Zidane vs. Materazzi. Who is telling the truth?
Unfortunately, the madness surrounding the head-butt by French star Zinedine Zidane to Italian player Marco Materazzi in the final minutes of overtime Sunday, has reached epic proportions. Zizou, as Zidane is called, was still awarded the Golden Ball trophy as the best player of the tourney, even though he was given the red card and dismissed from the pitch at a critical point in the game. Many have questioned the validity of this award. FIFA President Sepp Blatter has discussed an inquiry of the matter and the possiblity of taking the award from Zidane exists.
Both sides have publicly discussed the incident since Sunday's game and both sides are sure of their positions. They have also refused to discuss the specific details of what was said. On Monday, there was speculation that Matterazzi had made a reference to Zidane's mother or calling him a "terrorist" with an obvious reference to his ethnic heritage as a native Algerian.
When he spoke, Materazzi called Zidane his idol and insisted that the insult was nothing extraordinary or different than the type of dialogue that is said during any game. Zidane, on the other hand said, "I would rather have taken a punch in the jaw than have heard that."
So who is telling the truth? Is it a case of Zidane being thin-skinned? One who can give out the punishment but is not able to take it? Was he looking for a way out of the game since he had injured his arm just before the incident?
Did Matterazzi actually make these harsh remarks therefore justifying Zidane's retaliation? Or is the truth somewhere in the middle? For now it appears that neither side is telling all that they know.
07/09/2006-Zizou's "Red" farewell
07/12/2006-Blatter says FIFA to review incident
07/12/2006-Zidane apologizes to the children
07/12/2006-Materazzi admits insult
07/13/2006-Materazzi says Zidane deserves award