9 July 2014

ON THIS DAY: Zidane headbutts Materazzi in 2006

In this Sunday, July 9, 2006, file photo, France's Zinedine Zidane, left, looks on as Italy's Marco Materazzi lies injured, and Italy's Fabio Cannavaro reacts, during extra time in the World Cup final soccer match between Italy and France, at the Olympic Stadium, in Berlin. On this day: Zidane is sent off minutes before the end of the final after head-butting Italy defender Materazzi. Italy wins ensuing penalty shoot-out to claim its fourth World Cup.
On July 9 in World Cup history: Zinedine Zidane loses his cool as Italy beats France to win 2006 final in Berlin.

Zidane, who led France to the title in 1998, was persuaded to come out of international retirement to lead his country in the World Cup in Germany. After a slow start to the tournament, France beat Spain, Brazil and Portugal to make the final. Zidane gave France the lead with a nonchalant penalty in the seventh minute. However, defender Marco Materazzi soon headed Italy level. The score remained tied deep into extra time when the two goalscorers were at the center of one of the most shocking episodes in World Cup history. Cameras missed the incident at first, suddenly showing Materazzi lying on the ground. Replays showed that Zidane had raced towards the defender and felled him with his head — his last act as a professional footballer. Down to 10 men, France held on until the penalty shootout, which Italy won after scoring all five spot kicks. The Azzurri won their fourth World Cup.