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Zidane: I'd rather die than say sorry to Materazzi for World Cup headbutt

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01 Mar 2010 14:43:43

Zidane: I'd rather die than say sorry to Materazzi for World Cup headbutt

France legend Zinedine Zidane would rather die than apologise to Marco Materazzi, who he headbutted during the 2006 World Cup final.   World football was left stunned when Zidane, in the last game of his career, attacked Materazzi in extra time - an action which saw the France captain duly dismissed.   Italy went on to win the World Cup in a penalty shoot-out and while Zidane admits he regrets what he did, he insists he will never apologise to ex-Everton defender Materazzi because of the insults against his mother which he claims provoked the headbutt.   Fool force: Zidane got himself sent off for his moment of madness 'Of course I reproach myself,' Zidane told El Pais. 'But, if I say sorry, I would also be admitting that what he himself did was normal. And for me it was not normal.   'Things happen on the pitch. It's happened to me many times. But I could not stand it there. Because moreover...it is not an excuse. But my mother was ill. She was in hospital. This people did not know.   'But it was a bad time. More than once they insulted my mother and I never responded. But there...and it happened. And to apologise for this...if it was Kaka, a regular guy, a good guy, of course I would have apologised. But to this one...   'If I ask him forgiveness, I lack respect to myself and to all those I hold dear with all my heart.   'I apologise to football, to the fans, to the team... After the game, I went into the dressing room and told them, "Forgive me. This doesn't change anything. But sorry everyone".   'But to him I cannot. Never, never...it would be to dishonour me...I'd rather die. There are evil people. And I don't even want to hear those guys speak.' Down but not out: Materazzi picked himself up to score in the penalty shoot-out Zidane's actions stunned the world as not only was the France captain a footballing icon but he had also steered well away from controversy during his distinguished career.   The 37-year-old lists two Serie A titles with Juventus and two Primera Division titles and a Champions League with Real Madrid as well as the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship among his trophy haul.   Zidane, who joined Real Madrid in their first 'galacticos' era, is now special advisor to president Florentino Perez.   And the former midfielder has hailed Madrid's latest crop of expensive players - including world record buy Cristiano Ronaldo.     He said: 'Cristiano Ronaldo wants to be the best. And he says so. It's one thing to say it and another to do it. He says it and then gets up early to go to training at eight in the morning, two hours before scheduled. And he stays there six hours.   'People say he is a show-off, but he's noble. A good lad and worker. Playing every three days you can't do silly things and he knows it.   'And if they jeer him, he doesn't care. The opposite, he likes it!'  John Terry didn't say sorry: The reason Wayne Bridge quit EnglandEXCLUSIVE: Walcott poised for return to England right wing for Egypt friendlyWith Bridge broken and Cole crocked, who will Fabio Capello be left with?Thousands of tickets remain unsold for World Cup finalsBridge controversy will not wreck England's World Cup bid, says FA chief  Explore more:People:Cristiano Ronaldo, Florentino Perez, Zinedine ZidanePlaces:Madrid, Italy, France


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