A day in history. Exactly 18 years ago, Zidane knocked out Materazzi with a header

On July 9, 2006, exactly 18 years ago, the national teams of France and Italy faced each other in the final of the
World Cup held in Germany. This match is remembered for one of the most iconic and controversial moments
in World Cup history.

More than 300,000 people call for a replay of Germany’s quarter-finals

With the score tied at 1-1 in the 110th minute of the game, France’s captain, Zinedine Zidane, headbutted Italy’s
central defender, Marco Materazzi, in the chest, knocking him down. Zidane was subsequently shown a red card for his action, leaving France to continue the match with ten players.

The incident sparked much debate about what provoked Zidane’s aggressive response. Later, Materazzi revealed that he had insulted Zidane, saying, “Zidane offered to swap shirts, and I simply told him I’d prefer his sister.” This comment led to Zidane’s infamous reaction.

As a result of Zidane’s dismissal, the match proceeded to a penalty shootout to determine the winner of the World Cup. Italy emerged victorious in the shootout, claiming their fourth World Cup title.

This match was also significant as it marked the end of Zidane’s illustrious career. Despite the controversial conclusion, Zidane is still regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. The 2006 World Cup final remains a memorable and dramatic moment in football history.

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