Zinedine Zidane: The Most Spectacular End To A Football Career

It goes without saying that the world cup final is football’s ultimate occasion It’s the match the whole planet is watching With the biggest prize in the game up for grabs. July 9th in Berlin was no exception. But for all the star players on show that night, all eyes were on one man, and one man only. Zinedine Zidane One of the greatest of his generation would take to the field one last time Captain his country as they looked to win the most important trophy in sport And bow out in the most spectacular fashion of all Initially, It looked as though France wouldn’t even qualify for the tournament at all. They drew twice against Israel they drew against Ireland, against Switzerland. We had a lack of Leadership and the coach, Raymond Domenech, like called talked with Zizou and he told him to come back because he needs leadership Along with 1998 world cup winning heroes Lillian Thuram, Bixente Lizarazu and Marcel Desailly Zidane came out of international retirement to help “Les Bleus” seal their place at Germany 2006 Coming back and saying I’m doing this to play my last World Cup. Well nobody was really gonna let him down in a way. So he gave a major psychological boost and also technical boost I mean he was the real boss on the pitch Zidane is a visionary player and is an incredible interpreter of this job. The talismanic playmaker was made captain and almost single handedly dragged Raymond Domenech’s previously shaky looking side all the way to the final. With sensational individual performances against Brazil and Portugal in the knock out rounds. Producing these amazing masterclasses against Spain, against Brazil which is probably the best individual performance I’ve seen of a football player. He was awarded the golden ball for “Best Player” at the tournament before the final. But nobody could have known just how much of the story was still yet to unfold. The great thing was for Italy to be in a final after a really complicated year in domestic football because we had a betting scandal called Calciopoli. In May 2006, the Italian police uncovered a coordination of game rigging between some of Italy’s top clubs. this scandal left the country’s image in a dubious state. The match started in as dramatic a fashion as you’d hope to see. Marco Materazzi’s clumsy challenge on Florent Malouda inside 10 minutes handed France a penalty and a golden chance to make the perfect start to the final. Zidane took and looked to overdone his pitching wedge of a Panenka. Time standing still as the ball clipped back off the underside of the bar and eventually over the line. When the ball came down, you didn’t even know if it was in or not so people just froze and then it was just a major burst of happiness really. It was a proof of “Fou” and of huge talent. Materazzi redeemed himself before the halfway stage of the first half though Raising highest to head home an Andrea Pirlo corner and equalise for Italy. By the end of the match, the two goalscorers names would be the only names on everyone’s lips but not for reasons anyone could have predicted. With the score level at 1 – 1 after a surprisingly open 90 minutes the game went to extra time In the 109th minute, Materazzi and Zidane began talking on the edge of the Italian box. Materazzi was just a defender of Inter Milan which was at the time the team that took advantage the most from Calciopoli. Being an AC Milan fan I witnessed Materazzi’s attitude in a lot of games and everyone knew he wasn’t a nice guy. Exactly what was said still remains somewhat unclear but we all know what happened next. Inexplicably; Zidane, the embodiment of calmness and class on the pitch headbutted the Italian centre back in the chest sending him crashing to the floor. Most headbutts are spontaneous Something that just happens, almost instinctively. When two players are already in each other’s faces But this one was entirely calculated. Horacio Elizondo had no choice but to produce a red card and ensure that Zidane’s final act in a sport he had played with such beauty and served with such distinction would be one of shocking, premeditated violence. And ultimately led to Italy winning the world cup on penalties. Later, Zidane went on to say… All great tragic heroes have a fatal flaw and this was Zidane’s. A narrative that football likes to weave is that of a player who exists on the edge consumed with fire and passion that translate to greatness on the pitch but also suffer from occasional bouts of hot headed madness. This was one such moment, and it was pure theatre Materazzi, the ultimate antagonist with form for provocation exploited Zidane’s weakness by insulting his sister and the midfielder fell for the bait, hook, line and sinker with devestating consequences. It was surreal, it was tragic I mean even now I think every French football fan remembers Thierry Gilardi, he was the French commentator and his comments live on TV were “No, not that Zinedine, not after everything you’ve achieved.” It’s impossible to state how otherworldy the whole thing felt. A man at the apex of world football, known for the beauty of his play commiting such a primal act of aggression and losing his head so badly. Zidane had gone from being on the verge of possibly delivering a second World Cup for his country and complete footballing immortality to, in some people’s eyes, tarnishing his reputation forever. Why did he do that in his last match? Watching the almost surreal images of Zidane after the headbutt contemplating his actions, awaiting the red card and about to leave the pitch for the last time. You can almost see his whole career flash before his eyes The French media turned on Zizou with Le Figaro calling the headbutt “Odious” while L’Equipe asked how could he ever be considered a role model after what he’d done. The public were far more sympathetic though with polls carried out in the immediate aftermath of the incident showing 61% of French people had already forgiven him for his actions while 52% said they understood them. But while the French wept, Italy rejoiced. For some it was a blight on their victory. I would have prefered to win the match without Zidane’s red carge. Revenge over France was sweet after losing out to them in the final of Euro 2000. Especially with David Trezeguet who scored the winner that day missing the crucial penalty in the shootout. The big question is just how much of an impact did the headbutt have on Zidane’s legacy. Ultimately, it’s a subjective thing. While some see it as the defining image of the midfielder, others look past it and remember the many, many moments of pure inspiration on the pitch. What’s certain is that it did give us one last piece insight into the man himself as he walked off the Olimpiastadion turf past the World Cup trophy. His last game had turned into a microcosm of his career; unapologetic genius, madness, creativity… and beautiful chaos. All carried out with an unmistakeable “Frenchness”. “King Zizou”

