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C'mon, you knew it was going to happen...
July 9, 2006 12:59 PM   Subscribe


 
No one has yet.
posted by ChasFile at 1:02 PM on July 9, 2006


Damn! Overtime in a 1:1 tie!

Where can I see this on the web?!?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:02 PM on July 9, 2006


Anyway, how is that a spoiler?

A spoiler would be if you posted it BEFORE it happened. And we wouldn't believe you anyway.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:04 PM on July 9, 2006


France'll win.
posted by dazed_one at 1:10 PM on July 9, 2006


^It's looking that way. Although Italy just had a great save!
posted by stew560 at 1:11 PM on July 9, 2006


It's not overtime, it's extra-time. Yes there's a difference. It's not America.
posted by peacay at 1:13 PM on July 9, 2006


What a fantastic save of Zidane's header by Italy!!!!
posted by Juggermatt at 1:13 PM on July 9, 2006


Yah know what, I fucked up. If you click my link you will be spoiled.

Matt and Jess, there's going to be a post on this. But I fucked up so if you can't find a way to fix it (like adding a disclaimer to the post to not click the link if you haven't see the game,) please delete.

Sorry.

A spoiler would be if you posted it BEFORE it happened. And we wouldn't believe you anyway.

I know it's FARK-ish, but you know we were going to have a post on this. I just wanted something on the front page that wouldn't blow it for people who can't watch it live.

That's pretty much it. Flame away. I do deserve it.
posted by Cyrano at 1:15 PM on July 9, 2006


No tv here: what are shots on goal/possession looking like? I'm guessing France on the offense is pretty damn strong.
posted by dazed_one at 1:17 PM on July 9, 2006


futbol
soccer
world
cup

Great tags.

This entire post is a complete mess.
posted by naxosaxur at 1:20 PM on July 9, 2006


What a fantastic save of incredibly stupid Zidane's header by Italy!!!!
What an incredibly petulant and stupid header (sans ball) by Zidane.
posted by peacay at 1:21 PM on July 9, 2006


WTF Zidane?
posted by pascal at 1:21 PM on July 9, 2006


HE'S BEEN GIVEN THE HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by beerbajay at 1:24 PM on July 9, 2006


I don't know much about soccer. However, after Germany won last night in the 3rd place game, what was probably the biggest party ever for a third-place finish ensued. That was pretty cool.
posted by moonbiter at 1:28 PM on July 9, 2006


What was Zidane thinking?? The other player must have said something about his mama or something.
posted by Juggermatt at 1:30 PM on July 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Allez les bleus!!! ........ Ah, oh well.
posted by salvia at 1:42 PM on July 9, 2006


overtime, extra time -- I'm neither American, nor a sports fan!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:43 PM on July 9, 2006


Italy!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:44 PM on July 9, 2006


Its stupid to think this way, but after that Zidane stupidity I went from just a general rooting for a good game, to activly rooting aginst France. So am happy with the end result
posted by edgeways at 1:44 PM on July 9, 2006


*raises a glass to matteo and, hell, even naxosaxur.*

Sorry again for the fuckup.
posted by Cyrano at 1:44 PM on July 9, 2006


I'm just mad as hell to see Zidane give that rat bastard Le Pen some raw meat to chew on. You know the National Front is going to make lots of (political) cash off of scorning those degenerate immigrant players.
posted by argybarg at 1:46 PM on July 9, 2006


la nazionale italiana è troppo forte!
Regole di Buffon. le loro maglie sono ancora meglio. Buffon è il miglior portiere e tutta la nazionale italiana è troppo forte - the man is like a really big cat with those reflexes!

wonder what on earth did that guy say to Zidane to deserve that headbutt?
posted by dabitch at 1:47 PM on July 9, 2006


whatever it was it worked, head games are part of any sport and someone with as much experience as Zidane seriously fucked up by letting it get to him in this situation
posted by edgeways at 1:49 PM on July 9, 2006


What a fantastic save of Zidane's header by Italy!!!!

Too bad about Zidane's second header. What a disappointment. "Head games" indeed.
posted by Nelson at 1:51 PM on July 9, 2006


Zidane has a little bit of history of bizarre and poorly timed cheap shots, but I was just floored that he would do that in overtime at the finals of the world cup. Unbelieveable.

Man, ending the match on penalties just sucks. They might as well flip a coin. So unsatisfying.

At any rate, congratulations to the Azzuri for a very hard fought (if somewhat artless) tournament. Fabio Cannavaro put in the most fantastic performance I have ever seen from a defensive player. He was involved in nearly every play, and I think was the principle reason for the Italians successful campaign in this WC. If the rumors of him coming to Arsenal are true, I'll be very happy to see him at Highbury (or whatever they are calling the new place) next year.
posted by psmealey at 1:51 PM on July 9, 2006


*raises a glass to matteo and, hell, even naxosaxur.*

At least fix the tag first. And it didn't work, btw. Someone else just rushed to post the winner to the front page, spoiling it for folks who may have been waiting to watch the game.
posted by mediareport at 1:54 PM on July 9, 2006


quick! flag it!
posted by dabitch at 1:58 PM on July 9, 2006


Is the WC trophy passed from team to team over the years, or is it made new each time?
posted by edgeways at 1:59 PM on July 9, 2006


i think you were right to post this as mefi was going to discuss the match and this post allowed people to do that without ruining it for those who hadn't seen it yet.

there was a dick and i'm glad to see that FPP has been deleted.
posted by quarsan at 2:01 PM on July 9, 2006






Madness. Nothing will tarnish his career though.
posted by fire&wings at 2:04 PM on July 9, 2006


dunno, an end like this definitely puts a asterisk to his career, when ever he will be talked about there will be this mentioned. Last play of his career.
posted by edgeways at 2:08 PM on July 9, 2006


This will undoubtedly tarnish his career. What a horrible, horrible way to go out. I was traveling in Europe throughout this cup and really got into it. I'm officially a fan of football now.

ZZ became my Michael Jordan. Despite being half Italian and having a few good friends in Italy, I was rooting for the French. But after that head butt, something changed in me. That this superstar, this elder statesman of international football should end his career on such a cheap shot. It's tragic and inexcusable.

I saw the light. Italia!
posted by aladfar at 2:09 PM on July 9, 2006


Did Materazzi give Zidane a titty twister? Kinda looked like it.
posted by gottabefunky at 2:10 PM on July 9, 2006


Was the game already over when he did it or was doing it what allowed Italy to have a penatly kick?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 2:11 PM on July 9, 2006


This World Cup final won't be remembered as the one that Italy won, but the one that Zidane went insane in. His legacy, good or bad, will forever overshadow the crap Italian penalty shoot-out win.
posted by dopamine at 2:11 PM on July 9, 2006


What a way to retire.
posted by caddis at 2:12 PM on July 9, 2006


when ever he will be talked about there will be this mentioned

I have to agree. The case of Eric Cantona comes to mind.

Plus, a good deal of the world just witnessed it. It's gonna be talked about for quite some time.
posted by First Post at 2:12 PM on July 9, 2006


Is Zidane suddenly Ray Lewis or something? A cheap shot to be sure but it couldn't have hurt the guy that much.
posted by b_thinky at 2:14 PM on July 9, 2006


First Post we were talking about Cantona with my mates not five minutes before Zidane did his headbutt...
posted by slimepuppy at 2:16 PM on July 9, 2006


It took a lot of self-control for the rest of the italian team not to charge that son of a bitch and beat him to a bloody bald stump. good for them. here's hoping he's crying right now. sheer villainy, and to hell with zidane.
posted by shmegegge at 2:18 PM on July 9, 2006


You Should See the Other Guy, play was away from the ball, no penalty kick on goal was awarded, he was just ejected. The penalty kicks refereed to here is just the end-of-the-friggen-long-game-lets-get-it-over way of having a shootout, each team gets five unencumbered shots to get it past the goal keeper, not really a penality-per-se. Lots of people hate this way of ending games, I'm ambivalent. Not the best way to end, but better than a tie, and keeping the game going dramatically increases the odds of injury. *shrug*
posted by edgeways at 2:18 PM on July 9, 2006


b_thinky, I think you'll find that being nutted in the chest like that hurts like a fucker (for a few moments at least).

And that's hardly the point, is it? The fact that he deliberately headbutted an opponent is. A red card doesn't quite do that justice. I assume the FA's going to fine the shit out of him...

Gentleman's sport indeed.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:19 PM on July 9, 2006


Gentleman's sport indeed

iirc, the "Gentleman's sport" is actually hunting children.
posted by shmegegge at 2:20 PM on July 9, 2006


Agreed ... Zidane had a halo -- he seemed like the man to lead on and off field -- or he seemed. What a blow. I cried -- for the game, for all the players. Zidane fell from grace.

Hard to watch the joy at the end, although the Italians deserved their joy.

What a let down.
posted by Surfurrus at 2:21 PM on July 9, 2006


b_think, I certainly wouldn't want a head but to the chest that knocks me down. I don't know how much it hurt, but football severely frowns on intentional acts of harm, plus, while we know he must have been somewhat provoked, just looking at it it seems to come kind of out of the blue, nothing out of the ordinary, for a football game, seems to be going on prior to the attack. Good thing he retired, he'd be out of a few other FIFA games, and is probably going to get a big fine as well.

on preview slimepuppy's got it
posted by edgeways at 2:25 PM on July 9, 2006


Did Materazzi give Zidane a titty twister? Kinda looked like it.

From the Guardian Online:
"115 mins: Replays show that Materazzi's crime was to, erm, tweak Zidane's nipple.
posted by ericb at 2:26 PM on July 9, 2006


anyway.... anyone have opinions on the new ball they used?
posted by edgeways at 2:26 PM on July 9, 2006


Gentleman's sport indeed.

Well, gentleman's sport played by hooligans if you believe the old saying.
posted by psmealey at 2:28 PM on July 9, 2006


And is it rugby that is a hooligan's sport played by gentlemen? Old sayings, not always accurate.

(don't get me wrong I like me some rugby)
posted by edgeways at 2:32 PM on July 9, 2006


Edgeways, that's not too unaccurate a statement. The players in rugby do a lot of damage to each other but tend to be quite civil about it all. Well, at least in comparison to footballers... Not that I've watched too much rugby, but that's the impression I have.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:35 PM on July 9, 2006


Inaccurate. D'oh. Too much red wine with my World Cup.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:35 PM on July 9, 2006


just looking at it it seems to come kind of out of the blue

Yeah, even if he was provoked, he obviously started walking away and then premeditated the headbutt. If it was an act of passion, he would have done it immediately after he was provoked, but it was just a dumb pissing contest of who could inflict the most pain. There are a lot of jerks in professional sports, but most of them aren't so moronic as to make it completely obvious to the whole world by taking a tactic straight from the caveman combat handbook.
posted by scottreynen at 2:40 PM on July 9, 2006


That was bizarre. The long wait when it looked like the ref and his assistant hadn't seen it, then confirmation coming from the 4th official that Zidane had in fact butted Materazzi in front of millions and the ref rushing over with his red card out. Remember Figo only got a yellow for his headbutt on a dutch player, though it was a lesser attack.

