2006 FIFA World Cup Final
Berliner Olympiastadion night
Event2006 FIFA World Cup
Date9 July 2006
VenueOlympiastadion, Berlin

The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final was a match that took place on 9 July 2006 at the Olympiastadion, Berlin to determine the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Italy beat France on penalties after the match finished 1-1 after extra time. Zinedine Zidane was sent off in his last ever match, for a headbutt on Marco Materazzi.

Route to the final

Italy Round France
Opponent Result Group stage Opponent Result
Flag of Ghana.png Ghana 2–0 Match 1 Switzerland.png Switzerland 0–0
Flag of the United States.png United States 1–1 Match 2 South Korea.png South Korea 1–1
Flag of Czech.jpg Czech Republic 2–0 Match 3 Flag of Togo.png Togo 2–0
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Flag of Italy.gif Italy 321051+47
Flag of Ghana.png Ghana 320143+16
Flag of Czech.jpg Czech Republic 310234−13
Flag of the United States.png United States 301226−41
Final standings
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Switzerland.png Switzerland 321040+47
Flag of France.png France 312031+25
South Korea.png South Korea 311134−14
Flag of Togo.png Togo 300316−50
Opponent Result Knockout stage Opponent Result
Flag of Australia.png Australia 1–0 Round of 16 Flag of Spain.png Spain 3–1
Flag of Ukraine.png Ukraine 3–0 Quarter-finals Brazil.png Brazil 1–0
Germany.png Germany 2–0 (aet) Semi-finals Flag of Portugal.gif Portugal 1–0


The opening performance was by singers Shakira and Wyclef Jean, who performed a special version of "Hips Don't Lie" called The Bamboo Version.

Match summary

The final started with each side scoring within the first 20 minutes. Zinedine Zidane opened the scoring by converting a controversial seventh-minute penalty kick, conceded by Marco Materazzi, which glanced off the underside of the crossbar and into the goal. Materazzi then levelled the scores in the 19th minute, a header from six yards following an Andrea Pirlo corner from the right. Both teams had chances to score the winning goal in normal time: Luca Toni hit the crossbar in the 35th minute for Italy, later having a header disallowed for offside, while France were not granted a possible second penalty in the 53rd minute when Florent Malouda went down in the box after a cover tackle from Gianluca Zambrotta. France appeared to be the side with better chances to win because of the higher number of shots on goal. They were unable to capitalise, however, and the score remained at one goal each.

At the end of the regulation 90 minutes, the score was still level at 1–1, and the match was forced into extra time. Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon made a potentially game-saving save in extra time when he tipped a Zidane header over the crossbar.

Zidane sending off

As Zidane and Materazzi were jogging up the pitch close to each other, they briefly exchanged words after Materazzi was seen tugging at Zidane's jersey before Zidane began to walk away from him. Moments later, Zidane suddenly stopped, turned around and head-butted Materazzi's chest, knocking him to the ground. Although play was halted, referee Horacio Elizondo did not appear to have seen the confrontation. According to match officials' reports, fourth official Luis Medina Cantalejo informed Elizondo of the incident through his headset.

After consulting his assistants, Elizondo issued Zidane a red card in the 110th minute. It marked the 14th overall expulsion of Zidane's career, and joined him with Cameroon's Rigobert Song as the only players ever to be sent off during two separate World Cup tournaments. He also became the fourth player red-carded in a World Cup final, in addition to being the first sent off in extra time.

Penalty shoot-out

Extra time produced no further goals and a penalty shoot-out followed, which Italy won 5–3. France's David Trezeguet, the man who scored the golden goal against Italy in the Euro 2000 final, was the only player not to score his penalty; his spot kick hit the crossbar, leaving Fabio Grosso – who scored Italy's first goal in the semi-final against Germany – to score the winning penalty.


Provocation of Zidane

After video evidence suggested that Materazzi had verbally provoked Zidane, three British media newspapers claimed to have hired lip readers to determine what Materazzi had said, with The Times, The Sun and Daily Star claiming that Materazzi called Zidane "the son of a terrorist whore". In 2008, The Sun and Daily Star made public apologies to Materazzi, and Materazzi won libel damages from all three British newspapers.

Zidane only partly explained that repeated harsh insults about his mother had caused him to react. Materazzi admitted talking trash to Zidane, but argued that Zidane's behaviour had been very arrogant and that the remarks were trivial. Materazzi also insisted that he did not insult Zidane's mother (who was ill at the time), claiming, "I didn't talk about his mother, either. I lost my mother when I was fifteen, and even now I still get emotional talking about it."

Zidane later apologised but added that he did not regret his offence, because he felt that this would condone Materazzi's actions. Two months later, Materazzi offered his version of events, claiming that after he had grabbed Zidane's jersey, Zidane remarked, "If you want my shirt, I will give it to you afterwards", and he replied to Zidane that he would prefer his sister, but claimed during the interview that he was unaware Zidane even had a sister. Over a year after the incident, Materazzi confirmed that his precise words to Zidane were: "I prefer the whore that is your sister."


