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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 09:07 GMT 10:07 UK
Sent-off Zidane named best player
Zinedine Zidane
Zidane's final match in professional football was the World Cup final
Zinedine Zidane won the Golden Ball award for the World Cup's best player, despite being dismissed for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the final.

France captain Zidane polled 2,012 points in the vote by journalists mostly carried out at half-time.

The midfielder, 34, beat Italians Fabio Cannavaro (1,977 points) and Andrea Pirlo (715 points) in the ballot.

He scored a penalty early on in the final but was sent off in extra time as France went on to lose on penalties.

The former international player of the year and 1998 World Cup winner announced last month that he was retiring from football after the tournament.

The vast majority of those votes were cast by journalists before the final was over and that I'm sure is why Zidane has come out top

BBC sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar
On Sunday, he put France ahead from the spot in the opening minutes but was sent off after slamming his head into Materazzi's chest during the tense second period of extra time, which ended 1-1.

It was to be his last act as a professional player and, with the French missing his prowess in the ensuing penalty shootout, Italy went on to claim the World Cup title.

BBC sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar was in Berlin to see the game and the vote.

"The vast majority of those votes were cast by journalists before the final was over and that I'm sure is why Zidane has come out top," Farquhar told BBC Radio Five Live.

Our man at the World Cup final

"But it's going to be a bit embarrassing for Fifa - the man who got sent off in the final for a completely unacceptable foul against another player is the guy who's been chosen by journalists as the man of the tournament.

"The reason the journalists voted for Zidane was this great emotional thing - everybody knew it was his last tournament and the final was his last game of football ever - but most people were dumbfounded to see what he did on Sunday.

"If you'd asked the 2,012 journalists - who voted for him - after the game whether they wanted to change their vote, they probably would have."

Other players on the Golden Ball shortlist included Maniche (Portugal), Michael Ballack (Germany), Gianluca Zambrotta (Italy), Thierry Henry (France), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Patrick Vieira (France) and Miroslav Klose (Germany).

606 VIEW

Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn won the prestigious award in 2002, while other previous winners include Brazilians Ronaldo (1998) and Romario ('94), Italy's Salvatore Schillaci ('90) and Argentine great Diego Maradona.

Germany striker Miroslav Klose was the Golden Shoe winner as leading scorer at the World Cup with five goals.

Italian Gianluigi Buffon was named the tournament's best goalkeeper.

And semi-finalists Portugal won Fifa's most entertaining team award.

German striker Lukas Podolski pipped Portuguese winger Ronaldo to be named the World Cup's best young player.

How will Zidane be remembered?
11 Jul 06 |  Talking Point
Zidane the flawed genius
10 Jul 06 |  France
Zidane's red mist
09 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006
Zidane off as Italy win World Cup
09 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006
Podolski beats Ronaldo to award
07 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006


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