That clip of Zidane walking slowly, head-down past the world cup - knowing that with him, Henry and Viera off the field, France's chances on penalties were down dramatically. What a stupid stupid way to end such a great career. Every single time someone discusses his record, they'll be that stain which will come up. What a sheer moment of madness.

Materazzi though - hell of match for him too. He conceded the penalty that Zidane scored from, then comes back to score himself, Gets Zidane sent off, and scores one of the winning penalties.

The biggest irony of all? The bulk of the Italian world cup winners might be playing 2nd and 3rd division football tomorrow. The decision of whether 4 big Italian clubs are to be relegated due to corruption and match fixing is due tomorrow...
posted by ArkhanJG at 2:40 PM on July 9, 2006


Thanks, edgeways. That animated gif is everything I've seen on the Cup. ;)
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 2:41 PM on July 9, 2006


Zidane's headbutt (youtube)
posted by dabitch at 2:46 PM on July 9, 2006


The bulk of the Italian world cup winners might be playing 2nd and 3rd division football tomorrow.

Nope -- almost all of them (if not all) have contract releases if relgeated clauses. However, it's going to make for an interesting summer with the number of players who are suddenly going to be free agents.
posted by eriko at 2:49 PM on July 9, 2006


eriko: Well, I figured they wouldn't stay with their relegated clubs long at all. Still somewhat bizarre if it happens! As you say, it's going to be somewhat of a firesale...
posted by ArkhanJG at 2:52 PM on July 9, 2006


it's an honour just to be nominated.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:54 PM on July 9, 2006


Dear Italians,

Please stop honking your car horns.

Sincerely,
Dobie
posted by dobie at 2:54 PM on July 9, 2006


Dear Dobie -

Go get headbutted by the French.

Love,
Italia!
(HOONK!)
posted by eriko at 2:55 PM on July 9, 2006


Wow, that headbutt was so fucking... cowardly. At least charge the guy so he sees you're coming, and duke it out like men.

In a just world, Zidane would not have been able to walk out of that stadium under his own power.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:56 PM on July 9, 2006


I kinda need to go down Commercial Drive in Vancouver today (the Italian district) but it's gonna be a fucking gong show.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:56 PM on July 9, 2006


walks in with an insanely fantastic-never-seen-before chip penalty kick and walks out with a never seen before red card head butt to the chest. He fucking wins.

This is last game you will ever play that means anything (yet it means everything) and you do it all in one game. Brilliant. Cheers and farewell Z.
posted by hatchetjack at 2:57 PM on July 9, 2006


Gentleman's sport

Well, after the headbutt and before the shootout, the opposing goalies did give each other a friendly hug. It was a sweet moment. I'm having trouble imagining that kind of thing happening in any pro championship in the USA.
posted by mediareport at 3:02 PM on July 9, 2006


Dear Italians,

Please stop honking your car horns.

Sincerely,
Dobie


Do you live at College & Ossington too? I literally can't get out my front door! Our front lawn is covered in happy Italians, which isn't actually a bad thing, just a little odd is all :D That headbutt was nuts, what a terrible thing to do to himself and his team. But the guy he butted was clearly talking trash to him immediately beforehand.
posted by zarah at 3:05 PM on July 9, 2006


[Cyrano, I don't know why it's bugging me so much, but would you PLEASE change your "world" and "cup" tags to "worldcup"? Thanks!
posted by mediareport at 3:06 PM on July 9, 2006


Yes mediareport! That was my impression -- all through this game opponents were reaching out to lift each other off the field, slap hands, backs. They really respected each other. I have never seen anything like that in US sports. It was beautiful.

And, all the more reason Zidane's attack was so horrific.
posted by Surfurrus at 3:08 PM on July 9, 2006


zarah, no I live in Mile-End in Montreal. Little Italy is just down the street.
posted by dobie at 3:10 PM on July 9, 2006


I don't think you have to be a Freudian to imagine that this was Zidane's un- or at least semi-conscious message to the world. He certainly had the stage. And he certainly hijacked the attempt of the ABC commentators ("Is there one more bit of magic left in that #10 jersey") to establish a clear storyline.

He went out on his own terms, even if his terms were rather ugly.
posted by argybarg at 3:10 PM on July 9, 2006


I really hope Materazzi deserved it. I really, really, really hope that whatever he said can make me think, just for a brief moment, "okay, I can kinda understand the reaction."

This whole thing has left a nice, empty feeling in my football-heart, and it's not as if I was the biggest fan of Zidane to begin with, but up until now I never held any animosity towards him. It sucks.
posted by dopamine at 3:11 PM on July 9, 2006


My invented dialog for the moment was

Materazzi : How could you not score off that perfect cross?
Z: I don't know. I hit it like this.
posted by srboisvert at 3:11 PM on July 9, 2006 [6 favorites]


Yes mediareport! That was my impression -- all through this game opponents were reaching out to lift each other off the field, slap hands, backs. They really respected each other. I have never seen anything like that in US sports. It was beautiful.

Have you or mediareport ever actually watched any American sports? The players go around hugging each other after pretty much any game.
posted by Arch_Stanton at 3:13 PM on July 9, 2006


I shouldn't but.....

Metafilter: Our front lawn is covered in happy Italians.

On preview, srboisvert gets a LOL!!
posted by eriko at 3:16 PM on July 9, 2006


If it was an act of passion, he would have done it immediately after he was provoked

By having seeing the incident several times now in slow motion you have no started to reconstruct a psychological profile to explain Zidane's action in that scenario? Bullshit. You have no idea what was going on in the man's mind. Not everyone's circuitry works the same.

I consider myself among those that really hope Materazzi deserved it (I wonder if he had done this to Christiano Ronaldo, we would be having this discussion? ;-), but as bizarre and unforgiveable as it was, I'm sure there was a reason for it that we'll never learn or understand.
posted by psmealey at 3:16 PM on July 9, 2006


I don't know much about international soccer, so I "adopted" the French team and Zidane as the team I would follow and support during the playoffs. Imagine my surprise when my "new favorite player" turned in, IMHO, the single stupidest move in the history of sports.

Seriously, I'm trying to think of stupid, deliberate (not accidental) moves by athletes actually in specific, high profile situations.

The only thing coming to mind right now is the Leon Lett / Don Beebe Super Bowl incident. But even then, the Cowboys were way, way up on the scoreboard, so it didn't matter.

Anyone else? Who can top it?
posted by frogan at 3:16 PM on July 9, 2006


They really respected each other

Well, apart from the Portugese vs the Dutch. Or the Italians vs the US. Or hell, the Portguese vs the English and vs the Germans. Some pretty dirty play in all those games.

Still, overall, it was a good tournament, with a lot of sportsmanship.
posted by ArkhanJG at 3:17 PM on July 9, 2006


I will add that I think Zidane's move was unforgiveable. Dude actually walked away, turned around, took a few steps and THEN head-butted him. Hard to say it was the "heat of the moment" when he apparently had time to think about it.
posted by frogan at 3:18 PM on July 9, 2006


Hard to say it was the "heat of the moment" when he apparently had time to think about it.

You're personally familiar with the circumstances then? A legend in your sport, the pinnacle moment of the pinnacle competition? Everything you've done for over 100 minutes on a hot German night has frustratingly proved futile? Maybe you get a nipple tweaked, maybe you heard something deplorable about your mother or something...

Sometimes even when you have time to think about something, you are too spent to even think.

I'm not excusing anything, but to write something off as premeditated because for you, in your experiential capacity, it would have to be premeditated, is frustrating.

It could very well have been the way you describe, but it could just as easily have not been.
posted by dopamine at 3:24 PM on July 9, 2006


(I wonder if he had done this to Christiano Ronaldo, we would be having this discussion? ;-)

Shudder. That means portugal would have been in the world cup final and probably won, and we'd have had the lovely spectacle of Ronaldo's team-mates screaming at the ref for - and getting - a red card against arguably the best football player of his generation, for a headbutt on a player who's probably the most deserving of one in the world cup.

Thanks for that, you've made me realise it could have been a lot worse. At least the Italians deserved to win, overall.

Zidane should hang his head in shame though. He let himself down, he let his team down, he let his country down. It doesn't really matter what was said to him - he should have got his revenge by putting away a 2nd penalty kick and maybe winning the world cup. We'll never know - and neither will he.
posted by ArkhanJG at 3:28 PM on July 9, 2006


A legend in your sport, the pinnacle moment of the pinnacle competition? Everything you've done for over 100 minutes on a hot German night has frustratingly proved futile? Maybe you get a nipple tweaked, maybe you heard something deplorable about your mother or something...

...and he turns it all to shit by making a bad choice after initially walking away and then apparently thinking, "Actually, wait. I do need to head-butt this guy..."

Great player. Hall of famer. Unforgiveably bad decision-making at an incredibly bad time. Not the single reason France lost the game. But ... wow.

Sometimes even when you have time to think about something, you are too spent to even think.

Zidane gets paid millions of dollars for his ability to play flat-out for 100 minutes AND keep his wits about him. He was named team captain based partially for this reason. And he let 'em all down.
posted by frogan at 3:35 PM on July 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


dopamine, he went out of his way to give that guy that headbutt ... he had time to think about it, alright
posted by pyramid termite at 3:36 PM on July 9, 2006


I live in Mile-End in Montreal

Mmm, the Plateau, extra tasty bagel land!

The only thing coming to mind right now is the Leon Lett / Don Beebe Super Bowl incident.

Yah, but Lett was mostly guilty of being a goofball in that moment, not going against the rules of play or physically violent to another player. He thought he was free & clear, and as you said, they were going to win anyway.

Our street is a total party right now, it's so cool! There's music, everyone is dancing, drinking & eating, and we've just fired up the bbq and cracked open the labatts classic. May as well join the fun!
posted by zarah at 3:42 PM on July 9, 2006


He is going to be famous in even non-footballing circles now, as the kick made Cantona.
posted by bonaldi at 3:42 PM on July 9, 2006


You guys say it like he came across the field five minutes later to head-butt the guy from behind. The way I saw it, they were jawing at each other for at least a few seconds, and then within about two seconds, Zidane took a step forward, and seemed that something had sunk in with him, and then he turned around and put his forehead into the guy's chest.

