You wouldn’t think France would be eager to celebrate this particular moment in Zinedine Zidane’s illustrious, albeit tarnished, professional soccer career.
Then again, you’re probably not French.
The Centre Pompidou art gallery in Paris unveiled a 16-foot bronze statue that depicts the national sporting hero ramming his head into the chest of Italy’s Marco Materazzi, capuring an infamous moment in sports history.
Artist Adel Abdessemed created the statue based on the 2006 World Cup soccer final when Zidane lost his cool and lashed out at Materazzi.
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The referee ejected Zidane, France lost the game and Italy hoisted the World Cup trophy.
The Italian player later admitted he mentioned Zidane’s sister during the altercation.
Zidane, instrumental in helping France with the 1998 world championship, retired from international football after the game.
He is — arguably — the best player to ever dress for Les Bleus, and directed the French team from his central midfield position.
Most, however, will likely only remember his breakdown.
“He leaves football in disgrace,” the TV commentator calling the game against Italy said.
Well, perhaps the artist is on to something.
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