Greatest satisfaction for Lippi

09 July 2006 11:08
Italy coach Marcello Lippi described his side's World Cup triumph as the best moment of his life. The final finished 1-1 after Zinedine Zidane's early penalty for France was cancelled out by a bullet header from Marco Materazzi after 19 minutes. Zidane was sent off in extra-time for butting Materazzi on the chest, before the Azzurri won a penalty shootout 5-3. "I have to say thanks to the players. This is the most satisfying moment of my life. We are very happy," said Lippi. "I dedicate the victory to my family. The players have unlimited heart, character and personality. "Winning the World Cup is the greatest satisfaction that any coach or footballer can feel. I've had the fortune to win the Champions League - a kind of world title for clubs - and lots of Serie A titles but I've never felt anything like this." France coach Raymond Domenech refused to criticise Zidane for his moment of madness, but admitted he thought the retiring playmaker's dismissal had cost his side the match. "I'm not saying I'm excusing it but I can understand," said Domenech, when quizzed about his captain's behaviour. "We missed Zinedine Zidane a lot in the last ten minutes. His absence weighed heavily on the match. Yes, we can say that Zidane being sent off was the killing moment of the game." He added: "We can only be disappointed, not by our run but by the final match and the way it ended. Really, from the game we played, we would have deserved to win. "I've said it from the start, only victory is pretty. There will always be something missing. You can say what we did wasn't bad but it's Italy who are the champions."

Source: ESA

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