In my more immature days, this is exactly the timeframe that would have elapsed before I got up my resolve to take a swing at a guy. I grant you, the action was still absolutely unforgiveable, but hardly premeditated in any real sense, and very much within a reasonable margin for "the heat of the moment".
posted by psmealey at 3:45 PM on July 9, 2006


Zidane.fr has actualite on the event.. but i cannot read french. Any linguists here?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:49 PM on July 9, 2006


put me in the camp that wants to know what was said. I am imagining comments about family, young relatives, goats, and excrement, but then i want to believe there was a reason. Also
Materazzi was clearly not injured by it, but by laying on the field he called attention to it. The announcers on ABC made a good point, that the stadium was irresponsible in replaying the video prior to the decision of the refs. Had they not replayed it on the jumbo tron it is concievable that the red card would not have happened. That said Zidane desrved what he got.
posted by sourbrew at 3:51 PM on July 9, 2006


My invented dialog for the moment was

Materazzi : How could you not score off that perfect cross?
Z: I don't know. I hit it like this.


Thanks for the laugh.
posted by Juggermatt at 3:52 PM on July 9, 2006


Anyone else? Who can top it?

I was trying to think of a similar incident, and the best I could come up with was Mike Tyson taking out a chunk of Holyfield's ear. But Tyson had a history of borderline insanity whereas ZZ was the captain of his team and a seemingly intelligent, savvy player. I don't know much about football, but his actions are unfathomable to me.
posted by aladfar at 3:52 PM on July 9, 2006


aladfar - It will not tarnish his career. It will be talked about for a long time but will be nothing more than an unsavoury footnote. It may tarnish your 3-4 week old romantic view of Zidane, it will not alter the esteem in which he is held with people who have tracked his entire career, especially in France. He's one of the greatest players of his generation, and he's had plenty of thuggish moments. This is just another (although probably his most high profile.) When people look at the career of Cantona nobody discounts his achievements because he karate kicked someone. But it does stop him being the all round loveable good guy. Exceptionally talented people are often seriously flawed - the careers of lesser talents have endured far worse than this.

FWIW a professional lip reader on Canal+ has apparently said that Materazzi questioned the nationality of Zidane's children.
posted by fire&wings at 3:52 PM on July 9, 2006


In the neighbourhood which Zidane grew up in, a butt like that would be considered as friendly horseplay. As opposed to hitting eg. the bridge of the nose. (Which does sting.)
posted by Kiwi at 3:54 PM on July 9, 2006


In a just world, Zidane would not have been able to walk out of that stadium under his own power.


In a just world, the Italians wouldn't've been able to dive their way to the World Cup final.
posted by one.louder.ash! at 3:54 PM on July 9, 2006


to write something off as premeditated because for you, in your experiential capacity, it would have to be premeditated, is frustrating

You must get frustrated a lot then, because people generally make assertions based on previous experience. In my experience, walking away and attacking someone are contradictory impulses, and some amount of thought occurs between them (e.g. what frogan said: "I actually do need to head-butt this guy"). I don't have any reason to believe being a famous athlete in a high-profile event changes that. If you know of such a reason, I'd be interested in reading it, but I'm not going to just assume it exists any more than I would assume unicorns exist.
posted by scottreynen at 3:55 PM on July 9, 2006


dash_slot, a lot of nothing basically. Just that it was a horrible and unthinkable end to his carear.
posted by sourbrew at 3:56 PM on July 9, 2006


Sorry, but as a non-soccer fan desperatly trying to like the sport -- that headbutt really made the game.
posted by geoff. at 3:57 PM on July 9, 2006


Seriously, I'm trying to think of stupid, deliberate (not accidental) moves by athletes actually in specific, high profile situations.

How about Len Bias hoovering up a fistful of gak to cause his heart to explode?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:01 PM on July 9, 2006


after that Zidane stupidity I went from just a general rooting for a good game, to activly rooting aginst France. So am happy with the end result

Same here. My wife and I were hollering "Italia!" from there on out. I can't imagine what ZZ was thinking, but I sure hope he apologizes with believable contrition rather than the usual non-apology PR statement. Not that it matters.
posted by languagehat at 4:02 PM on July 9, 2006


What a stupid move from ZZ. Up until that point the French were the better team, and it sucks to loose on penalties, but I feel that ZZ lost it for them. Still congratulations to Italy, they just edged it.
posted by ob at 4:06 PM on July 9, 2006


You must get frustrated a lot then, because people generally make assertions based on previous experience.

I understand that. But how many of peoples' previous experiences are at all similar to what each of those players experienced tonight? That's the point I was trying to make -- it's one thing to completely relate to a situation and judge, and another just to extrapolate from unrelated situations and judge.


Bleh. I suppose it's not that important right now.
posted by dopamine at 4:12 PM on July 9, 2006


Seriously, I'm trying to think of stupid, deliberate (not accidental) moves by athletes actually in specific, high profile situations.

How about A-Rod prissily slapping the ball out of Arroyo's glove?
posted by papercake at 4:15 PM on July 9, 2006


The announcers on ABC made a good point, that the stadium was irresponsible in replaying the video prior to the decision of the refs. Had they not replayed it on the jumbo tron it is concievable that the red card would not have happened.
- sourbrew

The replay of Zidane's attack on Materazzi was not shown on the giant screens inside the stadium, leaving France fans to harbour a misplaced sense of injustice for their hero.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:17 PM on July 9, 2006


Please remember that materazzi (the guy zidane headed) is famous because he plays dirty football and attempts to harm players on the pitch (see this video). He had been playing that way the entire match--note how the goal he scored was only possible by fouling veira. Some people might laugh off a "titty tweak" but if youve ever experienced it you know getting a nipple pinched by someone with intent to hurt can be painful as well as humilitating and insulting. But even the nipple twist wasnt enough to get Zidane to retaliate.. it was when mazeratti insulted him verbally-- who knows what was said-- that Zidane stood up for himself. Was it a smart and well thought out move? Of course not. But if someone had insulted me-- or made a racist remark-- i would have reacted the same way.
posted by petsounds at 4:17 PM on July 9, 2006


Highlights of the winning game.

Scroll to the bottom where it says:

64 9 July 2006 Berlin ITA:FRA 1:1 a.e.t (1:1, 1:1) 5:3 PSO Photos | Video | More

And click on video:

Spectacular World Cup this time. Zidane's being denigrated for responding to that nipple tweak.

Other nipple slips in sports history. Nipple tweaking isn't for the faint of heart.
posted by nickyskye at 4:19 PM on July 9, 2006


Congrats Azzuri.
posted by bardic at 4:20 PM on July 9, 2006


How about Len Bias hoovering up a fistful of gak to cause his heart to explode?

Has to be in a game! Otherwise, there's too many outside-the-game examples, like Jayson Williams and the limo driver.
posted by frogan at 4:22 PM on July 9, 2006


Seriously, I'm trying to think of stupid, deliberate (not accidental) moves by athletes actually in specific, high profile situations.

Yeah, I'll have to second Tyson biting Holyfield's ear half off. Now THAT was crazy.

I think Zidane was just frustrated, and something was said/done that was a little too much for him. Bad judgment? Most certainly. A foul deserving of "not leaving the stadium under his own power"? Please--get over your indignation. It might be a big, important, championship match to everyone watching, but when you're in it, down on the field, it's a game like any other, and you get just as tired, just as frustrated.

He made a bad decision and got a red card in response, an appropriate punishment. It's most disappointing to me, not because of the act itself, or whether or not it will 'tarnish' ZZ's great career, but rather because it sucked all the energy and momentum away from the French team. France totally dominated the second half, and most of the OT, and they should have won the game.

Sports are high-testosterone, organized, non-lethal gladiator events. To expect athletes to have super-human control at all times is ridiculous. It was a great game, sort of ruined at the end by shock and sadness at not seeing a poetical end to a great career. But it doesn't change the greatness of ZZ's career one bit.
posted by LooseFilter at 4:23 PM on July 9, 2006


I don't know much about international soccer, so I "adopted" the French team and Zidane as the team I would follow and support during the playoffs. Imagine my surprise when my "new favorite player" turned in, IMHO, the single stupidest move in the history of sports.

If you were more than a casual fan you might not be so surprised. Zidane is known for his quietness and pride-- usually calm but sometimes given to strong fits of temper and retribution for attacks on his teammates. Perhaps it has something to do with learning to play soccer on the streets or growing up as a second-class citizen because of his background. Either way he is also known as the greatest pure football player of the last quarter century.
posted by petsounds at 4:32 PM on July 9, 2006


If you were more than a casual fan...

Speaking of which, does anyone recall the link I saw on MeFi a while back that explained international soccer for Americans? It went into great detail, comparing and contrasting the MLB, NBA and NFL to Premier League, World Cup, UEFA, Champions league, etc, etc?
posted by frogan at 4:37 PM on July 9, 2006


Seriously, I'm trying to think of stupid, deliberate (not accidental) moves by athletes actually in specific, high profile situations.

Two come to mind:

1. Marcus Vick stomping on a Boston College player's knee in the Gator Bowl this year

2. In the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs, Dale Hunter slamming Pierre Turgeon into the boards after Turgeon scored the winning goal in the decisive game of the Capitals-Islanders series

But in a championship game like this? I've never seen anything like it. It's so much more malicious than the usual bizarreness you see in American championships (Chris Webber, Bill Buckner, etc.)
posted by dw at 4:41 PM on July 9, 2006


Compilation YouTube video of Zidane's astonishing footwork, 1994 to 2006.
posted by nickyskye at 4:41 PM on July 9, 2006


You know what amazes me? Both those incidents were easily searchable in YouTube.
posted by dw at 4:42 PM on July 9, 2006


But it doesn't change the greatness of ZZ's career one bit.

No, but it does tarnish it. Mike Tyson was the most unstoppable force to ever step in the ring, but the Holyfield ear-biting incident overshadows those years of greatness.
posted by dw at 4:47 PM on July 9, 2006


Seriously, I'm trying to think of stupid, deliberate (not accidental) moves by athletes actually in specific, high profile situations.

How about another Frenchman? - Jean Van De Velde's complete meltdown in the 1999 British Open
posted by Arch_Stanton at 4:51 PM on July 9, 2006


The night before the 1994 World Cup final, I was headed home from a get together with friends, down around the University of Toronto. It was about 2:15am or so, which meant taking the all night Yonge St. bus all the way North.

I had to wait at the stop, College and Yonge, for about 30min. It normally wouldn't have taken so long, but there was a traffic jam of cars waving Brazilian and Italian flags, and hundreds of people on the street. All of them honking horns, blowing whistles, and screaming madly and excitedly.

Then suddenly a big splash of water, ten feet in front of me. I had no idea where it came from, but I didn't really think about it. Then a few minutes later, splash again. This happened several times at even intervals. It finally dawned on me, that is about the amount of time it takes to fill a bucket with water!

One of the residents of the condo on the south-east corner of Carlton and Yonge must have been upset by the noise. This person was poring buckets from their balcony, three or four floors up, down onto the loudest of the cars.

