France striker David Trezeguet says Zinedine Zidane should be remembered for the magic he brought to football - not his World Cup final sending off.
Zinedine Zidane acknowledges the crowd in Paris
In his last match before retiring, Zidane headbutted Italy defender Marco Materazzi and France lost on penalties.
Trezeguet said: "He is an exceptional player and an exceptional human being and he will recover, he needs time.
"Considering all that Zidane has done for the national team we can only say thank you to him and bravo."
He added: "Of course, we had all hoped for a better ending for him and for our national team but it wasn't to be."
Zidane went loco, crazy. I couldn't believe he could do something like that
World Cup final referee Horacio Elizondo, according to his father
Zidane's dismissal with 10 minutes left of extra-time is widely thought to have been provoked, with his agent claiming Materazzi said something "very serious" to Zidane.
Lip readers have claimed Materazzi insulted Zidane's family.
France captain Zidane was afforded a hero's welcome when he and the squad arrived back in Paris on Monday.
BBC Five Live Sport's Arlo White was in the French capital to see Raymond Domenech's beaten finalists return home.
"No-one in France seems to want to ask the question 'why did Zidane do it?' There is simply no blame at all," said White.
"He was greeted back at the Elysees Palace with huge roars, confirming he is still France's favourite sporting son.
"The French see him as being on a par with Pele and Diego Maradona and rest assured there will be no hanging effigy of Zidane in Paris."
Meanwhile, the father of referee Horacio Elizondo - who sent Zidane off - said his son was astonished by the Frenchman's actions.
"Horacio was happy until we talked about Zidane," Agustin Elizondo told The Sun. "He still could not understand why he had done it.
"He told me: 'Zidane went loco, crazy. I couldn't believe he could do something like that.' We had a very emotional conversation.
"He asked me what I thought of his performance. I said there was nothing I could reproach him for, he had a good game."