100 thoughts on “Zinedine Zidane: The Most Spectacular End To A Football Career

  • Fuck Materazzi, I was gutted to see France lose, they didn't deserve it. Materazzi is a dirty little tosser!

  • What a video … great work, what memories of this tragic evening … we can not blame him, he brought us a world cup, which few countries can venture. I really hope that France will win in 2018, it is not the best team but is clearly more than just an outsider

  • Doesn't tarnish his image in any way in my opinion, if anything it only adds to it. Probably the greatest midfielder of all time and that's how he'll be remembered, along with possibly one of the greatest coaches of all time if he continues in the direction he's going.

  • ''If you look at the fourteen red cards I had in my career, twelve of them were a result of provocation. This isn’t justification, this isn’t an excuse, but my passion, temper and blood made me react.''
    This is just amazing

  • It is not the end of his international career as he still is a football manager. It is rather the end of him being a football player.

  • I hope you can do a video about the Romanian League Title fiasco, we are days of beginning the championship, and the title is still being decided at TAS.

  • They won playing against zidane….he played 108 minutes lol stop saying you wanted to win it with zidane playing. They won it fair and square

  • So ironic an Algerian player headbutted his legacy LMAO .
    anyways im just joking but for me Zidane is the best player that ever walked this earth and he could've been concidered the best player of all time if he didn't headbutted that stupid italian defender and won the trophy for the 2nd time with a weakend French team against an OP Italian team.

    For the ppl that didn't get the joke well let me explain:
    so headbutting someone while fighting is a symbol of dominance and manliness in an African country named Algeria and Zidane's origine is yeah you guessed it ALGERIAN…..so yeah pretty neet joke right? anyone?…..hmpff………ok.

  • He is my favorite player ever and I have a lot of respect for him not taking any shit about his family.

  • World cup 06 was a spectacle, I'll probably never forget watching this game, pure entertainment. Absolutely no idea how he mustered the finesse to pull off the panenka while carrying balls the size of wrecking balls, mad respect.

  • Comes back, wins two UCLs back to back and ends Barca's dominance on La Liga.
    Once a legend, always a legend.

  • France cheated against Portugal with a dive.. They performed the same dive against Italy like it was practised. They may have got the penalty but thank fuck ITALY won !

  • materazzi was just talking back after zidane said if you want my shirt you can have it after the game… materazzi said id rather have your sisters… how is materazzi to be blamed for that? zidane tried to play mind games. got served.. and couldnt control his emotions…. blame it on materazzi… funny!! I respect Zidane as a wonderful footballer… but hey Materazzi wasnt even first choice defender but nesta got injured… he scored and played maginficently till the final.. kept his cool.. scored in the final and in the PK shootouts… he was brilliant.

  • this video is idiotic. "Premeditated violence?" is that how you describe Zidane. Perhaps you would like to address his algerian heritage and stop dancing around the glass. It's obvious…

  • Zidane showed me that no matter what the occasion or how big always stand up for your family. This was one of the biggest anti-racist statements in soccer of all time !! Thank You ZIDANE !! You give me courage !!

  • Zidane's red card came in the 110th minute. Why do some people implicitly assume that France would've won with him?

  • For me he was the best player l had seen in 40 yrs but what was even more impressive is his honour exacting revenge for the big mouth italian he shamed in the final.

  • It was a head but to the chest, and it was a stupid decision. It hardly tarnished his 13 years of brilliance. This video makes it so dramatic.

  • Italy cheated and won. Zidane is remembered as one of the greatest to ever play the game. Materazzi will always be a villain for me.

  • The saddest part of the entire match was that image of Zidane, walking off the pitch after being sent off – he walks right by the cup, its so close he could touch it, but his head is hanging down and he is utterly dejected. I knew they would lose without him, I think that had a huge impact on their morale and capacity to take the penalties, because the players minds were on the incident and no way could they have been totally focused.