Finally the bus came, and it was packed! I managed to squeeze myself a bit of space up front - nearby was a dreadlocked guy with a Jamaican accent. He yelled:
Brraaaazzzzzillll!
And in response, the rest of the people at the front of the bus screamed:
BRRRRAAAAZZZZZILLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!
Then, the people at the back of the bus screamed:
Vive l'Italiaaa!!!
And the dreadlock guy screamed:
Vive le Brazzilll!!!,
And his chorus at the front of the bus called:
BRRAAAZZZZILLLLLL!!!!!!!
Then another guy:
G-G-G-Goalllllll Brrrazzzillll !!!!!
And the bus returned:
BRRAZZZILLLL!!!!!!!
This went on for several minutes. Sometimes the call would be a star player:
G-G-G-Goallll, Romariooo!!
Or:
G-G-G-Goallll, B-bagiooo!!
At one point some weird preppy frat-boy screamed:
AAARR-GO-SSS!!!!!
Idiot! Some other guy screamed:
JAMMMAICA
To witch the preppy guys started singing Bob Marley:
“Lets get together and feel all right..”
In this incredibly stupid tone, which could only have come from a preppy frat-boy.

After 5-10 minutes - it seemed to be much longer, but it couldn't have been - the driver called out the stop at Bloor, and the dreadlock guy got off. Only after yelling one last time:
BBBRRRRAAAAAAZZZZILLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Chuckles at 4:54 PM on July 9, 2006


but the Holyfield ear-biting incident overshadows those years of greatness.

(I think the raping-a-woman-and-going-to-jail thing overshadows his career more than anything else. Biting half of Holyfield's ear off just torpedoed his possible comeback.)
posted by LooseFilter at 4:55 PM on July 9, 2006


How about another Frenchman? - Jean Van De Velde's complete meltdown in the 1999 British Open

But that was a meltdown, mostly accidental. He didn't take his club and beat the crap out of Tiger Woods.

(I think the raping-a-woman-and-going-to-jail thing overshadows his career more than anything else. Biting half of Holyfield's ear off just torpedoed his possible comeback.)

True, but until Holyfield he'd never done anything egregious in the ring, only in his personal life.
posted by dw at 5:00 PM on July 9, 2006


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE WON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Video of yours truly celebrating with a kazillion others under the Coliseum. Sorry the low quality
posted by elpapacito at 5:06 PM on July 9, 2006


dw, what about Tonya Harding bashing in Nancy Kerrigan's knee? Pretty malicious.

Dang, that Zinédine Yazid Zidane
( زين الدين زيدان) is a hottie, pity his testosterone got away from him.

Zidane became one of only four footballers to achieve the feat of scoring in two different World Cup final matches (he scored twice in the 1998 FIFA World Cup final), sharing that honour with Pelé, Paul Breitner, and Vavá. He scored in the seventh minute from the penalty spot. He received a red card for violent conduct after headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest in the 110th minute, making him the fourth person to have been sent off in a World Cup final and the only one to have been sent off during extra time.

Marco Materazzi:

nipple tweaker.

He also featured prominently in Italy's World Cup Final game against France, first causing the penalty that put France ahead, then scoring a headed equalizer from a Pirlo corner kick. Later in that game he was involved in an off the ball incident; he was headbutted in the chest by Zinedine Zidane.

Materazzi went on to score Italy's second penalty in the shoot-out, which Italy won 5-3, to win the FIFA World Cup
.
posted by nickyskye at 5:14 PM on July 9, 2006


elpapacito, Have fun!!! Complimenti!
posted by nickyskye at 5:17 PM on July 9, 2006


I saw some Italian news coverage that presented the final score as "6-4," presumably adding the in-game goals to the shootout ones. Is that an Italian thing or a European thing or what? Because the match was obviously a 1-1 ties decided on PK's.

Knowledgeable non-USians, please hope me.
posted by bardic at 5:20 PM on July 9, 2006


As each team I was rooting for was eliminated, I began following the French team, just for ZZ and Ribbere (sp?) (I'd like to include Henri, but the diving got to be too much). Say what you will, but I'm a bigger fan of entropy than the French team, so I have to say that's a hell of a way to end a career. Entertaining to the end. And I fail to see how that's cowardly. Wouldn't cowardly be not rising to ZZ's headbut challenge (if we're going to be prick wavers about it)?
posted by yerfatma at 5:26 PM on July 9, 2006


Italy, matteo, everyone,

Congratulations. It has been a great World Cup. Thanks for everything. Holland really could have done, probably should have done, and definitely will do better. This World Cup has succeeded in making me like Germany again, a feat in itself. Thanks Germany, for playing attacking, creative football, and for making me like you again. England, please try to be more of a team instead of relying on the rare occasions where the ball happens to land in front of Beckham's or Rooney's boots. Australia, you're rocking big time. If it wasn't for a contentious penalty against the Azzurri it might've been you guys up there (we hope, we hope). America, you're playing with the big boys now, and if you can get your act together, next time you might be beating them as well. Keller is a master, now let's see a creative, resilient side, okay? Brazil, you guys are stellar on paper, but when you're losing you look as bad as anyone. PR is not everything. Switzerland, if you're going to play safe, at least try to convert a penalty next time, okay? Thanks. Togo, just pay your bills. Czech Republic, what the hell is wrong with you? You saved our ass in '04 *and* beat the Germans in a single match, now you're letting yourselves and the world down in the group stage? C'mon. Portugal, try to play football next time. It's called the "Beautiful game", not the crying game. Oh, and on that subject: Mr. Graham Poll, take a handwriting class, or do sudoku more often, or whatever. Just remember that 1+1=2. And Mr. Valentin Ivanov: football is a *ball* game, not a *card* game. Just so you know.

Thanks for the memories.

Congratulations, Italia.

Con amore,
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:27 PM on July 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


CAMPIONI DEL MONDO, CAMPIONI DEL MONDO!!
I have Won, I have screamed, I have drank bacardi and black absinthe and I'm definitely drunk and full of joy.

P.S. Zidane it's an idiot. everyone respected him in Italy, and you don't end your career like this.
posted by darkripper at 5:28 PM on July 9, 2006


dw, what about Tonya Harding bashing in Nancy Kerrigan's knee? Pretty malicious.

And her stopping her program, crying to the judges asking for a reskate after her skate lace allegedly broke.


posted by ericb at 5:29 PM on July 9, 2006


dw writes "No, but it does tarnish it. Mike Tyson was the most unstoppable force to ever step in the ring, but the Holyfield ear-biting incident overshadows those years of greatness."

Actually most people already knew Tyson was one batshit-insane thug before that... after, EVERYONE knew Tyson was one batshit-insane thug.
posted by clevershark at 5:31 PM on July 9, 2006


I saw some Italian news coverage that presented the final score as "6-4," presumably adding the in-game goals to the shootout ones. Is that an Italian thing or a European thing or what? Because the match was obviously a 1-1 ties decided on PK's.

Never heard a score described that way here in merry old england, must be an Italian thing.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 5:32 PM on July 9, 2006


Oh and ZZ was a stupid twat.

He should have played on whatever provocation he received then given an interview afterwards saying what was said and calling Materazi a prize cunt, he could afford whatever fine he got and he's done after tonight anyway so who cares?

Responding within the game let too many other people down, as an experienced pro, a team capain and as apparent de facto French coach he had no excuses
posted by Reggie Knoble at 5:40 PM on July 9, 2006


ROMA VICTOR!
posted by The White Hat at 5:45 PM on July 9, 2006


I'm saddened that the incident with Zidane combined with the largely undramatic ritual of penalty kicks was the way the game ended. Italy played extremely well to get this far (although France was better a majority of the game) and it is unfortunate that despite winning the biggest sports championship in the world, the discussion is about almost everything around it but cannot be on how they won since it was no singular dramatic goal.
posted by meinvt at 5:46 PM on July 9, 2006


France was better at the end, and probably deserved this cup more than us (we arrived at the final by pure luck and divine intervention). But winning at the penalties was a sort of poetic justice, we have lost at the penalties often in the last years.
Remember Baggio? and Di Biagio (can't find the penaly, but it was against france.. at the semifinal of France 98)?
posted by darkripper at 5:58 PM on July 9, 2006


dw, what about Tonya Harding bashing in Nancy Kerrigan's knee? Pretty malicious.

True dat.

You know, somewhere out there Bruce Arena is smiling. His job is still toast, but he's smiling.
posted by dw at 6:34 PM on July 9, 2006


Have you or mediareport ever actually watched any American sports? The players go around hugging each other after pretty much any game.

Duh. This was *during* the game. But thanks for the try at sarcasm; it was cute.
posted by mediareport at 6:36 PM on July 9, 2006


I'm surprised all this talk Zidane's head and no comment on how goddamn odd-shaped it is.

If he's really a great player, they should have let him stay in the game. It's the fucking World Cup, it only happens every 4 years. Just let the two of them fight it out for a bit and then get back to the game. Players should decide the outcome - not refs.

Refs tend to let more stuff slide in the NBA or NFL playoffs. It encourages players to play harder and makes things more interesting to fans.
posted by b_thinky at 6:41 PM on July 9, 2006


the opposing goalies did give each other a friendly hug. It was a sweet moment. I'm having trouble imagining that kind of thing happening in any pro championship in the USA.
posted by mediareport at 3:02 PM PST on July 9 [+fave] [!]


That was a nice display, but it's annoying to see the players kissing and stroking one another's faces after the game. And entering the stadium walking next to one another while holding hands with children. Pro athletes shouldn't act so feminine.

All sports should be more like UFC. In last night's fight, Tito Ortiz refused to touch gloves with Ken Shamrock, then proceeded to beat him down one minute into the first round in a pool of blood left over from the previous fight. America, fuck yeah!
posted by b_thinky at 6:46 PM on July 9, 2006


Only one team did not *lose* to Italy. The USA. And although we only tied, we did it with only 9 men.

[That doesn't mean we don't suck... We didn't have any men on the field against Czech did we?]
posted by yeti at 6:56 PM on July 9, 2006


I came across this remix of the Zidane headbutt.


posted by sciatica at 7:09 PM on July 9, 2006


Duh. This was *during* the game. But thanks for the try at sarcasm; it was cute.

No sarcasm intended. As an American soccer fan who has watched the World Cup avidly, both the "Soccer is stoopid" and the "Soccer is perfect and American sports are stoopid" attitudes get a little old. Athletes (and people) are pretty much the same everywhere.

Anyway, cheers. It was a great Cup, though I think if you ranked all the games, the final wouldn't have made my top 15. I'm not sure if Zidane's ejection really had all that much of an impact, since he was looking pretty ragged and had the injury. If he wanted to go out fighting, I don't think he had this in mind.
posted by Arch_Stanton at 7:36 PM on July 9, 2006


Cyrano,

Having been burned by previous World Cup spoiler FPPs, let me just say that you rock. :)
posted by Sand at 7:53 PM on July 9, 2006


"Soccer is perfect and American sports are stoopid"

Which is, of course, what I was saying. Anyway, cheers to you, too. Just let me know when you see opposing players hugging during a pro championship match in the USA.
posted by mediareport at 8:08 PM on July 9, 2006


And I fail to see how that's cowardly.

