Published on NewsOK
Modified: June 6, 2014 at 3:44 am •
Published: June 6, 2014
On July 9 in history: Zinedine Zidane loses his cool as Italy beats France to win 2006 final in Berlin.
Zidane, the hero of 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. At first, the cameras caught Materazzi lying on the ground. It soon emerged that Zidane 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.