On this day: Zinedine Zidane sees red in World Cup final

Seven years ago today, Zinedine Zidane's career came to an end when he was red-carded during the World Cup final.

He was the greatest player of his generation and arguably one of the best ever to grace a football pitch.

So when Zinedine Zidane's penalty against Portugal sent France through to the final of the 2006 World Cup, the stage appeared to be set for the retiring midfielder to bow out in style.

Everything seemed to be going as per the script when in the seventh minute Zidane put the French into a 1-0 lead over Italy. His heart may have been in his mouth, though, as his casually chipped penalty went in via the underside of the crossbar.

Zinedine Zidane chips in a penalty during the 2006 World Cup final.© PA Photos

However, in the 19th minute Italy's Andrea Pirlo sent over a corner for his teammate Marco Materazzi, who converted a header beyond the reach of former Manchester United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez.

Chances were few and far between thereafter and consequently the match headed into extra time where the two goalscorers would be involved in one of the most memorable moments in World Cup history.

There were 11 minutes left before penalties and the ball was in the France half when all of a sudden Materazzi fell to the floor in apparent agony at the other end of the pitch.

While confusion initially engulfed everyone, television replays soon showed that Zidane had planted his head with brute force into Materazzi's chest.

Zinedine Zidane looks on after headbutting Marco Materazzi.© PA Photos

It was later claimed that the Italian defender had verbally insulted Zidane's mother or sister (or both), but he had to be red-carded by Argentine referee Horacio Elizondo and a glittering career had ended in disgrace.

The picture of Zidane walking past a cup that he should have been lifting for a second time is one that lives long in the memory.

Zizou's departure hurt Les Bleus greatly during the shootout. There is no doubt that he would have taken one, but as it was, Italy ran out 5-3 winners to claim the famous trophy for a fourth time.

Andrea Pirlo
Read Next:
Pirlo ruled out for Italy
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool24138354292547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2455141535-2020
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account