July 12, 2006

Zidane Speaks

Zidane, originally uploaded by yyge.

I'm not a huge soccer fan, which makes me like most Americans. But like most sports fans on the planet, I watched a lot of the World Cup Final game. And like most of those who watched, I was astonished at the sight of Zinedine Zidane head butting opponent Marco Materazzi with minutes to go in a tie game.

A French "anti-racism" group claimed that Materazzi called Zidane a "terrorist", but they apparently made it up, as Zidane said Materazzi said no such thing.

Zidane spoke on the Canal Plus tv station today. He said that he was mad at Materazzi for pulling on his shirt, and for saying insults about Zidane's mother and sister.

The best player of his generation, a man of 34 years, and he lashes out violently in the World Cup final because someone insults his mother and sister?

``I am a man before anything else.'' said Zidane.

If his account is true, and I have no reason to disbelieve it, I cannot be angry with Zidane. He did something that was wrong and which was stupid, but he did it to protect the honor of his family. There are worse crimes in the world, and besides, it was just a game.

Zidane, all is forgiven.


Poeticamente... voando... said...

honor of his family? honor and violence. I already heard this before...

The Phantom said...


He was wrong, and has said so.

But if the other player said these things, then I do understand what he did.

United Irelander said...

I don't agree, Phantom.

Football players get this kind of thing all the time and a player of Zidane's age and experience should have known that.

The best way Zidane could have handled the comment would have been to stick the ball in the back of the net and win the cup for his country. France were the better team and getting sent off left his country in poor shape. Besides, he could have waited until the game's climax to confront Materazzi.

He can make all the arguments he wants about honour and dignity but I think the bottom line is he lost his temper and screwed up. He is an idol to millions and he let himself down on the grandest stage of all.