The re-run of this year’s dramatic World Cup final is tomorrow’s most intriguing international fixture, by a distance (although I’ll also be keeping an eye on the Wales v Brazil friendly). Italy travel to France for its Group B Euro 2008 qualifier, off the back of a lethargic 1-1 home draw against Lithuania.
You can bet the French fans will give the World Cup winners a hot reception – the memories of Zinedine Zidane’s ugly exit will still be fresh in their minds. Neither Zidane (retired) or Materazzi (suspended) will feature, but that will hardly diffuse what promises to be an incendiary tie. All it needs now is a William Gallas own goalâ€¦
Whilst I’m on the subuject, Marco Materazzi has at last revealed what he said to provoke that headbutt. Materazzi told Gazzetta dello Sport that Zidane’s sister was the subject of the taunt. He said: ‘I was tugging his shirt, he said to me "if you
want my shirt so much I’ll give it to you afterwards," â€“ I answered that
I’d prefer his sister.’ So there you have it. Pretty dull to be honest.