Sagnol reveals he didn't speak to Zidane for nearly two years

‘We did not speak for almost two years’: Willy Sagnol reveals the impact Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt in 2006 World Cup final defeat had on their relationship as he jokes he smoked ‘250 cigarettes in 10 minutes’ straight after Italy clash

  • Willy Sagnol says he didn’t speak to Zinedine Zidane for almost two years 
  • Sagnol was livid when Zidane was sent off for a headbutt in 2006 World Cup final
  • Sagnol joked that he ‘smoked 250 cigarettes in ten minutes’ after the final 

Willy Sagnol has revealed that he didn’t speak to Zinedine Zidane for almost two years after his France team-mate’s infamous headbutt in the 2006 World Cup final.

Zidane had earlier scored a penalty to put France ahead against Italy but Marco Materazzi equalised for the Azzurri.

With the game level at 1-1 in extra-time, the midfielder was sent off for head-butting Materazzi as he reacted to being wound up by the Italy defender. 

Willy Sagnol didn’t speak to Zinedine Zidane for almost two years after his infamous headbutt

Zidane was sent off for headbutting Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final

Sagnol was left livid as he felt that Zidane’s actions cost France in the World Cup final

With one of their key stars unable to take part in the closing stages of extra-time and subsequently penalties, France found themselves in a difficult situation. 

Italy went on to win 5-3 on penalties, with Zidane having been dismissed in the final game of his illustrious career. 

Sagnol was amongst the scorers in the shootout for France, but David Trezeguet’s earlier miss proved costly, with Fabio Grosso eventually scoring the decisive penalty to secure glory for Italy.  

Sagnol played with Zidane from 2000 to 2006 but the pair didn’t talk for almost two years after the incident. 

As reported by AS, former Bayern Munich defender Sagnol said: ‘You enter the changing room, you have lost, you have a lad there who talks and apologises. But you don’t hear it! You are deep in disappointment, in your world.’

Sagnol added that he found it difficult to accept Zidane’s apology and also joked that he smoked 250 cigarettes in ten minutes immediately after the defeat to Italy. 

He said: ‘I did not want to accept his apologies, or talk to him. Now was not the moment. I had to go to the bathroom, smoke 250 cigarettes in ten minutes. This is how I escaped.

Sagnol was left distraught after the final whistle as France’s hopes of glory were over

Sagnol joked that he ‘smoked 250 cigarettes in ten minutes’ after France’s defeat to Italy

While many of his French team-mates won the World Cup in 1998, Sagnol wasn’t part of that group and ended his career without having won the most prestigious prize in football. 

However, Sagnol revealed that he and Zidane eventually managed to make up. 

He said: ‘We did not speak for almost two years. In 2008, after the European Championship, I had to get married. My wife told me to invite him.

‘I called him but he couldn’t come to the party at night, but it made me happy to see him arrive for the morning. We had an aperitif together.’




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