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Jul. 21st, 2006 @ 09:06 am Selfish Zidane has fooled Fifa
Selfish Zidane has fooled Fifa

Arrogant French legend has sullied his own legacy


Paul Doyle
Thursday July 20, 2006
Guardian Unlimited

Zinedine Zidane
Zidane: has fooled Fifa through his own selfishness. Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/AP.

His chestbutt was excusable. Lots of people do stupid things when they're angry. And if he'd simply apologised for losing and misusing his head and accepted his punishment, Zinédine Zidane could have been forgiven. But instead he decided to play the victim and, in doing so, has cheapened the legacy of one of the game's greatest ever players: himself.

Throughout his sparkling career, Zidane has been hailed for his humility. We've constantly been told that he's just a timid family man who's never let success swell his ego and never forgotten where he came from. But his behaviour since the World Cup final has been disingenuous and self-serving, suggesting that this supposedly modest hero puts his own pride before the good of the game that made him.

Article continues
Zidane complained that Marco Materazzi insulted him and should be punished. He stressed that the insults were not racist, religious or political. In other words, they were the sort of playground taunts that have been heard in every sporting contest at every level since the dawn of time. Zidane has surely been on the receiving end of such insults throughout his life and career; and it would be incredible if the 34-year-old has himself never taunted or insulted an opponent. Indeed, it has been widely reported that he called referee Jorge Larrionda a "son of a bitch" during France's semi-final win over Italy. In football, such vacuous insults have rarely been taken seriously, certainly not when between two players - they've merely been treated as relatively harmless valves through which players vent frustration, or crude ways of winding up adversaries. So did a dunderhead like Materazzi really manage to concoct a jibe so extraordinarily disturbing that it justified Zidane's attack and his demand for Fifa to take unprecedented action?

Or is Zidane simply too proud to admit that the pressure and emotion of the World Cup final and his last ever game led him to make a big drama out of the most humdrum of happenings? Is he arrogant enough to try to fool the world into believing that he, who had previously accumulated 13 red cards in his career, is of such impeccable moral fibre and professional rectitude that it would have taken something unimaginably heinous to blur his focus? Well, insofar as it prompted silly Fifa to retrospectively impose a two-game ban on Materazzi, Zizou's selfish ruse has worked.

Indeed, such is Zidane's mystique that he even managed to convince the French Football Federation to contradict themselves and speak to Fifa in his defence. This is the same FFF that last year appealed against one of its own disciplinary committee's decisions after Fabien Barthez, who had spat on a referee during a friendly, was dealt with leniently after explaining he was provoked. The FFF insisted the goalkeeper serve at least a six-month ban. The word 'hypocrisy' must be featuring heavily in Barthez's conversations tonight.

As for Fifa, now that they've been hoodwinked into declaring that swearing at someone is only marginally less objectionable than physically assaulting them and should be punished even if the referee doesn't hear it, how does the world governing body propose to eradicate harsh language? By making every player wear a microphone during matches and employing a squadron of eavesdroppers to monitor their utterances? If so, which jibes merit a yellow card and which deserve red? For how many games will a player be suspended for insulting an opponent's sister as opposed to, say, his cousin?

Conniving Zidane handed Fifa a jagged can-opener, and the clowns have released the worms.

http://football.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1825400,00.html?gusrc=rss
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sophia:
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From:x__seventhfret
Date:July 21st, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
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LOL!

Well. Everyone's intitled to their opinion.
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From:pierrelle
Date:July 21st, 2006 01:15 am (UTC)
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Wow, that sure took a lot of cunning planning on Zizou's part.
Wouldn't it be easier to just... play football well like he does, and hope for the best? XD
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From:sophia
Date:July 21st, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
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did the author say it was planned?

i read it as criticizing his actions after the headbutt. which is at the end of his career. no more of playing football for him
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From:eclipticxchic
Date:July 21st, 2006 01:23 am (UTC)
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your joking right?
thought this topic would have died by now
hmm guess not.
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From:almadri
Date:July 21st, 2006 01:31 am (UTC)
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It's only flared up again in the media because today was Zidane's hearing at FIFA. And based on the hearing, FIFA announced their decision on what type of penalties he should pay from his behavior that led to the red card. I believe FIFA investigates all automatic red-card incidents (ones that are not preceded by a yellow card).
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From:rebel_waltz
Date:July 21st, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
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i seriously doubt his reputation has been tarnished by this. i think the responce the situation has got proves that it won't hurt his image or legacy in the long run. people have been extremely sympathetic about what happened, and i think Materazzi has definitely been villanized at least to an extent for provoking Zidane. no matter what, he's still kind of that working class hero, and it would take a lot more than a headbutt to convince people otherwise. and almost everytime i've heard this come up in conversation, it always ends with people talking about what an extroirdinary player Zidane was. it always ends on a different note than the headbutt. but i do think for people who can look passed image and political symbolism or whatever Zidane's got going on in France, or just aren't fans, he may well have lost a bit of credit.
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From:vsarto
Date:July 21st, 2006 02:58 am (UTC)
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i think it will tarnish his image. perhaps if this had happened in a normal game...or if france had won the cup, things wouldnt have been the case. but to be honest, this will be looked at alongside his triumphs like 98, 00, and his various league and european titles. and to be honest, something like a headbutt in a final is just so glaring. it's like the complete opposite of a brilliant 2 or 3 goal performance. even if materazzi was the instigator, there's still no excuses.

