Betrayed by Zidane

It’s been over two hours since Zidane’s inexplicable head-butt against Materazzi got him sent off the pitch (and led directly, in my view, to France’s sorry loss by penalty shootout), but I still can’t wrap my head around it.  Zidane (whose universal appeal was based on an elegant athleticism and the sense of a powerful, even violent, nature brought under control — his seeming shyness could be read as the aloofness of kings and executioners) lost his head with only 10 minutes of extra time left in the World Cup final, and France and all his fans have paid the price. Now he is, in the words of a BBC sports commentator, “the loneliest man in the world.”

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4 Comments

Filed under Spiral Notebook

4 responses to “Betrayed by Zidane

  1. Gej

    Trash-talking elevated into an art form.

    Whatever Materazzi, the guy Zidane eventually head-butted, said, that provoked the French wizard into his fit of insanity, it was probably spoken with all the color of the Italian language. Zidane must have regretted learning the language during his stint in the Italian league years ago.

    Zidane’s many triumphs will still outweigh this incident. Still, it will be forever inexplicable how someone who can control the football, the game, even his whole team, the opposing team and the whole crowd, better than billions of others, could not control his own temper in this his clearest defining moment and passage into sporting history.

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  3. manuelbuencamino

    Betrayed is a bit harsh. Shit happens. Maybe Zidane reached a breaking point from carrying his team and the entire French nation on his shoulders for the last month.

    It’s difficult enough to play full tilt for 90 minutes. But add to that the overtime and the fact that it’s the World Cup final and his last football game ever. Shit, they wouldn’t have gotten to the quarter finals if not for Zidane’s leadership.

    Give the man his due he gave his all.

  4. Probably it was the Mafia who induced Zidane’s bizarre behavior.

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