It’s been almost 14 years since one of the most incredible moments in the history of football.
It was the 2006 World Cup final between France and Italy.
Zinedine Zidane had put France 1-0 with an incredibly nonchalant Panenka penalty before Marco Materazzi equalised before half-time.
With the scores level after 90 minutes, we entered extra-time – which is when the two goalscorers clashed.
Zidane and Materazzi were seen in conversation before the French captain took a step forward and planted his head onto the Italian’s chest. After consultation with off-field officials, Zidane was shown a red card in his final match as a professional footballer.
Italy eventually won on penalties but everyone wanted to know what Materazzi had said to spark Zidane’s crazy reaction.
At first, reports claimed Materazzi had insulted Zidane’s mother. However, comments from the Italian years later denied that – admitted that it was his sister that he spoke about.
“My mother died when I was 15, I would never have insulted his,” Materazzi said in 2017. “I spoke about his sister.”
But what had he said about Zidane’s sister?
Well, 14 years on, Materazzi has finally revealed exactly what he said.
Quoted by the likes of AS, Le Parisien and Football Italia, Materazzi was answering a few questions on an Instagram Live earlier this week and, obviously, the Zidane headbutt cropped up.
Here’s what he had to say:
“Zidane’s headbutt? I wasn’t expecting it in that moment. I was lucky enough that the whole episode took me by surprise because if I had expected something like that to happen and had been ready for it, I’m sure both of us would have ended up being sent off,” the defender explained.
“There had been a bit of contact between us in the area. He had scored France’s goal in the first half and our coach (Marcello Lippi) told me to mark him. After that first brush between us, I apologised but he reacted badly,” Materazzi recalled.
“The late tackles, altercations and exchanges continued until 110 minutes, when things reached a head.
After the third clash, I frowned and he retorted: ‘I’ll give you my shirt later’. I replied that I’d rather have his sister than his shirt.
That was enough for Zidane to lose his cool and shove his head into Materazzi’s chest.
It was the last thing the legendary midfielder ever did on a football pitch.