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Zidane head butt sculpted in bronze

Giant statue at Pompidou Centre recreates World Cup moment of madness

A GIANT statue of the moment when French footballer Zinedine Zidane butted Italian player Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final has been erected in front of the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

The five-metre bronze sculpture by Adel Abdessemed is, says Pompidou Centre curator Philippe Alain Michaud, "the opposite of the tradition of erecting statues in honour of certain victories. It is an ode to defeat."

Called Coup de tête, it will be on display in the Piazza de Beaubourg until January 7, with an exhibition of Abdessemed's works opening on October 3.

French captain Zidane hit Materrazi in the throat in the last minutes of the final, an act of frustration which cost him a red card and, ultimately, handed Italy the World Cup.

He said Materrazi had provoked him, but it marked the end of the career of one of the world's most celebrated No10s.

Materazzi said later that he had tugged Zidane's shirt and Zidane had said "If you really want my shirt, I'll give you it after the match" to which the Italian had replied that he would rather have Zidane's sister.

Website JeuxClic has an online game based on the incident at the Jeuxclic website click your mouse button to "butt".

Screengrab: LCI TV video

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