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      07-19-2006, 08:52 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by tl_boy
Uh... I played soccer 6 years. You don't need to question me on sports. But I know right from wrong, and while trash talking can occur and is almost expected, racism is not. From what little I know, admittedly, of the world cup, but learning about this whole thing Materazzi has a bad history himself.

And it isn't just France that is supporting him.

This has been discussed before I think you should scroll up some pages to refresh the discourse that has been going on here.
Perhaps you should read the news then - here is a flash: no racist comments were made by Materrazzi. Here is an excerpt in English of his Corrierre della Sera interview: MILAN— In the end, the two versions coincide, or almost. And the declarations come at almost the same time. While on screen Canal+ is about to broadcast the interview with Zinedine Zidane, Marco Materazzi calmly explains what happened in the few seconds that brought Zizou’s career to an end with a red card.
Half the planet is dying to know just what you said. Can you tell us at last?
Half the planet, no less?
And maybe we’re being conservative. Every newspaper in the world has tried to work out just what it was that you said to Zidane. In Brazil they even got hold of some deaf and dumb children, expert lip-readers, to try and understand what provoked Zizou’s reaction …
Well, I want to shout a few things to the whole world, then.
Feel free
I absolutely did not mention religion, politics or racism in what I said.
So, by exclusion, according to what the papers reported, that leaves just Zidane’s mother and sister.
“Well, I’d exclude any insults about his mother. Anyone who knows me knows that still today I can’t think about my mother without crying. She died when I was 15 and the wound is still raw. I would never mention anyone’s mother just to insult them.

That leave’s Zidane’s sister …
By exclusion, yes …
So, Marco Materazzi’s version is: on pitch I insulted Zidane’s sister, right?
As I said, if we’re excluding things …
Did you know Zidane’s mother was in hospital and was only discharged yesterday?
No, I didn’t, I hope she gets better soon. As I said, I know what it means to lose your mother, it’s my weak point.
Apparently Zidane’s mother told a British newspaper that she would like your testicles served on a plate.
I understand that. If she reads lies in the papers, she’s bound to have that kind of reaction.
You realise that they could say that it comes down to your word against the French striker’s?
Zidane knows full well that I didn’t say certain things. I respect him, I even worship the man for what he knows how to do on pitch. When we played against each other in the Italian championship we even swapped shirts.
Apparently he wanted to make you a present of his shirt the other evening in Berlin, before head-butting you.
I think he was being ironic when he made that offer.
Zidane accuses you of provoking him.
The only provocation was to hold him back by the shirt to stop him from jumping, because I was afraid of another one of those headers that forced Buffon to make that great save a few minutes earlier.
The header came anyway.
It wasn’t exactly the same thing.
Just to be clear about this: all you did was hold him back?
No, obviously it wasn’t all. But if you watch the TV footage, you’ll see I wasn’t the first one to speak. He was.
Some people claim you could have avoided Zidane’s head-butt. All you had to do was move out of the way.
Well, let me say this: just how many people in the world would ever have expected to be head-butted by Zidane? I thought he just wanted to get in my face to answer me back, not that he wanted to hit me like that. Otherwise I could have parried with my own head and we both would have been sent off. I’ve made enough mistakes in the past, thank goodness this time I didn’t. And if we’re going to talk about provocation, then we have to say everything.
Fire away.
When Totti was disqualified during the European championship because he spat at Poulsen, all the knives were out for Francesco but nobody bothered asking just what Poulsen had done to provoke that reaction. The opposite happened with me and Zidane. I was in the wrong that time I hit Cirillo, and I paid for that mistake with two months’ disqualification, and I didn’t complain about it, either.
Do you feel like a scapegoat? France lost, Zidane was sent off and you’re to blame for it all.
I think the French just have to accept defeat, just like Italy had to in 2000. We still felt badly about that European final lost on golden goals, and before Sunday’s match we felt a mix of fear and desire for revenge. All I did was hope that this time the wheel would turn in our direction.