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Zidane wins Golden Ball

10 Jul 2006 - 10:20:40

France captain Zinedine Zidane has won the Golden Ball award for the World Cup's best player, despite his red card in Sunday's defeat to Italy in the final.

Zidane, who was making his final appearance before retiring, was sent off for head-butting Italy defender Marco Materazzi in the chest during extra-time.

Zidane polled 2012 points in the vote by journalists covering the tournament. ahead of Italian duo Fabio Cannavaro (1977 points) and Andrea Pirlo (715 points).

The 34-year-old had the worst disciplinary record in the tournament, having been suspended for the group game against Togo after picking up two yellow cards in France's first two matches.

Journalists voted for their best player at half-time during the World Cup Final, before Zidane's dismissal.

The ex-Juventus and Real Madrid star had been instrumental in France's run to the final, producing outstanding displays in the knockout stages as he rolled back the years to help his team beat Spain, Brazil and Portugal.


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