Marco Materazzi reveals what he said to Zinedine Zidane to cause that headbutt

Case closed...

Zinedine Zidane Marco Materazzi World Cup 2006
Clonk Zinedine Zidane headbutts Marco Materazzi at World Cup 2006.

We’ve long wondered what was really said between Marco Materazzi and Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final.

Like Bill Murray whispering into Scarlett Johansson’s ear at the close of Lost in Translation, these words have long remained a mystery. Although, the headbutt Materazzi provoked makes it pretty clear that whatever he said was in no way affectionate.

Ten years on from that fateful World Cup showdown, Materazzi has finally come clean about what caused Zidane to explode.

“My words were stupid but did not deserve that reaction.”

The full details will be in Materazzi’s upcoming autobiography, but he’s given a taste in an interview with L’Equipe.

“I decided to publish a book about this event because everyone asked me what I had told him (Zidane) to react like that,” he said.

“My words were stupid but did not deserve that reaction. In any neighbourhood of Rome, Naples, Turin, Milan Paris, I hear much more serious things.

“I talked about his sister not his mother, like I have read in some newspapers. My mother died while I was a teenager, I would never insult his.”

So contentious where these words, Materazzi even took newspapers the Daily Mail, Daily Star and The Sun to court in 2008 when they claimed his comments to Zidane were racist.

The Italian defender won libel damages over it, and now it looks like the matter can – at last – be put to bed. That is, unless Zidane wants to fire back with his own side of the story…

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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