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FIFA president Sepp Blatter has hinted that Zinedine Zidane could be forced to relinquish the Golden Ball after his actions in Sunday's World Cup final.
ZINEDINE Zidane spoke for the first time yesterday about his headbutt of an Italian opponent in the World Cup final on Sunday, saying he was provoked by insulting comments about his mother and sister.
ZINEDINE ZIDANE will tonight lift the lid on his shock sending-off in the World Cup final.
RAYMOND Domenech has been rewarded for leading France to the World Cup final by landing a new contract with the French Football Federation.
THE Italian defender Marco Materazzi yesterday admitted he insulted Zinedine Zidane prior to the head-butt which ended the French skipper's World Cup final and career. However, what Materazzi actually said to so inflame Zidane depends very much on which newspaper you read, with the Italian refusing to elaborate beyond an acknowledgement that there was a preliminary verbal spat.
ZINEDINE Zidane's violent conduct shocked the football world on Sunday night. Now, the question everyone appears to want answered is what exactly was the comment made by the Italian defender that may have provoked Zidane, as if an explanation can overcome our incomprehension and sadness.
"IT'S hard to explain but I have a need to play intensely every day, to fight every match hard. This desire never to stop fighting is something I learnt in the place where I grew up. And, for me, the most important thing is that I still know who I am. Every day I think about where I come from and I am still proud to be who I am: first, a Kabyle from La Castellane, then an Algerian from Marseille, and then a Frenchman."
ITALY may have defeated France to win the World Cup, but the real winner was the "Old Europe" that Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, once derided. After all, who would have predicted a World Cup final between France and Italy? It looks as if the national teams of the two "sick men of Europe" felt obliged to change their countries' images in the world.
Key quote "Materazzi said something very grave to him. I don't know what it was. I know Zizou [Zidane] well and he will not reveal what Materazzi said to him but he will in one or two days' time explain why he had such a reaction." - Zidane's agent Alain Migliaccio
THERE'S an old stage saying that a good actor should always leave his audience wanting more.
FIFA have insisted video replays played no part in Zinedine Zidane being sent off in last night's World Cup final.
I AM so disappointed that Zinedine Zidane, one of the footballing greats, will now likely be remembered for the moment of madness which, in my opinion, cost France the World Cup.
THERE'S an old stage saying that a good actor should always leave his audience wanting more and a stellar career peppered with honours and pitted with praise shouldn't have ended like this.
THE line between genius and madness has perhaps never been thinner.
FOOTBALL'S mad capacity to amaze is encapsulated in France's passage to the World Cup final, a journey so rich in intrigue and genuine shock value that, should they achieve ultimate victory against the Italians in Hitler's old stomping ground in Berlin this evening, it will surely rank as the pottiest tale in the history of international football, bar none.
WHEN Italy play France they require to face down ghosts and bitter memories. The recent history between the sides is grim for the Azzurri. Although their overall record may read 16 wins, eight draws and only five defeats against today's final opponents, France have been their Reaper in three major finals in the past two decades, and are undefeated in the six occasions since they beat them in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.