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FOOTBALL

Zidane wins Golden Boot award

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Zidane celebrates after opening the scoring in Sunday's World Cup final.

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BERLIN, Germany -- Zinedine Zidane has been named the World Cup's outstanding player despite his sending off for headbutting an opponent in France's penalty shootout defeat by Italy in Sunday's final.

The Frenchman won FIFA's Golden Ball award, voted for by journalists, on Monday morning just hours after his career ended ignominously in Berlin. (Full Story)

Zidane, a three-time world footballer of the year, had already announced he would retire after the World Cup and his red card late in extra time for an assault on Marco Materazzi left his teammates facing a penalty shootout without their inspirational captain.

Zidane, who had impressed in France's wins over Spain and Brazil earlier in the tournament, earned 2,012 votes.

Italian captain Fabio Cannavaro (1,977) was second after a series of outstanding defensive performances while his midfield teammate Andrea Pirlo (715) was third.

Germany's Miroslav Klose won the Golden Boot award for the tournament's top scorer with five goals with teamate Lukas Podolski named as young player of the tournament and Italy's Gianluigi Buffon winning the best goalkeeper award.

Brazil and Spain shared the fair play award and Portugal were named as the most entertaining team.

Zidane, seeking to win the World Cup for a second time after scoring twice in France's 3-0 win over Brazil in 1998, had given his side an early lead in the final from the penalty spot with his . (Match report)

But his final appearance for his country will instead be remembered for the dramatic circumstances in which one of the most illustrious careers in football history came to a premature end. (Sad end)

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