He walked ahead, then quickly turned around and head-butted his chest. It was the equivalent of a sucker-punch. If you don't understand why a suckerpunch is cowardly, there's no hope for you.

Proper sportsmanship dictates that you give your opponent some warning before you atack them. In hockey, you take your gloves off. In baseball, you throw down your bat and charge the mound. Do you really need to have sportsmanship explained to you?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:08 PM on July 9, 2006


dash_slot-: According to my French Canadian wife the article didn't give an explanation why he headbutted Materazzi.

Now, this Italian-American is going to go sleep on the couch.
posted by ?! at 8:10 PM on July 9, 2006


If he's really a great player, they should have let him stay in the game

Ummmm...no. If he's really a great player, he shouldn't headbutt the opposition leaving the ref with no option but to send him off.
posted by chrispederick at 8:12 PM on July 9, 2006


I personally applaud a Frenchman for showing some form of aggression... even if it was a cheapshot.
posted by TetrisKid at 8:19 PM on July 9, 2006


the headbutt just made me sad, put a negative spin on the final. Really too bad, ZZ lost his cool.
posted by cell divide at 8:24 PM on July 9, 2006


The more I read about Zidane, how quiet and reserved he is, the more I think that Materazzi, who is known as a dirty player, had to have planned the one thing, whatever it was, that would make an Algerian-French man blow a fuse to the point of picking a fight in front of gazillians of fans.
posted by nickyskye at 8:27 PM on July 9, 2006


Wow, that clip of Materazzi's greatest dirty hits adds some context for us casual fans. Thanks, petsounds. I imagine there are a lot of soccer players around the world cheering Zidane right now.
posted by mediareport at 8:48 PM on July 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


/
Photo by Kaptain Kobold on Flickr.
posted by Remy at 8:56 PM on July 9, 2006


?! - as i said ;-)
posted by sourbrew at 8:59 PM on July 9, 2006


Nickyskye - thanks, that Time article is actually pretty good.
posted by jmgorman at 8:59 PM on July 9, 2006


dude, it's 6 am, i just walked home from Piazza Venezia, and I probably shouldn't be posting PUI, but....

SIIIIIIIIIIIIII!

Zidane & the Azzurri circa Euro 2000 got me to follow footie. winning tonight is so bittersweet.

Zidane has always seemed (to me) to be carrying an enormous weight of expectation/talent/maturity on his shoulders. to see him red carded tonight was...I lack the coherency right now. a disappointment yes, but at the same time he's not known for constant excessive reaction. if France had won tonight it would have been Zizou's win (and maybe Ribery's in part).

I felt sick watching him leave the pitch.

But despite Buffon's sudden return to 'am I fit or not?' nervousness during the rigore, Italy won. Considering my entrance into footie, it's like a homecoming.

Cannavarro has always been one of my favorite players (not just because he's fucking hot, despite my fervorent wish for a Cannavarro brothers sandwich). When he hoisted that cup, it was...perfection. if anybody, from any squad, deserved to hoist that cup, it was Cannavarro.

Italy is not a united nation; one identifies themselves as roman, Milanese, Napolitano, etc. Tonight (this morning) the boundaries (and traffic laws) were broken. The entire boot is celebrating.

And it's fucking awesome.

I could ramble on for ages, but in the interest of sparing you all my shiteous drunken spelling and continuous incoherency I'll leave it at this:

Thank you Germany. You more than deserved 3rd place and your hospitality was more than generous.

Thank you France. You managed to arrive at a final that nobody thought you would.

Thank you Zidane. Head butt or no, you are still one of the most elegant and classy players on the pitch. Everyone is human and I think you will be remembered more for the latter (skills & class) than the former (head butt).

And fucking hell Azzurri, it's about goddamned time you pulled your shit together! FORZA AZZURRI! I CAMPIONI DEL MONDO SIAMO NOI!
posted by romakimmy at 9:00 PM on July 9, 2006


mediareport, Thanks for pointing out petsounds' video about Materazzi's dirty playing and the point about his playing at this match, I'd missed it.
posted by nickyskye at 9:06 PM on July 9, 2006


I wonder how the us would have done in penalty kicks versus Italy if that was practiced in the group stage. Not good I suspect. Although they might've done well in an overtime.

Why did the team struggling most with fitness win the cup I wonder. In every second half, they were exhausted?

I still have issues with Beasley's goal that was disallowed. Shouldn't that guy who was called offsides (McBride) have run over the endline to ensure he wouldn't be involved and ruin it? Throughout the tournament I've seen players (Henry) ruin countless plays by not staying onsides. I know the offside trap is tough to deal with and all but as a striker, you don't have that many other jobs besides staying onsides. I just wish they'd catch more flack for it or get replaced by players who are more disciplined.
posted by Aghast. at 9:09 PM on July 9, 2006


Materazzi is a scumbag.
posted by exogenous at 9:25 PM on July 9, 2006


This is the 800th comment or something, so no one will see it, but I don't really find fault in Zidane for doing what he did. He scored a goal, he was wonderful throughout the whole of the final rounds of the cup, and between him and Henry they really held up the whole French team. I just don't think he had the teammates to pull off a win. And what the hell, nipple-tweaking? I'd probably have headbutted someone too. I bet it felt great.

Sure, it would have been nice if he ended his career differently, but he's human. You get pissed off sometimes.

I was pulling for France. It was good to see them do as well as they did. I had Italy in my (very small) cup pool at work, and no one had France, so I'd already won. Lovely world cup.
posted by blacklite at 9:25 PM on July 9, 2006


To headbutt a competitor? Zeees ees French. To be caught? Zeees ees NOT French.
posted by spock at 9:33 PM on July 9, 2006


SoccerFilter&#153
posted by jeblis at 9:34 PM on July 9, 2006


Bummer to see France lose. The Italians were dead for the last 45 minutes of the game.

Materazzi deserved a headbutt after the match, when he put on that ridiculous hat and started making out with the trophy.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:52 PM on July 9, 2006


I still have issues with Beasley's goal that was disallowed. Shouldn't that guy who was called offsides (McBride) have run over the endline to ensure he wouldn't be involved and ruin it?

Easier than that (or not). All McBride had to do was not get involved with the play. That's tough to do, however, when the ball is shot right at you. Still, he made a thoughtless play to get involved, since Beasley might have scored on his own (though doubtful).
posted by mrgrimm at 9:54 PM on July 9, 2006


Materazzi video.
posted by pwedza at 10:07 PM on July 9, 2006


...it's just too bad Zidane let himself get affected by dude so as to react like that. Who knows... Though I really doubt we'll ever know exactly what was said.
posted by pwedza at 10:11 PM on July 9, 2006



For anyone who's missed the whole headbutt thing, I've youtubed it -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOGL9y-ggVU
posted by bandersnatch at 10:58 PM on July 9, 2006


after that Zidane stupidity I went from just a general rooting for a good game, to activly rooting aginst France.

So did I, but the more I read here about Materazzi, the more I suspect that I took the bait, just as Zidane did.
posted by homunculus at 11:05 PM on July 9, 2006


thanks bandersnatch. I missed it on TV today; I really need to become reacquainted with this fantastic box, and the earlier clips I saw were too short. This clip clearly shows how premeditated Z's actions were. He is provoked, he walks away, he stews, turns, and then attacks. What a terrible lack of sportsmanship. I hope they fine his ass big, but the knowledge that his action perhaps cost France the championship and the huge stain on his career are likely penalty enough for this incredible act of stupidity. I sure am glad that I have never lost my head and done anything stupid and embarrassing out of passion. *cough *cough
posted by caddis at 11:23 PM on July 9, 2006


Just as background to all those who seem to think that this is horrifically out of character for Zidane, here is a list of previous incidents he's been involved in, including another red card for headbutting a guy. He's a fantastic player, but he's not perfect.
posted by jacalata at 12:37 AM on July 10, 2006




I'm trying to think of stupid, deliberate (not accidental) moves by athletes
Well, we did have this rather unsporting attempt to gain reaction from players.
posted by tellurian at 1:05 AM on July 10, 2006


Headbutt video with the precursor to it as well - Materazi had his arms completely around Zidane there, Zidane called him on it, Materazi seemed to say something as Zidane was trotting away from him, Zidane turns and headbutts him. You people saying "premeditated" seem to have a different definition for that word than I do. There's maybe time for 3 seconds of premeditation in there.

If Materazi's as much of a prick as people say he is (and some of the dirty hits videos seem to show that he is) I only wish Zidane had headbutted him in the face. Break his nose, give him a little bit to think about the next time he wants to talk shit. Or at least give us something a bit more interesting to talk about than a headbutt to the chest. Of course, that's not to say that Zidane didn't deserve getting kicked out of the game. Horribly immature behaviour, but fun to watch :)
posted by antifuse at 1:06 AM on July 10, 2006


The final seemed to sum up the whole world cup; a talentless hacker like Materazzi holding the world cup aloft, Zizou, the greatest player of his generation, banished to the dressing room. Zidane got what he deserved, but it was a dreadful world cup, ultimately picked up by the best defensive team.

Far too many skillful palyers were marked out of games by teams who had eleven men behind the ball. Time for FIFA to make changes.
posted by johnny novak at 1:09 AM on July 10, 2006


I am imagining comments about family, young relatives, goats, and excrement...
...The Aristocrats!

or

Metafilter: I am imagining comments about family, young relatives, goats, and excrement...
posted by slimepuppy at 1:57 AM on July 10, 2006



posted by darkripper at 2:44 AM on July 10, 2006


The comments on the YouTube forums are much less civilized.
posted by NewBornHippy at 4:20 AM on July 10, 2006


He won the Golden Ball anyway.
posted by fire&wings at 5:57 AM on July 10, 2006


"If you'd asked the 2,012 journalists - who voted for him - after the game whether they wanted to change their vote, they probably would have."- From the article linked by fire&wings
Why change? Was he the best player or not?


sourbrew: jeez. Sorry. I missed that.
posted by ?! at 6:59 AM on July 10, 2006


Nice having dirty match-fixing racists as the World Cup

(not that I'm bitter :)
posted by dig_duggler at 7:01 AM on July 10, 2006


Champs. Ugh.
posted by dig_duggler at 7:01 AM on July 10, 2006


Why change? Was he the best player or not?

The articles I've read indicate that he got the edge on the vote for "sentimental reasons", his last hurrah and all that, so the head-butt would likely have trumped those. I think it's hilarious and fitting that he won the Golden Ball, but it definitely should have gone to Cannavaro.

