Allez les Bleus! JUL 09 2006
I'm rooting for France today, but I feel that Italy has the best chance of winning. But we shall see. Allez!
Update: I'm stunned. Not so much about the loss, but Zidane...what was that? That headbutt is one of the craziest things I've ever seen in sports.
Update: Video of the headbutt. There's some speculation that Materazzi twisted Zidane's nipple...or if not, I wonder what he said that could have riled the Frenchman so?
Update: Ok, here's a video of the whole exchange. No twisting that I can see...Materazzi obviously said something. With all his experience, hasn't Zidane heard it all before?
Update: From a 2004 profile of Zidane in the Guardian:
One of the theories about Zidane as a player is that he is driven by an inner rage. His football is elegant and masterful, charged with technique and vision. But he can still erupt into shocking violence that is as sudden as it is inexplicable. The most famous examples of this include head butting Jochen Kientz of Hamburg during a Champions League match, when he was at Juventus in 2000 (an action that cost him a five match suspension) and his stomping on the hapless Faoud Amin of Saudi Arabia during the 1998 World Cup finals (this latter action was, strangely enough, widely applauded in the Berber community as Zidane's revenge on hated Arab 'extremists').
Update: More detail on some of Zidane's past misdeeds. (thx, daniel)
Update: Zidane's agent says Zidane "told me Materazzi said something very serious to him but he wouldn't tell me what". "Zinedine didn't want to talk about it but it will all come out in the next week. He was very disappointed and sad. He didn't want it to end this way."
Update: With the help of lip readers, two UK newspapers have deciphered what Materazzi alledgedly said to Zidane to set him off.