On this day in 2006: Zidane headbutts Materazzi in World Cup final

Thursday July 9th, 2015

Where were you when it happened? 

The 2006 FIFA World Cup final between France and Italy had gone down to the wire. Two goals had come in the first 20 minutes and nothing since, the two sides tied at 1-1 headed into overtime.

Then it happened, quickly and off camera to viewing audiences around the world. The replay served as the proof. And Zinedine Zidane's headbutt of Marco Materazzi shifted the course of both the match and soccer history, a visually bizarre and highly aggressive incident on the game's biggest stage.

​It's still not quite clear to this day what exactly Materazzi said to provoke Zidane, one of the game's all-time greats, but it instantly became one of the most memorable moments of his career, for better or worse. It was his last-ever match as a pro.

And of course, Italy went on to win the World Cup on penalty kicks. 

Jeremy Woo

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