As far as the head-butt changing the outcome of the game, that sounds like trying to hang more in Zizou than is warranted. In all likelihood, Trezeguet still would have rattled his shot off the woodwork and the Italians still would have won 5-3 in the shoot out. From everything I know about Materazzi, he probably deserved worse than he got. That video of him going studs up into Inzaghi's FACE makes me wonder how he should still be allowed to play. That guy makes Vinnie Jones look like a gentleman player.

From a pure play standpoint, Zidane carried his team to their victory over Brazil, and generally played very well after the group stage, but Cannavaro was on top of his game every match out, and was the difference in practically every game, particularly in the semi-final vs. Germany.
posted by psmealey at 7:26 AM on July 10, 2006


Don't forget to play the game!
posted by Masi at 7:37 AM on July 10, 2006


tellurian, Controversial Wests Tigers winger John Hopoate has been suspended for 12 weeks after being found guilty by the NRL Judiciary of poking his fingers up the anuses of three North Queensland players.

Yikes. Just scorched my eyes Googling his image and found his "trophy room". unngg.

It seems there are different kinds of unsportsmanlike behaviors, the psycho abuser, like Hopoate, the dirty player, like Materazzi and seeking retaliation , like Zidane.

Apparently Zidane and Materazzi had exchanged words before the head butt incident.

antifuse, Thanks for the precurser to the head butt video. It's plain as day that Materazzi deliberately grabbed Zidane in what initially looked like typical restraint and then turned it into a skeevy way, tweaked his nipple over a few seconds and said about 7 seconds worth of something so provactive that Zidane immediately reacted.

According French newspaper L'Equipe, the Italian goaded the Algerian-French Zidane by calling him "a terrorist".

Other reports have claimed that the former Everton defender told the Les Bleus skipper that he should "play for your own country".


To me it puts an ugly shadow over Italy's win.
posted by nickyskye at 7:44 AM on July 10, 2006


Another angle video of Materazzi's nipple tweak, plain as day. What a creep.
posted by nickyskye at 8:20 AM on July 10, 2006


Seriously, I'm trying to think of stupid, deliberate (not accidental) moves by athletes actually in specific, high profile situations.

November, 2004. Detroit Pistons & Indiana Pacers. Both teams considered by many to be top contenders for Eastern Conference Championship. Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson rush the bleachers and attempt a rampage on some (deserving) fans. Then Jermaine O'Neal clobbers an idiot who had the balls to rush the court.

The final outcome: the Pacers' season is ruined. Artest gets time to work on his rap career and is traded a year later. Jackson continues to prove to be a retarded thug. O'Neal continues his career of being one of the best/worst forwards in the league (depending on whether he wants to play). And, oh yeah, these three young idiots collectively eliminate Reggie Miller's chances to end his brilliant career with an NBA championship ring.
posted by wabashbdw at 8:51 AM on July 10, 2006


An Italian and a Frenchman talking trash... so what language are they speaking?
posted by b_thinky at 10:08 AM on July 10, 2006


frogan- if you check back, here's the link I posted that I think you were referring to. I'd email you, but you don't have one listed.
posted by rollbiz at 10:35 AM on July 10, 2006


Mais pourquoi! Mais pourquoi!
posted by knave at 11:20 AM on July 10, 2006


After looking at the video nickyskye posted, here's what I think went down: Materazzi is a dirty player, had been over-the-top harassing Zidane, culminating in the nipple tweak (along with what's probably an ugly verbal swipe); Zidane calmly jogs ahead after this, sees that the referee(s) are momentarily occupied with the play up ahead, and realizes he has a short window to retaliate when no one is looking. (No one in a referee capacity, that is.)

So, he turns around and pops the son of a bitch in the chest. Unfortunately, the assistant refs apparently circumvented FIFA rules, and watched the replay on a small video monitor (not the stadium screen), and relayed that information to the head ref.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:34 AM on July 10, 2006


Who cares what the other guy did to provoke the head-butt? It was a classically stupid reaction by Zidane. If you need to get back at a guy, do it discretely, or better yet, by winning the damn game.

I've never followed soccer, but American sports are filled with guys who become more valuable by frustrating opponents into stupid mistakes. I'm thinking of Dennis Rodman (he owned Karl Malone every time they played with such antics), Bill Romonowski, and Bill Laimbeer.

I haven't heard this mentioned, but was the French guy who choked on his PK's the replacement for Zidane?
posted by b_thinky at 11:49 AM on July 10, 2006


David Trezeguet. And it wasn't a choke so much as he missed it by an inch or so. Zidane rattled his penalty off the woodwork earlier in the game and his went in. Trezeguet just got a bit unlucky.

I think there's a little bit to that LooseFilter. I watched the first half again last night before I went to bed, and I counted about a half dozen times on plays off the ball where Zidane went sprawling either as a result of something Materazzi or Gattuso did. Whatever it was, Materazzi's last comments sent him over the bring, and he decided to have at the guy.

As for the claim above that it was "cowardly", hey he, turned around squared up with the guy head-on first and then he went for it. I don't know how much more ballsy you can get, unless it's still customary to say "put up your dukes" (en garde!) before engaging.

Having played the game my entire life, and played against my fair share of dirty, cheap bastards (nut grabbers, head-butters and guys with flying elbows and studs the seem to end up in strategic places), I vicariously found Zidane's move very sastifying. Doesn't justify it, and yes, it was brainless, but I can't say I haven't thought about doing the same.
posted by psmealey at 11:53 AM on July 10, 2006


frogan- if you check back, here's the link I posted that I think you were referring to. I'd email you, but you don't have one listed.

Thanks ... but I was thinking of something else. It was a clinical compare-and-contrast between, say, how the MLB operates both on a business and sporting level, to how the Premier League operates, and what Champions, UEFA, FA, etc all mean to Euro soccer.
posted by frogan at 12:48 PM on July 10, 2006


November, 2004. Detroit Pistons & Indiana Pacers.

Ahh, yes. I had blocked that out of memory. A disaster on many different levels.
posted by frogan at 12:51 PM on July 10, 2006


Trezeguet replaced Henry. He probably still would have kicked if Zidane had stayed in since he is a goalscorer but the same thing would not have happened because, in the multiverse, universes where Zidane was red-carded inch away from universes where he wasn't.
posted by Aghast. at 1:09 PM on July 10, 2006


American sports are filled with guys who become more valuable by frustrating opponents into stupid mistakes. I'm thinking of Dennis Rodman (he owned Karl Malone every time they played with such antics), Bill Romonowski, and Bill Laimbeer.

I wish Zidane had played in the NFL so he could have had the chance to headbutt Romanowski. (But not the other two. Romanowski is evil.)

I agree with the earlier comment that there was a bit -- a tiny bit -- of politeness in Zidane's attack, i.e. not headbutting the face
posted by Aghast. at 1:17 PM on July 10, 2006


Before the World Cup started, ESPN had a feature on racism in soccer. It showed some really sad displays on the part of fans towards black players. FIFA apparently created a rule that would punish any teams for racist behavior this World Cup.

So if that Italian dude really called Zidane a terrorist, they should be DQ'd. Can we get a camera angle good enough to do some lip-reading?
posted by b_thinky at 3:55 PM on July 10, 2006


better angle
posted by mr.marx at 4:21 PM on July 10, 2006


TORONTO -- Todd Bertuzzi is done for the season, suspended Thursday by an NHL intent on sending the message that it won't tolerate premeditated attacks on the ice.

The Vancouver Canucks' All-Star forward will lose at least $500,000 in salary and could miss more time next season for the vicious punch that sent Colorado's Steve Moore to the hospital with a broken neck, concussion and other injuries.

The Canucks were fined $250,000 for the attack, which is being investigated by police.

"This is not a part of our game, it has no place in our game, and it will not be tolerated in our game," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.

posted by Mental Wimp at 5:23 PM on July 10, 2006


mr. marx, Excellent video of Materazzi's foulplay. A lipreader could read what was said and as per psmealey's observation about the previous attempts of Matterazzi to play dirty in the same game, it's obvious that Materazzi was relentless in his sniping malice.

Makes sense why there is a steady increase in studies in the psychopathology in athletes.

psmealey, Nicely said.

I've always liked George Orwell's one page essay The Sporting Spirit.
posted by nickyskye at 8:23 PM on July 10, 2006


Oh man, this whole story is so funny, especially watching people who had barely heard about the great zen master of calm Zidane bend over backwards to excuse the dumbest (and most masochist) foul ever in the history of the World Cup, just because some journalists were all too happy to force a racism angle in the story without any proof.

Zidane, who played in Italy for Juventus for five years, winning championships with them and being worshipped by the fans, headbutts an Italian player after an exchange of words (oh, and a shirt grab fantastically hallucinated into a 'nipple tweak'), and suddenly of course it must be about racism, because otherwise he would never do such a thing. And now we have the magic poliglot lip-and-mind-readers to prove it!

I refer you to matteo's and my comments in this and this other threads, and yeah, apart from the only hard fact about what was said being... that no one but the two players involved knows what was said, neither of us is an impartial observer, but maybe a little more so than Zidane's agent.

Interestingly, though, by far not all the French media has been as eager to find excuses for the foul, and neither was former French World Champion Desailly who was interviewed from the stadium for the BBC right after the match - but maybe he's not that impartial either, since he had been on the receving end of a punch straight in the face from Zidane himself. I wonder if that was about racism too...
posted by funambulist at 3:09 AM on July 11, 2006


especially watching people who had barely heard about the great zen master of calm Zidane bend over backwards to excuse the dumbest (and most masochist) foul ever in the history of the World Cup

Let's not go nuts with out straw men. No one ever said that Zidane was an angel. My own point was knowing a bit about Materazzi from his days in Everton and the Italian style of play (as well as watching Materazzi and Gattuso hack ZZ for 100 minutes with only a few called as fouls), I could empathize with what he did. Yeah, it was idiotic, reprehensible, inexcusable and all that: obviously.

I was just reacting to the uninformed commenters above that called it psychotic, cowardly, and so on.
posted by psmealey at 4:01 AM on July 11, 2006


Oh man, this whole story is so funny...

some of us find this story sad (rather than funny) because everyone knew that this truly great players single weakness was his pride and flashes of emotion. materazzi knew this as well and its not a huge leap to say he took advantage of it by provoking provoking zidane. watching the footage it is clear to see materazzi speaking to his back as he walks away and zidanes gut reaction when he turns around and responds to the insults, whatever they were. its just a sad end to a great career, and we would have much rather seen zidane hosting the trophy than see the undeservering materazzi putting that hat on it
posted by petsounds at 8:43 AM on July 11, 2006


psmealey, but that wasn't a straw man, in the vast sea of reactions and commentary out there in the world, including but certainly not limited to Metafilter, there really are many who are going very much out of their way to find excuses for that dumb headbutting thing. I don't know what you've been reading if you haven't noticed that!