  • His only mistake was he was a foot too low, after what was sad to him. Great player and the public didn't care what the media said they stood by ZZ

  • good for him!!!..i would had punch the italian bastard in his face..lol…italians are the most disgusting people..they will never play a clean football …except for one man…Pirlo


  • Imagine if he decided to keep his cool, won the world cup and then….. THEN he would HEADBUT THAT ASS with the trophy in hand…

  • Italy deserved to win the World Cup even with Zidane on the pitch! Im annoyed that this video is making out that Italy only won the WC due to Zidane sending off and that fake Italian fan saying "Id would of prefer if we won with Zidane still playing" fuck off! Italy as a team gave heart and soul that year the only lucky moment in my eyes was against Australia we were so lucky but everything else we done due merit. Look at Italy Germany in the Semi to beat the home nations in their doorstep and Del Piero redeeming himself for scoring the golden goal after so many years of hurt and a lot of stick from the media no one talks about that? Yes Calciopoli happened before the WC started yes it left a bad smell because of it and Italian football has never been the same since but that Italy team was a defying example of how Italian Football is and was the best. Zizu was silly but that's life but he will always be the best in his generation no matter what!

  • Italy was not great, Italy had the scandal but does that make Zdane great. What is his excuse for getting a red card against Saudi Arabia. If the Saudi player did insult Zidance, the Saudi king would have punished that player.

  • As great a player Zidane is, can we just take a moment to appreciate the editing and documentation of this video. 7 mins flew by so quickly. Captivating narraration and apt editing. Great Work Eli and Copa90 team.

  • I was 4 at this Time, but i still remember, that was pretty damn harsh and today in French school it's still very rude to call someone materazi

  • The 2006 World Cup was the first world cup I ever watched. After Zizou smacked the Italian down, I actually started to like Zizou. Maybe I would have done the same.

  • At some point in ZZ life someone will make him mad and he will walk away. That will be his greatest victory.

  • What red card ? what penalty shoot out ? It's a well known fact that France won their second world cup in 2006 through a Zidane screamer in the 120th minute..

  • If you hear words that are displeasing to you, you may respond with more words. You may not respond to words with violence, it is against the rules and It Is Actually Wrong.

  • Zidane Is still and forever will be a legend. Materazzi will disappear in to Oblivion. Enough said about it.

  • Seriously couldn’t watch the whole vid due to the terrible sound quality from a shitty choice to skype people to get their opinions.

  • its kinda gud too. what a great way to retire for the football legend. he will be in history forever.

    though i am worried about future genrations that dont know him and may change their perception about him by just seeing the headbutt.

  • So he made mistake, so what? He only lost his temper for once. People act like he murdered someone. If I had to count how many times my friends, relatives, even my mother or father, lost their temper… come on. People on the streets punch each other all the time over smaller things. Why is this so different? Matterazzi was provoking him, I have understanding for what he did even though it was wrong. People make big think out of small one. He got a red card, that's it, done deal. What punishment did Matterazzi get for his horrible words? Nothing. So provoking a person is acceptable, reacting to it is not? People over the world do worse things daily. Stop your moralistic bullshit. At least the public had some common sense and understood unlike moralising journalists who lost contact with the reality as they themselves got used to provoking people daily.

  • Holy fuck zidane is so fucking legendary 😍😍😍😍 3 champions league wins in a row then quits as real madrid manager. You can't hate on zidane for the head but , it's the same head that was used to score 2 goals in the 98 world cup final plus it's nice & bald . Materazzi was only winding him up because he wanted to touch it i don't blame him , I'd be happy if i could touch zidane's head 🤤😍

  • I feel as though this was probably the only time when the losing team ultimately gained more sympathy than the winning team received praise. When we think about that 2006 World Cup, what we first remember is Zidane's headbutt, not Italy's victory. In a way, it's both sad and "right," because from what we later found out, Zidane's red card was provoked by some not-so-friendly words from Materazzi.

  • what are you talking about dude. We LOVED the headbutt! This legend went out with a BANG!

  • This incident was always very fishy to me. WTF will headbutt someone on the fucking final of the World cup with the whole World watching? That motherfucker got paid to get ejected and throw the game. The fix was in.

  • Zz won everything as a player,scored in all of the tournaments/2002 left footed volley at Glasgow to win the champions league wow!!.headbutted an a knob matteratzi (think that's the right spelling who cares") moves into management with Los blanc and wins 3 champion's league on the trot then walks away-the great Zinedine Zidane xxxxxxxx

  • adesso ridacci la nostra Gioconda! Perché siamo noi i campioni del mondo!
    {now gave us our Monna Lisa ‘cause we are the world champion!}

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *