Reasons Why People Need to Stop Blaming Zinedine Zidane

Since the final minutes of overtime in the 2006 World Cup Final Match, a giant microscope has been placed on the French player, Zinedine Zidane. With less than ten minutes remaining in overtime of the World Cup Final between France and Italy, Zinedine Zidane got into a verbal affair with Italian player Marco Materazzi. After beginning to walk away from the incident, Zidane turned around and lowered his head into Materazzi’s chest, sending him to the turf. Zinedine Zidane was issued a red card for his actions and missed the final minutes of overtime and the shootout that took place. France was forced to play down a man for the rest of overtime. In the shootout, Italy beat France to win the World Cup.

Immediately, the media throughout the world began placing blame for France losing the World Cup on Zinedine Zidane’s shoulders. The media claims that his poor decision to headbutt Materazzi ruined France’s chance of victory. Zidane, who had planned to retire from international soccer after the 2006 World Cup, is being cast in a very negative light since the accident occurred, and it appears that his legendary career may be tarnished by this one event.

There are many reasons why everyone needs to stop blaming Zinedine Zidane for France losing the World Cup final, and instead everyone should be applauding his complete domination of the beautiful game on the world’s stage.

When entering the 2006 World Cup, nobody was mentioning France as a possible champion after their disastrous 2002 World Cup. After their first few games in group play, most people were ready to send France home after the first round. Zinedine Zidane helped lead the team through the group stage and into the Round of 16 with a strong third game. From that point on, Zidane took his team on his back and led them into the World Cup Final. If it wasn’t for Zinedine Zidane’s incredible tournament, France would have surely been eliminated in the first round.

Did anyone blaming Zinedine Zidane for France’s loss watch the entire World Cup Final? He dominated the game from start to finish. In the first few minutes, he scored France’s only goal of the game on a penalty kick. He single-handedly controlled the game for France. If it wasn’t for poor defending on a corner kick, Italy would have never scored a goal, and Zidane would be the national hero he should be. He won the Golden Ball (World Cup MVP) for a reason, and that is because he was by far the best player in the tournament.

Zidane received the red card with a few minutes left in the game. Both teams were already playing conservative because they were both dead tired. The odds of a goal being scored were slim to none. The game went on to Penalty Kicks where the final score was 5-4. The only player to miss was David Trezeguet who would have shot whether or not Zidane was still on the pitch. So, unless Zinedine Zidane was going to play goalie and stop some of Italy’s shots, no one has any argument that he is the reason they lost the Penalty Kicks or the game, period.

Zinedine Zidane has been one of the top soccer players in the world over the past decade. He took France, a formerly average European team, and won them a World Cup in 1998 on their home soil. Without Zidane, there is no way France would have won that World Cup or made it to the Final in 2006. Instead of disowning him as much of the French media has done, they need to recognize his excellence as his legendary career comes to an unfortunate end.

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