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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 July 2006, 22:31 GMT 23:31 UK
BBC pundits on World Cup final

Alan Hansen
Alan Hansen
BBC Sport football expert and Match of the Day summariser

That was totally unbelievable.

Italian football is embroiled in controversy, scandal and massive corruption, but with all those problems hanging over them, they've come to Germany and actually won the World Cup.

Any other nation in the world would have struggled with those problems hanging over them, but not the Italians.

They were amazing.

You have to feel really sorry for the losers.

Zidane's let everybody down, and most of all he's let himself down big time

And the way they lost it with Zinedine Zidane's sending-off for head-butting Marco Materazzi was a bitter blow. I think Zidane will be the loneliest man in the world after that.

What he did was totally inexplicable.

Materazzi came close to him, but when you see it, Zidane actually has a little smile, walks past him and everything's fine.

Then, Materazzi's obviously said something and he's lost his head.

Every time you see it, it gets worse.

Zidane's let everybody down, and most of all he's let himself down big time.

But what a night Materazzi had - he gave away the penalty, scored the goal, got Zidane sent off and netted a great penalty in the shoot-out. He had a great tournament.

And it's brilliant for Italian skipper Fabio Cannavaro, who was outstanding all the way through this competition.

Thierry Henry was isolated up front for France throughout the tournament, and he never really got the support he deserved.

For the Italians, the best moment will be when they wake up in the morning with a bad head.

The adrenalin will be pumping and there will not be a better feeling in the world.

Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer
Former England striker and Match of the Day summariser

Defensively, Italy were fantastic.

They conceded two goals in the whole tournament, one was an own goal and in the final there was a penalty.

A penalty kick to win the World Cup final - it's absolutely magnificent!

The coach has worked miracles to get them to this level.

But it's so sad for Zidane, for a great player to finish his career like that.

Only he will be able to tell you what was going through his mind at that time.

It didn't look like Materazzi had done anything - so for Zidane to go and do something as stupid as that, in a game of this size in front of hundreds of millions of people watching is incredible.

That's going to be talked about for such a long time.

I just hope he's not remembered for that moment of madness.

As for Fabio Grosso scoring the winning penalty, well, you dream of that.

A penalty kick to win the World Cup final - it's absolutely magnificent

What a feeling that must be.

Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill
Former Celtic boss and Match of the Day summariser

I don't begrudge the Italians their win.

Some weeks ago, I saw them play and if you'd have said to me we were watching the world champions, I wouldn't have believed you.

But I don't think there's been an outstanding team in the World Cup.

The one thing Marcello Lippi did brilliantly was to bring a pub side mentality to the Italians

That doesn't mean I haven't enjoyed it, it's been fantastic.

But since we've gone into the knockout stages, it has not been of the best quality.

As for Zidane, it's very obvious that Materazzi has said something to upset him.

But that's too bad - it only happens every 15 seconds in a game. To do that, I can't comprehend it.

The Italian players are heading home now to a very uncertain future, but that won't matter.

What Zidane did gets worse every time you see it.

It's extraordinary. But when we sit down and analyse his career, he will be seen as one of the great players of all time.

I've loved the month, I have absolutely adored it. The Germans have embraced the competition, they've taken it to their hearts.

The one thing Marcello Lippi did brilliantly was to bring a club side mentality to the Italians.

They've had a bunker mentality, with all the problems that they had.

He did terrifically well, considering this is not the greatest Italian side which has ever taken the field.



SEE ALSO
Zidane off as Italy win World Cup
09 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006
Zidane's red mist
09 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006
Fans soak up amazing finale
09 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006


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