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Oh Zizou, why did you do it? 2006 July 12

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Miscellaneous, Off-topic.

Everyone’s talking about it. Even the people who know nothing about football (err, soccer, for some of you out there). Everyone wants to know why the man who is a hero to so many football fans in the world lost his temper and exchanged years of glory for mere seconds of rage.

Zinédine Zidane’s infamous headbutt has been making headlines all over the world, gathering attention from everyone from local sports anchors to political pundits and self-entitled soccer moms across the world. The general opinion, especially from those who never knew who Zizou was before the headbutt, is that Zidane is a moron and cost his team the World Cup. Perhaps he lost the title that would have solidified his career in the football world, but the man is no moron.

For those who have followed his career, he’s been known for his temper and has done such things before. In the 1998 World Cup, he stomped the Saudi captain in the back. In 2000, he also head-butted a Hamburg player during a Championships League match. Zidane’s temper, especially in reaction to verbal assault, is almost as well-known as his incredible work ethic and, ironically, his tendancy to remain quiet and calm.

But calling the man a moron is ignoring the great career he has forged throughout the years.

As the hero of the French team in 1998 at the World Cup, which was held on the team’s home soil, Zidane skyrocketed to fame with his amazing performance and two goals scored in the final. Zizou then racked up many more honors in the European Champions League, along with honors in the Italian and Spanish leagues, but most importantly winning FIFA’s World Player of the Year honor three times. His story of climbing up from the tough streets of Marseille as a French-Algerian teenager and becoming one of the world’s best footballers is not only admirable, but it has become stuff of legend.

I’m not saying that it wasn’t stupid for Zizou to headbutt that foul-mouthed Italian and send him sprawling to the ground, and I’m not saying it was right, either. Although it may be the memory many will keep of Zidane, it is by far not the only lasting memory to those who have cherished Zidane’s incredibly skills.

Zidane will undoubtedly comment on his actions and he will most likely agree with many of his critics that it was in poor, poor taste for him to commit such an outrageous action at the final minutes of his career, disappointing his nation and losing a title that would have rightfully been his. But in comparison with his amazing career, his actions do little more than prove that he is merely human.

Why did he do it? We’ll never know what was going through his head at that time, nor may we ever know what Materazzi said to Zidane to set him off like that.

It’s just too convenient for people to bash on the French, jump on a finger-pointing bandwagon, and enjoy failure at someone else’s expense. It’s especially easy for those who don’t appreciate the game quite as much as the rest of the world does. If it’s so easy to use one word to wipe away that legacy, then such an insult is not deserved.

I will always remember Zizou for his unmatched work ethic and his admirable modesty. The lasting image I have of his career will not be that headbutt, but the familiar smile that I hope we see again. Au revoir, Zizou.



1. ssalig - 2006 July 12

wow.. nice post _and_ nice blog.. i need some help with mine regarding the layout, adding pics and the like.. would appreciate any help!? :)

Zizou’s great and racial slurs, especially amidst a worldcup campaining against racism, are unacceptable.. i say drive the point home with a headbutt.

2. jugnoo - 2006 July 13

well zidane did’nt want to do that but there was something said be italian striker. any ways i count that day an unlucky day for france

3. joemomma - 2006 July 13

Composure. All the great athletes are known for it. You think people weren’t talking about Jordan’s mom while he was shooting free throws in the finals? You think D-linemen weren’t talking about Joe Montana’s mom as he marched down the field in the 4th quarter? How pathetic to have a reputation for screwing your team with your bad temper. Not Clutch. You think the Italian player didn’t know Zoozoo would snap? Of course he did. He was probably trying to provoke it. Once again the Italians prove smarter than the French. Who was that one guy that wrote about winning at all costs? Machiavelli? Where was he from? Zidane could learn a lesson from the true greats. Get your jabs in at the press conference, not in OT.

Go Italy.

Enjoy your reminiscing on your tainted career all through your retirement Zidane.

USA in 2010.

4. swedishfish - 2006 July 13

Haha, I love how this guy 1) calls extra time “OT” (way to go, ESPN), 2) thinks this is because Italy is “smarter,” and 3) thinks the USA has a chance in 2010. Not to mention the fact his argument consists of “you think…”

5. Jon-Hellenistic Kshatriya - 2006 July 13

I jumped all over my friend Katelyn when she said overtime too lol. Stupid play, but a great player. I excuse him. Love the picture at the bottom.

6. joe momma - 2006 July 16

Let me rephrase.

Extra time….He embarassed himself and his team and his country when he lost his composure in “EXTRA TIME.”

My argument is as solid as Zidane’s head. Athletes talk trash to other athletes. ALL THE TIME. NEARLY CONSTANTLY. The fact that your boy allowed trash talk to provoke him to the point where he got himself thrown out of a game is hysterical.

Of course Italy was smarter. I don’t recal any Frenchmen provoking any Italians to get themselves tossed out of a game.

The real MVP was the guy who got Zidane tossed.

Douche bags.

I don’t think or care how the U.S. does in 2010. That was a joke.

7. Karim - 2006 August 23

i know exactly what he said he said you are a terroist and your sister is a slut

8. Azzurra - 2006 November 4

Buon luogo, congratulazioni, il mio amico!

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