MILAN - Marco Materazzi shook Zinedine
Zidane's hand last month for the first time since the
Frenchman's infamous headbutt on him in the 2006 World Cup
final, the Italian said on Thursday.
They accidentally met at a Milan hotel when Inter Milan
defender Materazzi was going to meet former boss Jose Mourinho,
who was in the city for Real Madrid's Champions League game with
Rumours have since persisted that Zidane, a Real adviser,
bumped into Materazzi and the former Italy international has now
confirmed the speculation.
"What was said stays between us. Let's say I did most of the
talking and when at the end he held out his hand, I shook it
firmly until he looked me properly in the eye," Materazzi told
"It's what I wanted. For me it was great, I don't know about
Zidane was sent-off for butting Materazzi in the chest in
the 2006 final, the last match of his career. Italy won 5-3 on
penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Materazzi also revealed a number of run-ins with former
Inter striker Mario Balotelli, who infuriated his team mates
last term with his attitude and by being pictured wearing an AC
"He received a slap and a boot in the face," Materazzi said
of the Manchester City striker.
"But when he had an operation and he was in hospital, I was
there at midnight keeping him company and getting him snacks
from the machine."
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