Thursday, July 13, 2006
Head butting finish
Zinedine Zidane's head butt in the final minutes of the World Cup final will be remembered much longer than the match. The match itself was not that spectacular and Italy wanted to win the cup by whatever means that it could.
Lots have been written about the butt and Zidane himself refused to divulge what exactly Materazzi said that provoked him. But it must have been something really outrageous to cause the greatest contemprory footballer to behave that way knowing the ignominous end that it would be for his career.
But Zidane did not have any regrets though he apologized to his teammates. Our sympathies naturally go out to the footballer but his act is certainly not justified whatever the provocations. Eventhough we want to explain it away as a venting of all the frustration built up due to the way the game was going, the subtle racist overtones in the sports (as exemplified by Thierre Henry's case). But Zidane did disgrace himself as a role model.
His skills and greatness as a footballer will remain and no one can take that away but he did damage his stature as a sportsman. But as they say that sports is a test of character and character reveals itself even if you are playing the last match of your career.
Zidane proved that he was just as human but maybe if he hadnt done that head butt we might have clung on to that illusion of him being close to a god. But maybe he didnt want that. Or he just couldnt take that huge a burden.
Au revoir, Zidane!