Zidane with his golden shoes missed yesterday the highest altar on the Olympus when Gigi Buffon stopped his shot with a firm hand. 2 goals for the second time in a world cup final would have made of Zidane the supreme football god and a French president for life. But history didn’t want it this way. Zidane fell from his half god class to finish his career as a mere mortal.
Marco Materazzi, the antihero who struggled to make it all the way to Inter Milano and then to the Italian national team, won it all instead, the world cup final night was his night: Tying the game, giving a good performance on the field and scoring a penalty kick to win the right to put his tricolor clown hat on the world cup trophy.
But how a kind and humble player like Zidane may loose his cool this way in the final minutes of a world cup final and after almost scoring the victorious goal!? Like the whole planet that watched yesterday’s game I wondered what did Materazzi tell him ?
The replay images show how M.M tied his arms around Z.Z in the penalty area followed by a brief dispute between the two players. Zidane run away before suddenly stopping to fire a head at Materazzi’s chest. It seems that M.M kept insulting Z.Z all game and the last one he just couldn’t bear.
According to the Nouvel Observateur and the Guardian, Materazzi may have insulted Zidane’s Algerian origins and called him a terrorist. Only one thing is certain, what Materazzi told Zidane was pretty serious, to make the best player in this world cup loose his mind in his last game and to make Gigi Buffon ask for forgiveness. You could read it on his lips: Scusa scusa…
This sad episode recalls the allegations of fascism on some Italian players like Di canio who was fined 10,000 dollars for giving a fascist greeting after scoring a goal against AC Rome. As well as rumors around Materazzi, Di Rossi… Is it acceptable to be keen on a fascist ideology and practices when you play for a national football team and carry the national flag on your chest ?
Even if I don’t excuse Zidane for what he did, I believe sportsmanship should be on both sides and I regret what Materazzi did. You may say this is part of the game, maybe it’s true, but there is some kind of a line not to cross, and by doing so, Materazzi gave yesterday’s cup a bitter taste. He refused to comment on it after the game and walked past the journalists, anything to be ashamed of Marco !? Hai vergogna di qualcosa !?
Italy deserves the cup, they had a great world cup and the game against Germany was fantastic. The French team has nothing to be ashamed of and especially Zidane, who was at the starting point of the French revival when everybody called the French dead and gone.
There is only one World champion, Zidane had gold shoes on, but Buffon was all in gold, He claimed his dues when he won his direct confrontation with Zidane. This is the confrontation I want to remember, a two heroes one, between the best player and the best goalie of this world cup.
Good bye Zizou and thank you for everything, what “les bleus” did has not been done by any French government. You could make a whole generation of disillusioned and rejected youth, dream and be proud. You are and will always remain their hero.