Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Zidane Headbutt

Here's a video of the infamous Zidane headbutt incident during the World Cup final, shot in a different angle from the one we saw live on TV. Now the question on everyone's mind is what made Zidane headbutt the Italian defender Marco Materazzi? We now know that the Italian did insult Zidane. From BBC:
"I held his shirt, for only a few seconds," said Materazzi, who had scored Italy's equaliser after Zidane put France ahead from the penalty spot.

"He turned towards me and scoffed at me, looking at me with super arrogance, up and down.

"He said 'if you really want my shirt, you can have it later.'

"It's true, I shot back with an insult."
So what were the actual words he said to Zidane? He did not say but lip readers are out in full force trying to decipher the Italian's words. From The Age:
An Italian lip-reader, who claimed to have deciphered Materazzi's words, told the BBC that Materazzi had said: "I wish an ugly death to you and all your family", and then added, "Go f--- yourself."

Britain's top forensic lip-reader, Jessica Rees - whose skill has led her to be summoned as an expert witness at criminal trials - believed Materazzi called Zidane a "son of a terrorist whore" before he added, "So just f--- off".

The Daily Mail said it, too, engaged a lip-reader who reached the same conclusion as Rees.

Brazil's Globo television also employed lip-reading experts, who concluded Materazzi had twice told Zidane his sister was a "whore", before directing "a coarse word" at him.
Whore. Fuck Off. Verbal insults such as these are a common thing in football. It is the black art of provocation practiced by football players for years to try to gain an advantage over their opponents. From BBC:
"In Italy, it's part and parcel of the game and a basic way of trying to get one over your opposite number," Hateley told BBC Sport.

"That sort of things goes on all the time. It's non-stop with the defenders, especially. They pinch you, try to annoy you by telling you you are playing really badly. I've even known spitting.

"They try and get a reaction from you, it's always been like that and it always will be."
In my opinion, what Zidane did was a disgraceful act no matter how bad the verbal insult he received. You just cannot go headbutting another football player. As the world waits to hear Zidane's own version of the incident, we are being reminded by the following story that headbutting has been around for ages. Even the dinosaurs did it! Maybe it's a male thing afterall. From The Age:
Before we harshly judge Zidane, let's explore the anthropological and cultural origins of the headbutt. As old as the dinosaur, the headbutt is the universal male symbol for territorial aggression when hands and words just aren't enough. The message it sends, in so many words is: I'm angry and don't feel like punching you or beating you fairly, so I'm going to launch my head at yours. And the idea, roughly speaking, is to establish dominance and win the girl, or the soccer match, whichever comes first.

Zidane joins a Who's Who of other male creatures who, in striking moments of desperation, frustration, lust, passion and even silliness, resorted to the primordial act. The list includes just about any professional wrestler, the cartoon dad Homer Simpson and Star Wars bounty hunter Jango Fett, who headbutted Obi-Wan in Episode 2: Attack of the Clones. In one of the most celebrated incidents, writer Norman Mailer headbutted literary opponent Gore Vidal — for suggesting that Mailer was a violent man.


Anonymous said...

Zidane headbutt Materazzi's chest because Materazzi is too tall for Zidane to hit on his head.

Anonymous said...

zidane is no angel.

he started it first.

Anonymous said...

Boys will be boys.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there should be rules to prevent players from hurling abuses at one another.

Anonymous said...

where got fun like that?