for headbutt: Materazzi

The former Italian footballer Marco Materazzi revealed on Tuesday that despite being prepared to bury the hatchet with his old foe the legendary French player Zinédine Zidane, their long-standing grudge is unlikely to come to an end.

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

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.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

FOOTBALL

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage

French prosecutors on Friday called for a 15-year prison sentence for one of two Russians accused of beating a British supporter during Euro 2016, an attack that left him with brain injuries.

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage
Russian fans light flares at the match against England in 2016.. Photo: AFP

One prosecutor, Christophe Raffin, asked for the “legal maximum… between 14 and 15 years” for Pavel Kossov, who is accused of throwing the first punch at 55-year-old Andrew Bache.

Bache was injured in the violence that broke out before England played Russia in the southern French port city of Marseille on June 11th, 2016.

The second Russian on trial in Aix-en-Provence, Mikhail Ivkine, stands accused of throwing a chair at the victim, with prosecutors asking for a potential suspended sentence of up to five years.

He has claimed he was defending himself.

“No, it wasn't legitimate self-defence, it was illegitimate use of force against Andrew Bache,” Raffin said of the violence.

 

Police give emergency aid to Andrew Bache following clashes in the city of Marseille. Photo: AFP

The prosecutors said the Russians were part of a group of about 150 men, many with martial arts training, who wrought havoc in Marseille.

Bache, from Portsmouth in southern England, has no memory of the events and is too frail to attend the trial.

His son Harry, who nurses his father, is representing him in court.

SHOW COMMENTS