Zidane: The Smuggest Player of the World Cup


I was at the Irish Bank this afternoon with some pals (including a friend from Liverpool, who, with diplomatic intentions, refused to pick a team), rooting for Italy in the World Cup Final. But any shreds of sympathy I had for France disappeared with the arrival of Zineidine “Hubris Is the Secret Answer to Life” Zidane. The first indication that Zidane was problematic was when he was injured late in the second half, beckoning the medical authorities to him as if they were servants offering canapes rather than doctors restoring injuries. And then there was the head butt (pictured above) against Marco Materazzi — perhaps the lowest blow I saw during the World Cup. Thankfully, he was given a red card.

I hereby vote Zidane the Smuggest Player of the World Cup. He is everything that soccer should not be. So long as he plays, I cannot find it within me to root for France.


  1. Luckily, your boycott shouldn’t last too long, as he’s already promised to retire after today’s match–then again, rumor has it he’s coming to New York to play for the Red Bulls.

  2. French TV station France 2 quickly retracted an inadvertantly leaked report that Zidane was admitted to a Berlin hospital suffering from a tranquilizer overdose barely an hour after the end of the 2006 World Cup Final. However, a member of staff of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin hospital in Berlin, who wishes to remain anonymous, later revealed to reporters from Le Monde that the football star remains critically ill in a coma after undergoing an emergency stomach pumping at the hospital.

  3. Quite the wretched way to end your career (the head butt, not the Red Bulls) as you’ve been receiving nothing but the highest praise for the past week and a half.

  4. That was my favorite part of the match. I say more head butts, less faking injury and you might get me to actually care about this sport. As it stands now, I’d rather watch an LPGA match play event. Okay, hyperbole. But still…

  5. I’d love to know what Materazzi said (no doubt it was some combination of awful, filthy and uncalled for) but the head-butt was just nasty. Whether it turned the tide for Italy’s win is another story – I suspect not – but having it end on a shootout was still disappointing.

  6. Hey Jeff, I wasn’t paying attention today, but did CBS cancel the LPGA Match Play television aspect after both Wie and Sorenstam lost yesterday? Or was there a big audience for Ochea v. Inkster?

    I must agree with your assertion about World Cup soccer having more fucking diving than an NCAA Meet.

    Isn’t it great Ed? You post all week about things literary and the only thing generating buzz on your site is World Cup soccer 🙂

  7. That Italian player is known for being a racist pig … do your research before your start judging things ..

  8. It might…if you’re Zidane you’ve put up with a lot of shit in France for being Algerian. But it was still strange and shocking, and my admiration for him kind of wilted right there. Talk about being the goat of the game!

    By the way, he wasn’t beckoning the medics to him, he was signaling to the coach’s bench that he didn’t need to be subbed out of the game. There’s a special hand signal for it. The medics were already on their way out when he did that.

  9. Also, from the Times UK:

    “Materazzi issued a vehement denial, while sources close to the player emphasised that he had not been accused of racism before, pointing to his close friendship with Obafemi Martins, the Nigeria and Inter Milan striker.”

    I confirmed this several places today, so “anti-racisim” (sic) is a lyin’ frenchman.

  10. Shocking Leo–set Materazzi to some of that scary “black” music (i.e. rap) and he does indeed appear “thuggish”. It’s a bit racist, don’t you think?

    When will the French team learn to lose with class?

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