After the final, then-President of France Jacques Chirac hailed Zidane as a "man of heart and conviction". Chirac later added that he found the offence to be unacceptable, but he understood that Zidane had been provoked. However, French newspaper Le Figaro called the headbutt "odious" and "unacceptable". Time magazine regarded the incident as a symbol for Europe's "grappling with multi-culturalism". Despite the ongoing furore, Zidane's sponsors announced that they would stick with him.

The incident was extensively lampooned on the Internet and in popular culture. Family Guy parodied it in the episode "Saving Private Brian", in which Zidane headbutts an old lady while delivering her a birthday cake. The Simpsons parodied it in the episode "Marge Gamer", in which Homer Simpson shouts "Zidane!", when headbutting the linesman. In addition to becoming a staple of parody via numerous online videos and GIFs, a novelty song titled Coup de Boule ("Headbutt") reached the top of the French charts.

In light of Zidane's statements, FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings to investigate the incident. FIFA also affirmed the legality of Elizondo's decision to send Zidane off, rejecting claims that Cantalejo had illegally relied on video transmission to make a decision about handling Zidane's misconduct. FIFA issued a CHF 5,000 fine and a two-match ban against Materazzi, while Zidane received a three-match ban and a CHF 7,500 fine. Since Zidane had already retired, he voluntarily served three days of community service on FIFA's behalf as a substitute for the match ban.

The Hidden Face of Zidane, written by journalist Besma Lahouri and published in September 2008, claimed that Zidane had expressed his regret for the incident during a conversation with his cousin.

In October 2009, in an interview conducted on French radio station RTL, Zidane stated: "Let's not forget that provocation is a terrible thing. I have never been one to provoke; I have never done it. It's terrible, and it is best not to react."


It was the first final since 1978 in which neither Germany nor Brazil competed (and the second since 1938); it was also the first all-European final since Italy won the 1982 FIFA World Cup, and the second final to be decided on penalties (1994 was the first, with Italy losing on that occasion). It was also Italy's first world title in 24 years, and their fourth overall, putting them one ahead of Germany/West Germany and only one behind Brazil. The penalty shoot-out victory for Italy was that country's first in the World Cup Finals: Italy's three previous penalty shoot-out competitions (including the 1994 final) had all been lost. The victory also led to Italy topping the FIFA World Rankings in February 2007 for the first time since November 1993.

Viewer figures

According to FIFA, 715.1 million individuals globally watched the final match of this tournament. IPG's independent media agency Initiative Worldwide estimated an 260 million people viewership. The independent firm Initiative Futures Sport + Entertainment estimates it at 322 million viewers.

Match details

9 July 2006
Italy Flag of Italy.gif 1 – 1
Flag of France.png France Olympiastadion, Berlin
Attendance: 69,000
Referee: Horacio Elizondo (Argentina)
Materazzi Soccerball 19' Report Zidane Soccerball 7' (pen.)
Pirlo Soccerball
Materazzi Soccerball
De Rossi Soccerball
Del Piero Soccerball
Grosso Soccerball
5 – 3 Soccerball Wiltord
-Soccerball shade cross Trezeguet
Soccerball Abidal
Soccerball Sagnol
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Kit left arm francea0608.png
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Kit body francea0608.png
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Flag of Italy
GK 1 Gianluigi Buffon
RB 19Gianluca Zambrotta Yellow card 5'
CB 5 Fabio Cannavaro (c)
CB 23Marco Materazzi
LB 3 Fabio Grosso
DM 8 Gennaro Gattuso
DM 21Andrea Pirlo
RM 16Mauro Camoranesi Sub off 86'
LM 20Simone Perrotta Sub off 61'
SS 10Francesco Totti Sub off 61'
CF 9 Luca Toni
MF 4 Daniele De Rossi Sub on 61'
FW 15Vincenzo Iaquinta Sub on 61'
FW 7Alessandro Del Piero Sub on 86'
Marcello Lippi
Italy-France line-up.svg
Flag of France
GK 16Fabien Barthez
RB 19Willy Sagnol Yellow card 12'
CB 15Lilian Thuram
CB 5 William Gallas
LB 3 Éric Abidal
CM 4 Patrick Vieira Sub off 56'
CM 6 Claude Makélélé Yellow card 76'
RM 22Franck Ribéry Sub off 100'
AM 10Zinedine Zidane (c) Red card 110'
LM 7 Florent Malouda Yellow card 111'
CF 12Thierry Henry Sub off 107'
MF 18Alou Diarra Sub on 56'
FW 20David Trezeguet Sub on 100'
FW 11Sylvain Wiltord Sub on 107'
Raymond Domenech

Man of the Match:
Andrea Pirlo (Italy)

Assistant referees:
Dario García (Argentina)
Rodolfo Otero (Argentina)
Fourth official:
Luis Medina Cantalejo (Spain)
Fifth official:
Victoriano Giraldez Carrasco (Spain)

Match rules:

  • 90 minutes
  • 30 minutes of extra time if scores level
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level
  • 12 substitutes named, of which three may be used
2006 FIFA World Cup

Group A  · Group B  · Group C  · Group D  · Group E  · Group F  · Group G  · Group H

Knockout stage  · Quarter-finals  · Semi-finals  · Third place play-off  · Final

Battle of Nuremberg

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