If it was universally accepted as inexcusable, then we wouldn't even have had all that wild media circus of speculations about it. Nevermind the more shameless 'going out in style/act of cosmic rebellion/well done' apologies.

as well as watching Materazzi and Gattuso hack ZZ for 100 minutes with only a few called as fouls

Bah! Yeah, maybe the Italians bribed the referees as they always do, those conniving cheating bastards, or maybe, it's just that there's a difference between a tackle and a foul.

Zidane was such a better player he could have crushed them both even if blindfolded anyway, but I guess it must be hard to choose between a second goal to secure the win or a red card...
posted by funambulist at 10:35 AM on July 11, 2006


petsounds: well, different strokes and all. Everyone has their favourites. France could have won just as easily, after all they just lost by a crossbar! It sucks but it can happen, and sore losers are never a happy sight (and god knows the Italians themselves have been sore losers, in the previous World Cup!).

The 'funny' thing was in relation to that circus of speculation and rumours and gullibility about the mystery insult, not to Zidane's sad end to his great career, an end which, considering he's a grown man and one of the best paid footballers in the world, is entirely of his own doing and likely had an influence on the outcome of the match too.

He came back to Paris as a hero anyway, so, I bet he's not without his consolations.

But if you seriously believe Materazzi cleverly prepared the taunting as a machiavellian plot with the near-psychic assurance Zidane would have turned around to hit him like that and get himself a red card, you're crediting him with far more intelligence than he can dream of.
posted by funambulist at 10:37 AM on July 11, 2006


I don't know anything about sports, soccer or otherwise. With that said, I think everyone's made a bad mistake at least once in their lives, one that probably wasn't thought through at all. What Zidane did was disappointing, to be sure, but that should go without saying. I think the weight of his actions and forfeiting a possible win in the last game of his career are punishment enough for the guy.

What's truly disappointing to me is that people seem incapable of remembering just how horrible they must have felt whenever they might have acted in an untoward fashion. I don't know, maybe there are lots of people in this thread who have lived like complete saints and have never made a mistake in their lives, never had to go through the embarrassment or shame that comes with those actions. But that seems doubtful to me.

Claims of bad sportsmanship aside, it seems really weird that some of you can't step back at this and realize that he's a human being. He's as prone to making bad choices as anyone else, and doesn't deserve such scorn for that reason alone. Disappointment, sure -- but how could anyone possibly say that this is unforgivable?
posted by jimmy at 10:48 AM on July 11, 2006


Ah, you're right, jimmy - but, the way I see it, it's precisely because even the greatest sports stars in the world must be seen as human beings, that we have accept they can do something outrageously stupid in a fit of rage, rather than try and shift the blame on someone else and equate provocation with 'made me do it'.

Besides, human, yes, but it's not just any ordinary bloke we're talking about (or conversely, for others, some superhuman mythical hero on a pedestal who requires more of our indulgence than the ordinary bloke!). It's a world cup final and a footballer in the pantheon of mega super rich celebrity footballers paid 15 million euro a year plus sponsorship contracts.

So excuse me if my sympathy for glaring stupid mistakes tends to be inversely proportional to the earnings plus celebrity status of the person in question. Especially when said stupid mistake is of a physical thuggish nature and is followed by glorification (again, in the world beyond Metafilter).

That said, outside of futbol, no red carded foul is an unforgivable crime, there are other priorities in life, that goes without saying. It's just that rules and responsibilities in both life and sports either apply to all, including the very human but extraordinarily superfamous and supertalented stars, or they apply to no one.

Anyway, it's only sports, not war or famine, everybody's talking about it because it's a big media event and the attention hasn't died down yet. Then everyone will get bored by this story too and move on to something else. Man cannot live by bread and circus alone!
posted by funambulist at 12:23 PM on July 11, 2006


but how could anyone possibly say that this is unforgivable?

OK, how about "unjustifiable?"

IMHO, there's not a single thing anyone could merely say to Zidane on a soccer pitch that would justify or ameliorate his poor choice at the worst possible competitive situation. He didn't get attacked. He wasn't defending a teammate from attack. He wasn't making a desperate action to prevent or score a goal. I guarantee you it wasn't something he had never heard before. He merely was defending an abstract concept of honor, or at the very least, sending a message of "you can't say that to me." P'shaw.

So, it's incredibly bad judgment, an unjustifiable choice, from an otherwise tremendously skilled footballer.
posted by frogan at 12:35 PM on July 11, 2006


BBC Radio Five Live asked for help from a deaf lip reader, Jessica Rees, who read the words phonetically to an Italian translator.

She deciphered the insult as being "you're the son of a terrorist whore" - a translation also carried by many national newspapers in Britain on Tuesday.

The BBC's Ten O'Clock News also called in experts to study the television footage of the incident and determined the following:

Materazzi's first word to Zidane was "no" before he then told him to "calm down".

He then accused him of being a "liar" and wished "an ugly death to you and your family" on the day the Frenchman's mother had been taken to hospital ill. This was followed by "Go f*** yourself".

Zidane's agent, Alain Migliaccio, has hinted that Zidane will soon reveal exactly what was said by Materazzi.
Well, 2 different BBC stations come up with 2 different lipreaders and 2 different interpretations. I guess we're gonna have to wait till Zizou speaks. If the Italian was as offensive as that, I agree he needs to be penalised in some way. Sadly, that doesn't detract from ZZ's poor temper control, and his decision that retaliation for the insult was preferable to remaining on the pitch, and helping to win such a momentous game - for himself, his team, his country and the inspiration to players of the world.

Beckham's sending off, shameful as it was, pales in comparison.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:36 PM on July 11, 2006


Anyway, it's only sports, not war or famine, everybody's talking about it because it's a big media event and the attention hasn't died down yet. Then everyone will get bored by this story too and move on to something else. Man cannot live by bread and circus alone!

Yeah, it doesn't matter that much in the long run, and I imagine he'll be sitting pretty on his earned millions regardless of how this all turns out. I'm not sympathetic so much as empathic, and I think it's fairly evident that he was in the wrong here. I was just surprised by a lot of the comments I read.

OK, how about "unjustifiable?"

Sure, that works. Couldn't you leave it at that?
posted by jimmy at 12:57 PM on July 11, 2006



better angle
posted by mr.marx at 1:21 AM CET


the post-game lip-reading contest is a bit strange, for all the reasons mentioned above, but with this new video, well, if we have to play the game, now we're talking my friend, now we're talking. I watched the excellent new angle in the youtube link you provided and things get a bit clearer, mr marx. we just need a hi-res video of this file, not youtube's lame grainy flash and it needs to be watched certainly not on my 12-inch iBook (I'm also a bit bleary eyed after the third night of partying in a row, but if you have a higher-quality file, my email is in my profile and tomorrow I'll be happy to watch it)

I'm no lip-reader but I speak the language, and I'd be willing to bet the very last word Materazzi says before getting hit by Zidane -- turn off the audio, the comment's distracting, and see if I'm wrong -- is "vaffanculo" (ie, fuck off). that I'm quite positive about. unfortunately this is the only part I'd be ready to bet on.

frankly I don't see the lip movements for "terrorista" (you pronounce it more or less the way you do in English, the final "a" sounds like "uh"). "mamma" or "madre"? no, sorry (Materazzi today in an interview with Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport while acknowledging that impolite words were exchanged said that he didn't offend Zidane's mother. interestingly, he didn't say he never offended the Frenchman's sister: because maybe, just maybe, I can say that in the first part of the exchange there's some lip movement by Materazzi for "bastardo" (bastard), and, again it's just an hypothesis, "tua sorella" (your sister), but I'm not so sure.

I just don't see the lip movements for negro (phonetically is nay-grow , "nigger"), sorry to disappoint

but give me -- or any other Italian-speaker -- a tv-broadcast quality video of mr marx's link and I guess that about 80% of the dialogue will be revealed (there's a few seconds where Materazzi is seen in profile, that part will remain difficult)

and of course you cannot really see what Zidane says, but since he headbutted a wop he's clearly deserving of much, much praise.

these last few days have been very beautiful, and among the very many funny moments, well, I have to admit, whenever I try to imagine what the Zidane apologists here would have said if the roles were reversed, if Materazzi had been the one to savagely hit out of the blue the great Zinedine... well, let's just say that I don't think you'd be wasting time trying to lip-read what Zidane might have uttered to provoke the horrible greaseball.

talk about double standards, bad faith, etc.

but it's all grist for the (world champions') mill. this is a time for joy, not for vengeance.

also, you'd be pleased to know that Materazzi and Del Piero tonight have been the guests of honor, onstage, at the Rolling Stones concert at San Siro, and Mick Jagger said: "Materazzi is just like Keith, he's been having some problems with his head".

then everybody sang «Chi non salta un francese è». try to figure that out with lip-reading. I'm going to bed, tomnorrow morning I have to buy a couple more jerseys (Grosso's no 3 and, yes, Materazzi's no 23) for two friends. they're running out of jerseys in the stores, strangely enough because the jerseys will be obsolete in a few weeks -- they have only 3 stars sewn on the chest (3 World Cup victories). they'll have to redesign the jersey and add the fourth star now.

you know, more than any other nation, except Brazil (they have 5).


read my lips now: buonanotte
;)
posted by matteo at 7:31 PM on July 11, 2006


Aaand the circus must go on:

- Zidane's mother tells the Daily Mirror that she wants 'Materazzi's balls chopped off' and handed to her 'on a platter'

- an Iranian MP sees an opportunity and dives in

- Zidane's sponsors do their job and make the best of the opportunity themselves, prompting unlikely comparisons with Kate Moss!

- scientists from the Smithsonian chime in explaining "the anthropological and cultural origins of the headbutt"
posted by funambulist at 7:00 AM on July 12, 2006


its just a sad end to a great career...

Yes. but I think he'll be remembered for more than a stupid headbutt when all is said and done.

...and we would have much rather seen zidane hosting the trophy than see the undeservering materazzi putting that hat on it

Because it was just Materazzi vs. ZiZou on the field, right?

I was just reacting to the uninformed commenters above that called it psychotic, cowardly, and so on.

psmealey, you've been one of the most polite & well-behaved posters here & elsewhere during the World Cup. Frankly, I think funambulist, matteo & I are all reacting to the continous stream of greasy, diving, cheating, cattenaccio-playing, racist, undeserving, cynical Italians comments that have been ongoing from the start of the WC (again, here & elsewhere).

The whole Materazzi is a dirty player therefore he deserved it karmically speaking shtick is really just the straw that breaks the camel's back. i know I have a very large bias, but though the (mainly english-speaking) media loves to perpetuate all the national stereotypes during the WC, the Italians seem to get the largest and rudest helping.

And the Materazzi greatest hits clips? From Inter-Milan derbies; derbies are notorious for being knock-down drag out affairs. Not that it excuses Materazzi's past agressions, but it's quite easy to string together a series of clips of any player's worst moments and argue that they're the devil's spawn.

