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Top 20 World Cup Moments: Zidane headbutt precedes Italy win — No. 4


Visitors pass by, on September 26, 2012, near a bronze sculpture by Algerian artist Adel Abdessemed, displayed in front of the Centre Pompidou contemporary art center, aka Beaubourg in Paris. The sculpture immortalizes the “headbutt” given by the French former football champion Zinedine Zidane to Italian player Materazzi during the World Cup final in 2006. The Centre Pompidou will dedicate a retrospective to Abdessemed from October 3, 2012 to January 7, 2013. AFP PHOTO MEHDI FEDOUACH (Photo credit should read MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/GettyImages)

AFP/Getty Images

As we continue our countdown to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil here at PST, each day from now until the tournament begins we will look back at a memorable moment from years gone by.

Here is number 4.

PST’s Top 20 World Cup moments – No. 4: Zidane’s headbutt precedes Italy’s third title.

He lost his head, and launched it into Marco Materazzi’s chest.

Thirty-four year-old Zinedine Zidane was looking to add a second World Cup to his trophy case in the 2006 final between France and Italy, and was well into extra time before his role in the game went from ordinary to infamous.

“Zizou”, whose seventh-minute penalty put France up 1-0 before Materazzi tied it in the 19th minute, went toe-to-toe with the Italian scorer in overtime before going head-to-chest. After a substantial period of talk between referees and players, Zidane was shown the red.

RELATED: Countdown, World Cup Top 20 moments

Zidane once said he’d “rather die” than apologize to Materazzi, alleging that the defender insulted his mother and sister. The French legend went on to be named best player of the tournament, but the red card cost him the chance to compete in penalty kicks.

David Trezeguet missed France’s second kick, and Italy made all five of their attempts.

The Italians won the World Cup, and Zidane retired from professional soccer after the game.

Follow @nicholasmendola