Shutterstock/Fabio Diena

Football has many iconic moments. While some are known for being beautiful moments of creativity or sporting achievement, others are known for being scandalous or terrible behavior. The hand of god by Maradona, the Cantona kung fu kick, the bite of Luiz Suarez and many more. One of the most famous moments was when Zidane headbutted Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup Final. Finally, some information has come to light about why he did it.

There is no greater stage than the final of the football world cup. An estimated 715 million people tuned in to watch the final game and 715 million people witnessed Zidane’s headbutt. To all those who watched, it appeared that Materazzi said something to Zidane causing him to turn and headbutt the Italian in the chest. 

For years people have speculated over what was said. It was believed that Materazzi said something about Zidane’s mother but this now appears to be false. Materazzi said in a recent autobiography that his own mother died when he was just 15 years old. He says he would never insult anyone’s mother for this reason. Instead, Materazzi says that he insulted Zidane’s sister!

I am not sure if Materazzi has revealed this fact because he thinks that is significantly better than insulting someone’s mother, to us both seem of equal weight. Either way, it was enough for Zidane to lose his cool, react, and likely lose France the World Cup Final as Italy went on to win on penalties. Materazzi said that he felt that what he said was no worse than what is heard every day on the streets of Italy and France and that it didn’t deserve such a reaction. Despite that, it is clear that Materazzi said something with the hope of getting a reaction and he got one. In his autobiography, he does not say whether he regrets saying it. Something tells us he probably doesn’t. His unsportsmanlike behavior may have been the key to Italy winning the world cup.