Neither of the two players have had careers of saints (though for my money Gattuso's more of an ongoing thug - he was remarkably restrained this Cup) but neither did Italy deserve to lose just for Materazzi's comments (whatever they were) nor did France deserve to win just because they had ZiZou onboard.

Italy dominated the first half, France the second. It could have gone either way. Making a scapegoat or virtual effigy of Materazzi or Zizou is attributing a God-like football power over the game that neither has.
posted by romakimmy at 8:11 AM on July 12, 2006


OK, for those still interested in the summer's real blockbuster, "What Did Materazzi Say?", coming soon in a theatre near you.

TF1, French's national TV, has just broadcast the first interview with Zidane. he said Materazzi offended his mother and sister, but he confirms that Materazzi didn't use racist terminology. he says he's sorry but he thinks he was provoked, and he does not regret the headbutt.

Materazzi denies he offended Zidane's mother, explaining that he lost his mother as a boy and he has never insulted other people's mothers on the pitch


at this point, the racist allegations are only to be found in various mind-reading British rags. and on MetaFilter.

sing with me, Kim:


caaaaaaaaam-pio-ni del mooooon-do!


caaaaaaaaam-pio-ni del mooooon-do!
posted by matteo at 11:59 AM on July 12, 2006


Zidane says Italian insulted mother, sister; apologizes to kids, fans, but says he doesn't regret head-butt.
posted by ericb at 12:01 PM on July 12, 2006


Or, what matteo said.
posted by ericb at 12:02 PM on July 12, 2006


Still no Zidane interview youtube?



Why don't you take off your coat, Zizou?
posted by jchgf at 1:02 PM on July 12, 2006


Oh wait, this would have been better:

They don't have coat hangers at Canal+?

:-(
posted by jchgf at 1:04 PM on July 12, 2006


but says he doesn't regret head-butt.

That's ridiculous. Is there any way for the people who awarded Zidane the Golden Ball to just take it back? Letting him keep it just makes a mockery of the whole thing.
posted by homunculus at 2:13 PM on July 12, 2006


"il faut sanctionner le vrai coupable et le vrai coupable est ce qui m'a provoqué"

...tu' sorreta!

caaaaaaaaam-pio-ni del mooooon-do!

wait, 210 comments and still no pictures of the winners?!








posted by funambulist at 2:20 PM on July 12, 2006


Is there any way for the people who awarded Zidane the Golden Ball to just take it back? Letting him keep it just makes a mockery of the whole thing.

Sepp's working on it. Honestly, though, it's a bad pickle to be in for Sepp. If he takes away the Golden Ball, one could see it as him being soft on trash talk (especially of the racist kind). If he lets Zidane keep it, it could be seen as him condoning attacking people on the pitch for trash talk.
posted by dw at 2:22 PM on July 12, 2006


soft on trash talk (especially of the racist kind)

you just had Zidane himself putting that particular rumour to rest...
posted by funambulist at 2:43 PM on July 12, 2006


a mockery of the whole thing.

look, it was always a bit of a joke, they collect the votes in big ballot boxes, who knows when the votes are cast. many people voted before the final, others before halftime. my guess is, Zidane got a huge boost after he sent the Brazilians home. also, some journalists are so incompetent that they just refuse, out of twisted principle, to give awards to defenders (where are Franco Baresi's awards? where are Paolo Maldini's? and Scirea's?)

it's a risky formula -- say, it's like printing a newspaper review of an opera that finishes past your deadline. usually, if you review only half the show and then you rush to print, nothing happens.

this time, the tenor took a shit on stage in the fourth and final act, and the newspaper had prematurely printed a rave review

I hope they give Zidane his award -- Cannavaro has his big fat golden cup already. also, it'll be awesome to watch Zidane pick up the award and enjoy the sycophantic applause. it will be a fitting last hurrah -- Zidane the soccer player is as sublime as Apollinaire. Zidane the man, well... not as sublime.

you just had Zidane himself putting that particular rumour to rest...

who cares, it's a cool rumor anyway, the big bad tattooed racist greaseball is always a big hit, even if the story is all malevolent, slanderous bullshit. reading the actual links, or the threads themselves seriously empairs one's enjoyment of this site, apparently
posted by matteo at 3:00 PM on July 12, 2006


"they collect the votes in big ballot boxes, like mailboxes"

my bad
posted by matteo at 3:01 PM on July 12, 2006


Zidane interview on Canal+:

Short Version
Longer version
posted by jchgf at 6:42 PM on July 12, 2006


I hope they give Zidane his award

Me too, not least because if they take it from Zidane to give it to Cannavaro - the second most voted by journalists - we'll never hear the end of it!

And, for the sake of balance and completing the account of this telenovela, big bad Materazzi himself in an interview with Corriere yesterday said he also wishes they let Zidane keep the award, because "he deserves it for his playing, and cannot be judged because of a single episode. And I'm saying that having had my own such episodes that got me a bad reputation".

He also said of Zidane "I have always held him in esteem, in fact worshipped him, for his achievements on the pitch. When we played against each other in a match during the Italian championship, we even exchanged our shirts".

He added there had been no bad feelings with the French players during the match or after, and that before the match he'd agreed with Thierry Henry to exchange shirts, and they did so afterwards, amicably. (Incidentally, Henry was one of the few who classily answered "I can't comment because I didn't see what happened or hear what was said, so it would be wrong of me to speculate" when asked if the incident was about a racist insult).

He was also asked what he thinks of Zidane's mother 'balls chopped on a platter' reaction and he said: "I sympathize with her, she heard fake rumours from the media, so it's normal she had a reaction".

Also, he pointed out how when Totti was red carded for spitting in the 2000 European championship, no one wondered what was said to provoke him; and how he himself had been disqualified for two months after hitting another player in the Italian championship, he never complained about being provoked. He says he hopes that now football fans realise that while he's no saint himself, he's not as bad as he's been portrayed.

That's the highlights, as well as the denial he said anything about Z's mother, and an indirect admission the insult may have involved the classic 'your sister' - so, all in all, both Zizou's and Matrix's versions almost coincide by now.

who cares, it's a cool rumor anyway, the big bad tattooed racist greaseball is always a big hit, even if the story is all malevolent, slanderous bullshit.

Indeed, but I'm not the least surprised or bothered that comment boards all over the internet were flooded with that kind of response, or that the British tabloids jumped on the bandwagon, but maybe more 'serious' press like, say, the Times and Guardian (at least, some of their journalists, since they have so many different editorial lines) owes its readers a correction, if not an apology - of the genuine kind, not the 'sorry but don't regret it' kind, at least.

It's not a vitally important event, it's not trains being blown up or a new war slowly developing in the Middle East, it's not even a political issue, but they were the ones who turned it into one, and standards of sticking to facts should apply regardless of the subject anyway...
posted by funambulist at 2:49 AM on July 13, 2006


Materazzi's response is measured and well-crafted. I think it's important to note that professional athletes are, in fact, businesses, and as businesses will do everything possible to increase or guard their market and shareholder value. If Materazzi is branded a racist, that will wreak havoc on his future earnings potential. Similarly, even though Zidane is retiring, he still has earning potential, which would be hurt if he is perceived to be either psychotic (due to the incident) or a wuss (if he apologized to Materazzi).

Therefore, neither Zidane nor Materazzi have any incentive to be forthcoming about the incident. Both have come up with solid company lines, so no one will ever know what was said, and they have developed corporate messaging to minimize any damage to their brands.

Btw, did anyone see that DC United demolished Celtic 4-0 yesterday? Maybe I'm wrong about the American league.
posted by psmealey at 4:58 AM on July 13, 2006


I am saddened at the whole "greaseball" aspect of this story. Ethnic slurs can be just as bad as racial slurs in that they are designed to hurt and alienate, so it's hypocritical that the press and others should come at the guy and accuse him a being a racist, while comporting derogatory ethnic slurs and false stereotypes. A regrettable episode all around.

On a personal note, I lived in Rome for a year (1998-1999) and became a big fan of AS Roma whilst there (much to the chagrin of my Lazio and Juve supporting co-workers), and really enjoyed the style of play and the leagues relative roughness. While I have never been a fan of the Italian side before (they just never seemed to create), Fabio Canavarro won me over with his elegant and energetic defending. I think he may be my new favorite player.
posted by psmealey at 5:18 AM on July 13, 2006


psmealey: has the press actually called him a greaseball? The only people I've heard calling him a greaseball have been commenters on the net. And to be fair, he looks pretty greasy :)

Also, I wasn't aware that greaseball was an ethnic slur. I've seen it used to describe many a greaseball who deserved it, regardless of ethnicity
posted by antifuse at 5:35 AM on July 13, 2006


Not to my knowlege, antifuse. I was mostly referring to matteo's (in parody) comment. The digs at Materazzi in the press have been a bit more subtle than that (though definitely not devoid of stereotype and bias), but some of the stuff I have read on the blogs has been outrageous. As for the word "greaseball" itself, could be a regional thing, but it's definitely an ethnic slur around here (NYC area).
posted by psmealey at 6:08 AM on July 13, 2006




from the BBC link, Materazzi's agent makes an interesting point:
Vigorelli also warned that Fifa could be setting a difficult precedent, citing Francesco Totti's three-game ban for spitting at Denmark's Christian Poulsen during Euro 2004 as an example.

"I wonder why Fifa didn't open up a case against Poulsen two years ago in the European Championships in Portugal after the reaction of Totti.

"Totti was banned for four games, which was reduced to three, and nothing happened to Poulsen - this is absolutely a similar case.

"If they want to attack a player for what he keeps saying on the pitch, they will be very busy in the future because it's quite normal that players shout to each other in a game - especially when it's such a stressful game."
quite simply, I don't see FIFA opening that particular can of worms, punishing speech, unless it's racist speech. nobody would be thrilled, attacking players, defenders, general managers -- no one, really.

Zidane is quitting, he'll get a big suspension that he'll never have the chance to serve, but he'll keep his MVP award, and that's what matters the most for him and Adidas.


Both have come up with solid company lines, so no one will ever know what was said

what? Materazzi doesn't even have an endorsement deal, he's a replacement in the national team (Nesta was injured for most of the world cup) and in his Serie A team (he's Walter Samuel's replacement, ironically). he's already stated last spring that, being 33, he'll retire from the game in 2008,the year of his team's, Internazionale FC's, centennial. that's it.
posted by matteo at 3:30 AM on July 14, 2006


Just want to give a tip of the hat to matteo for his impassioned but thoughtful and well-informed commentary in this thread.
posted by languagehat at 6:12 AM on July 14, 2006


He doesn't even have an endorsment deal

Come on, Matteo, that's not what I meant. You don't have to have an endorsement deal to want to protect your market value, even if you are a year away from retirement. My point was that neither Zizou nor Marco have any incentive to be 100% forthcoming about what happened. Not quite sure why you're being so argumentative on this subject, I mostly agreed with what you said.
posted by psmealey at 11:20 AM on July 14, 2006


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