24 Dec 2009

Zidane glad head-butt punished in World Cup final

1:02 pm on 24 December 2009

The former French midfielder Zinedine Zidane says he's glad he was sent off for his head-butt in the last football World Cup final because he hasn't had to live with regret over escaping punishment.

Zidane received a red card for head-butting Italy defender Marco Materazzi in the 2006 final, which Italy won 5-3 on penalties after a goalless draw.

The former Real Madrid and Juventus playmaker has told France Football magazine the sending off in the last match of his career was a very good thing.

He says what he did wasn't pretty and he doesn't know how he could've lived with it if France won and he'd stayed on the pitch.

However Zidane says there's been an over-reaction to Thierry Henry's handball that led to France beating Ireland in November and securing a place in next year's finals, although he's certain Henry's not proud of himself.