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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 September 2006, 09:45 GMT 10:45 UK
Materazzi breaks Zidane silence
Zinedine Zidane headbutts Marco Materazzi to the ground
Zinedine Zidane headbutts Marco Materazzi to the ground
Marco Materazzi has finally explained what he said to Zinedine Zidane before he was headbutted by the Frenchman during Italy's World Cup final victory.

Zidane was sent off for the attack and later claimed he was provoked after Materazzi had insulted his mother.

But Materazzi told Gazzetta dello Sport that Zidane's sister was the subject.

He said: "I was tugging his shirt, he said to me 'if you want my shirt so much I'll give it to you afterwards,' I answered that I'd prefer his sister."

Materazzi added: "It's not a particularly nice thing to say, I recognise that. But loads of players say worse things.

"I didn't even know he had a sister before all this happened."

Materazzi was later handed a two-match ban from world governing body Fifa, while Zidane was banned for three games and fined 3,260.

Zidane, who has since retired from football, has never specified what Materazzi said to him and has refused to apologise to his opponent.

Asked on 12 July exactly Materazzi had said, Zidane would only offer that it was "very personal" and concerned his mother and his sister.

"You hear those things once and you try to walk away," added Zidane. "That's what I wanted to do because I am retiring. You hear it a second time and then a third time..."

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