Skip to main content
U.S. Edition

Zidane sees red as Italy win Cup

Zidane is shown the red card by referee Horacio Elizondo after butting Materazzi.



How will retiring French football captain Zinedine Zidane be remembered?
or View Results


Zinedine Zidane

BERLIN, Germany -- Italy won a penalty shootout 5-3 to lift the World Cup for the fourth time after French captain Zinedine Zidane was sensationally sent off near the end of the final that was tied 1-1 after extra time.

The French captain was shown the red card in the final match of his career for inexplicably headbutting Marco Materazzi.

Zidane had scored a seventh minute penalty to put France ahead in Sunday's final in Berlin with Materazzi equalizing 12 minutes later.

With the shock of Zidane's moment of madness still hanging over the Olympic stadium, the greatest prize in world football went down to the lottery of spot kicks.

Italy kept their nerve the better with five immaculate penalties, the fifth and crucial strike from the boot of Fabio Grosso.

David Trezeguet's missed effort for France which hit the underside of the crossbar ultimately proved the difference, the only player from either side to miss.

"It's incredibly emotional, words cannot hardly describe it," Grosso said. "Maybe we still don't realize what we have achieved. We really wanted to win and in the end we made it."

It was the first penalty shootout in a final since the 1994 World Cup. Brazil beat Italy 3-2 in that match.

"I've won many championships, many scudetti (Italian league titles), but a joy so big I have never felt," Italy coach Marcello Lippi said. "It is the greatest joy, absolutely."

Zidane, widely admired for his performances in his farewell to football, had come close to ending his career in a blaze of glory as his extra time header was brilliantly saved by Gianluigi Buffon.

Heated exchange

But with the clock ticking down he was involved in a heated argument with his fellow goalscorer Materazzi.

The exchange had still seemed innocent enough until Zidane inexplicably headbutted the Italian defender in the chest.

Referee Horacio Elizondo was left with no alternative but to send Zidane to the dressing room, an ignominious end to the career of one of the greatest footballers of all time.

A game that had expected to be a cagey affair got off to an explosive start as Thierry Henry needed extensive treatment after being dazed by a Fabio Cannavaro body-check as the Italy captain made an early impact in his 100th international.

A dazed Henry had barely recovered when Florent Malouda drove into the box and was felled by a clumsy challenge from Materazzi.

Zidane stepped up to take the seventh-minute penalty, opting to impudently chip the diving Gianluigi Buffon, the ball going in via the underside of the crossbar.

Zidane, who headed two goals in the 1998 final, became the fourth player to score three times in finals after Brazilian duo Vava and Pele and England's Geoff Hurst, who got a hat-trick in the 1966 final.

Italy were temporarily shaken but equalized after 19 minutes when Materazzi atoned for his earlier slackness by rising high above Patrick Vieira to head home an Andrea Pirlo corner from the right.

With France rocking at the back, Materazzi nearly repeated the medicine and Italy were close to a second in the 36th minute when Pirlo curled in another tempting corner which striker Luca Toni headed against the bar.

Henry, who was a frustrated, unused substitute in the 1998 final against Brazil, burst into life at the start of the second half.

Twice he jigged through the defense with dangerous runs and then had a sharp shot blocked by Buffon.

France were looking the more dangerous although Fabien Barthez was beaten again in the 62nd minute by a Toni header which was ruled out for offside.

France lost key midfielder Patrick Vieira to a hamstring strain midway through the second half but maintained the pressure amid the tiredness as the error count rose.

In extra time it was France who looked the more likely to score as Franck Ribery shot agonisingly just wide after 99 minutes before Zidane forced the spectacular save from Buffon after meeting a Willy Sagnol cross with a stunning header.

Story Tools
Click Here to try 4 Free Trial Issues of Time! cover
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNNAvantGo Ad Info About Us Preferences
© 2007 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines