Ex-France star Florent Malouda reveals he missed Zidane’s World Cup final headbutt – and has never asked him about it

FLORENT MALOUDA has revealed that he missed Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi – and couldn’t understand what had happened.

The former Chelsea winger was in action for France as they took on Italy in the 2006 World Cup final.

BBCZinedine Zidane infamously headbutted Marco Materazzi[/caption]

Getty – ContributorFlorent Malouda has recalled his experience of the 2006 final[/caption]

Things started perfectly for Les Bleus, with Malouda winning a penalty that was subsequently converted by Zidane.

But after being pegged back by the Italians the French were forced into extra time – where things began to go drastically wrong.

After a war of words Zidane infamously headbutted Materazzi in the 110th minute, receiving a red card in what was the final match of his career.

Malouda received a booking for dissent shortly after, but has now admitted that he didn’t know what had actually happened.

Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes: Halftime Quiz, the 42-year-old said: “In terms of the final and the famous incident with Marco Materazzi, I was on the pitch at the time.

“Myself and Franck Ribery had swapped wings during extra-time so I was close to the incident.

“But honestly, at that stage in the game, the ball was going from box-to-box, the tempo was so fast and us players were just following the ball. Everybody was paying attention to the other end of the pitch.

“We were all surprised why the game had been stopped, at that time there was no VAR so no one knew what had happened!


“I was just wondering why the referee had stopped the game and then, when the referee gave Zizou the red card, we just couldn’t understand. We didn’t even notice there was an incident.

“But it happened, Zizou left the pitch and we carried on. We tried to win the game, that was all we were focusing on.

“We regrouped and sorted our shape out but to be honest, at that stage in the game there were no real positions; everyone was just trying to win the game before it went to a penalty shoot-out.

“After the final whistle, there’s just disappointment. You’ve lost a World Cup final. You’re not thinking about the incident that much, it’s only when you go back home and you read about it, you see the replay of it.

“I’ve been asked what really happened by many people since that day, but the honest answer is that I don’t know.

“On the pitch, things were happening so fast, and there were so many emotions flying around, we just don’t know what led to it.

“I’ve seen Zidane a few times since that happened and I’ve never considered asking him about it. It’s done and we lost a World Cup final.”

France lost 5-3 in the penalty shoot-out, with villain of the piece Materazzi converting his spot-kick.

David Trezeguet missed Les Bleus’ second effort, with Fabio Grosso going on to score the winning penalty.

AP:Associated PressThierry Henry, Malouda and Franck Ribery congratulate Zidane after his World Cup final goal[/caption]

AFPZizou was shown a red card in the final match of his career[/caption]

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