Zidane Says Materazzi Insulted His Family
An apology, but no regrets and no detailed explanation on what set him off. That's where French soccer star Zinedine Zidane left things Wednesday during widely broadcast television interviews that attempted to decipher his ugly head-butting of an Italian opponent during the World Cup final.
He did say he was spurred by cruel insults to his mother and sister. But the exact exchange between France's captain and Marco Materazzi remains a mystery. Zidane never was specific about what enraged him. So, for the moment, the words stay between them.
"I would rather have taken a punch in the jaw than have heard that," he told the Canal-Plus television network, stressing that Materazzi's language was "very harsh," and that he uttered the insults several times.
In his first public comments since Sunday's match, Zidane repeatedly apologized to fans - especially to children. But he said he didn't regret the abrupt, violent outburst that marked the end of his illustrious 18-year professional career.
"I tell myself that if things happened this way, it's because somewhere up there it was decided that way," the 34-year-old midfielder said in an interview on TF1 television. "And I don't regret anything that happened, I accept it."
Zidane and Materazzi exchanged words after Italy broke up a French attack in extra-time. Seconds later, Zidane lowered his head and rammed Materazzi in the chest, knocking him to the ground.
Full report here @ AsiaOne.