Marco Materazzi has confirmed what he said to Zinedine Zidane in the the 2006 World Cup final.
The Italian defender was on the end of the infamous headbutt from Zidane in extra-time of the final against France.
Zidane had dragged the French team to the final, scored a penalty in the final and would hang-up his boots after the game. His final act as a professional footballer was to knock Materazzi to the ground, after an exchange between the pair.
The former Real Madrid midfielder was sent-off numerous times in his career, but the consensus was that it must have taken something serious to make him lash out in such a way in the biggest, and last, game of his career.
Materazzi, 10 years to the day after the event, has confirmed to L’Equipe exactly what he said, calling his words “stupid.”
“Since that day, I received interview requests from around the world,” the World Cup winning defender said.
“I decided to publish a book about this event because everyone asked me what I had told him (Zidane) to react like that. My words were stupid but did not deserve that reaction. In any neighbourhood of Rome, Naples, Turin, Milan Paris, I hear much more serious things.”
“I talked about his sister not his mother, like I have read in some newspapers. My mother died while I was a teenager, I would never insult his.”
Materazzi also claimed that he was baffled that the incident garnered so much attention, and doesn’t want to be remembered for being the man Zidane headbutted.
“I do not understand why this story reached such large proportions. The only thing I want to remember are my two goals in the final.”