it's a shame bc zidane is a great player, but once again, he proves to us that a lot of football's greatest legends are flawed in the end.
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From:coral_arratia
Date:July 21st, 2006 01:46 am (UTC)
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lOl.. thats soo funny, now Zidane its the bad one...
first he is not trying to be the victim, and he never said that Materazzi deserved to be banned!!
Anyways I gues ppl has different points of view, but whatever, saying Zidane is the bad one, isnt enough to change everyone's mind, I mean for some ppl he is the best player in this WC, he has such an amazing career, he head-butt wont change my mind.
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From:sophia
Date:July 21st, 2006 02:47 am (UTC)
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and he never said that Materazzi deserved to be banned!!
maybe not exactly banned, but punished. what other types of punishments are there besides bans? fines?


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,28749-2267590,00.html

Zidane, 34, who retired from football on Sunday, said that it was understandable that Fifa was investigating the incident, but he insisted that Materazzi should be punished for instigating it. "The guilty one is the one who created the provocation," he said.
From:alonewestand
Date:July 21st, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
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best article to date.
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From:sophia
Date:July 21st, 2006 02:05 am (UTC)
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has there been any article supporting the punishment though? i've read a few and they weren't

admittedly i've not read many
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From:sumireyan
Date:July 21st, 2006 02:30 am (UTC)
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"For how many games will a player be suspended for insulting an opponent's sister as opposed to, say, his cousin?"

Hahaha! I wonder if there would be a difference in judgement between a first cousin, a second cousion and a first cousin twice removed? XD
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From:sophia
Date:July 21st, 2006 03:39 am (UTC)
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are u being sarcastic?

anyway it was copy and paste
i meant to paste the link as well
http://football.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1825400,00.html?gusrc=rss
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From:cyclotron
Date:July 21st, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
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1. This looks like an opinion piece
2. I didnt think that Zidane called for the Fifa investigation, I thought Fifa did it on their own
3. This assumes that Zidane is lying.
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From:sophia
Date:July 21st, 2006 04:08 am (UTC)
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1.yes
2. definitely FIFA decision. question is, did he blow up the matter by saying his family was insulted
3. where?
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From:satellite__eyes
Date:July 21st, 2006 06:47 pm (UTC)
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Biased opinion articles make me laugh.

God damn media.
From:aegyptus
Date:July 21st, 2006 09:21 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I sure hate biased opinion articles.
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From:zouzoufan
Date:July 29th, 2006 05:13 pm (UTC)
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Interesting. If I remember right this guy did the Guardian minute-by-minute comment for the France - Portugal game. And he had this to say before the game:

One reason it would be formidable to see France progress is that it would give us the chance to see Zinédine Zidane in one last big game. I’m no reggae fanatic but I put it to you that Bob Marley is the greatest musician of all time. Sure, some people love the Beatles, Elvis, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Black Sabbath, Fela Kuti, Chris de Burgh, Victoria Beckham, etc. and so on, but, by the same token, some people can’t stand them. Bob Marley, by contrast, is admired by everyone. Seriously, have you ever met anyone who goes ‘aarrrrghh’ when a Marley track comes on the radio? Of course not. His tunes are perfection, with nary a superfluous note nor word. Whenever you hear one of his songs, whether you’re frolicking on a beach in Kingston, drilling for oil in a nature reserve (hi George!) or typing jabberwocky in a London tower block, you can’t help but boogie. And that’s why Zinédine Zidane is the Bob Marley of football.

Yes, we must savour every special moment of Zizou’s fabulous career, for when he’s in the mood, everything he does is perfect: every movement mordant, every touch telling. He becomes poetry in motion (which probably means I should have begun this eulogy by comparing him to some top-notch poet rather than a spliff-crazy rastaman, but let’s be honest, if I’d said Zinédine Zidane is football’s Emily Dickinson, my inbox would have already collapsed under the weight of messages beginning “Dear pretentious pillock …”).