ZIDANE Apologized; MATERAZZI Denied RACIST Comment or Aiming ABUSE Zidane's MOTHER; TREZEGUET shoulders BLAME-his crucial PENALTY MISS
France striker David Trezeguet says he will shoulder the blame for his crucial penalty miss in the World Cup final defeat by Italy
Trezeguet was the only man to miss a spot-kick in the shootout as Italy won 5-3, with the striker's effort coming back off the crossbar with Gianluigi Buffon diving the wrong way.
The duo currently play together at Juventus, but Trezeguet has denied that that was a factor in his miss.
He said: "It's true that I know Buffon very well, but I didn't change my style of striking the ball because of that.
"I didn't think I hit the ball badly. I think it's important that one takes responsibility for their acts and I walk with my head held up high.
"We have to accept defeat, look ahead, this is part of football.
"We did dominate and I don't think we were inferior to Italy.
"Unfortunately, we weren't able to score and the game was decided on penalties. We knew then that it could go either way
No regrets from Zidane; Thursday Jul 13 2006 07:37
France legend Zinedine Zidane has apologised for headbutting Italy defender Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final, but says that he does not regret his actions.
Zidane spoke on French television about his assault on Materazzi, which led to a red card in the final match of his illustrious career, with the Azzurri going on to clinch World Cup glory after a penalty shootout.
Zidane said: "It was inexcusable. I apologise, but I can't regret what I did because it would mean that he was right to say all that.
"It was seen by two or three billion people on television and millions and millions of children were watching.
"It was an inexcusable gesture and to them, and the people in education whose job it is to show children what they should and shouldn't do, I want to apologise.
"We always talk about the reaction and obviously it must be punished. But if there is no provocation, there is no need to react.
"Above all it was a very serious provocation. It was an inexcusable gesture but the real culprit is the person who provoked it.
"Do you imagine that in a World Cup final like that with just ten minutes to go to the end of my career, I am going to do something like that because it gives me pleasure?"
Of the nature of what Materazzi had said to him, Zidane added: "You hear them once and you try to move away, but then you hear them twice and then a third time.
"I am a man and some words are harder to hear than actions. I would rather have taken a blow to the face than hear that."
After ending his career with a red card in extra time of the World Cup final, France’s Zinedine Zidane was named the Golden Ball award winner, given to the most outstanding player of the tournament. Zidane edged out Italian captain Fabio Cannavaro in voting decided by media members. It is the third time in a row that a player from the losing side in the championship team won the award.
Zidane was great at times in this tournament but frankly I don’t think enough tohis play was good merit him winning the award. Perhaps members of the media saw it as an opportunity to honor a player who has been great throughout the years, but I think they made the wrong choice. I would have gone with Cannavaro.
The other awards from the 2006 World Cup:
Golden Shoe (top scorer): Miroslav Klose (Germany)
Most Entertaining Team: Portugal
Best Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
Best Young Player: Lukas Podolski (Germany)
Team Fair Play Award: Spain and Brazil
Meanwhile Italy defender Marco Materazzi has again denied making any racist comment or aiming abuse at Zinedine Zidane's mother before being headbutted by the Frenchman in the World Cup final.
Zidane has broken his silence to level allegations of serious abuse against Materazzi, but the Azzurri stopper says his conscience is clear.
He said: "I didn't mention anything about religion, politics or racism.
"I didn't insult his mother. I lost my mother when I was 15 years old and still get emotional when I talk about it.
"Naturally, I didn't know that his mother was in hospital but I wish her all the best. Zidane is my hero and I have always admired him a lot."
Materazzi had earlier told Gazetta dello Sport: "I held his shirt for a few seconds only, then he turned to me and talked to me, jeering.
"He looked at me with a huge arrogance and said 'if you really want my shirt I'll give it to you afterwards'. I replied with an insult, that's true.
"It was one of those insults you're told dozens of times and that you often let fall on a pitch.
"I did not call him a terrorist. I did not bring up Zidane's mother, for me a mother is sacred."
Meanwhile, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has warned that Zidane could be stripped of the Golden Ball award as the World Cup's best player, saying: "The FIFA executive committee has the responsibility of intervening when it is a matter of conduct which goes against the ethics of the sport.
"That is why I gave the orders to our disciplinary commission to investigate what happened.
"To see him, Zidane, acting like that leaves me vexed, both for himself and for all sense of fair play."