So, What Did the Italian Guy SAY to Zidane?

Zidane. You saw him headbutt that Italian guy when there were only a few minutes left in overtime against Italy. You saw the Italian guy go down like … well, like he probably deserved to. You saw the red card and France’s chances of winning go south.

And if you weren’t too busy screamining invective at the television, you might have seen what led up to the headbutt — the Italian guy kind of got in Zidane’s way, put his arm around his waist when the play was over, and leaned in and said something. A pause. And then the spectacular headbutt.

So, what did the Italian guy say?

My favorite of all possibilities is the one proffered by our friend Kate:

Dude, those shorts make your butt look really big.

Every woman agreed that would merit the game losing headbutt.

Anybody read lips and know if he said something even worse than that? Is it even possible?


23 thoughts on “So, What Did the Italian Guy SAY to Zidane?

  1. It seems likely that someone will get Zidane to tell all and it will be in the NYT or on ESPN soon. But I like your guessing contest. But I think you have to think like a guy, not a woman. They had likely been trashing each other all day, so it’s hard to know what pushed Zidane over the edge. But he had suffered a shoulder injury not too long before that, without a foul called, and maybe the French guy, noting Zidane’s imminent retirement together with his obvious fragility, said that Zidane, at his advance age just couldn’t hack it, in so many words. Those words, I will bet a box of Staedtler woodcase pencils against a jar of raspberry jam, were something to the effect that, “Zidane, you’re starting to run like a girl,” or some kind of reference to the weaker sex, if you will. Zidane should have had the presence of mind to simply reply, “You guys are so wussy you let the United States tie you.”
    Maybe the answer is on the web already. Smokey

  2. “maybe the FRENCH guy, noting Zidane’s ” obviously should have been “maybe the ITALIAN guy, noting Zidane’s” in the my last message. Sorry for the confusion. Smokesy

  3. Ah … think like a guy! Now why didn’t I think of THAT?

    By the way, do you really have a box of Staedtler woodcase pencils? How about an even trade: pencils for jam.

    Oh, no. I’m not doing that anymore.

  4. Sorry you don’t need the pencils. It still sounds like you are having trouble getting rid of a useless overstock of writing related stuff. I think what you might need is an outdoor shed. I discovered some years ago (20) that useless but dear stuff like old college notebooks, plumbing fixtures, file organizers, my mother’s sorority records (she was president of Alpha Sigma Tau for 17 years), etc. could be placed out of sight in outdoor sheds. I filled up my garage years ago and now have 9 outdoor sheds, (the early ones are wood, the later ones are plastic) and they are inconspicuous in various alley-like spaces and around the hot tub. My plan is that if I don’t look at something for five years, I throw it away in another couple years.
    I would like to offer my experience on selecting just the right shed (I can direct you to the best websties and local hardware stores and also send pictures showing proof of endurance of my sheds.) for your never-to-be-used, but treasured, writing accessories for one jar of jam. You might have guessed that this shed solutioning is, like the breaking of the Zidane riddle, quintessential guy-thinking.
    So, no more guilt-trips over shelfs and desks full of pretty, useless file folders or one too many German pencil sharpeners–just shed it.

  5. Well, my guess is that the Italian guy went for a literary quote: “your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries!” Originally French taunting, finally returned to its source…

  6. I’m only sorry Zidane couldn’t think of anything bitchier/wittier to say back and had to hit the guy instead. Definitely guy thinking rather than girl thinking… Perhaps the Italian was suggesting a new career for him a la David Ginola, of advertising shampoo….?

  7. Well, doo keep in mind during this lip reading exersise that there is an important question to ask before we loop the footage to make out the motions of the lips. What language was this said in? Did Materazzi’s lips mouth out “Il mio scopo ha annullato il vostro?” Or did it say “Mon but a annulé le vôtre?”

    Either way, I think the Materazzi was having fun with Zidane, saying that though the foul that led to France’s only goal was a poor call, it no longer matters.

    That is all.

  8. Oh my, what a lot of good insults we can think up!

    Edwin –Your mother was a hamster? Where I come from that’s kind of a cute thing to say. Who knew?

    Ingrid — We too were for France. Happily, no bets were placed.

    Litlove — I’m with you. He’s French, he had available to him a world of insults and gestures. But then, that’s where thinking like a guy leads. As Qazse says, into a George Bush imitation (good one!)

    Jeff — Good heavens! Are all canadians multi-lingual? Who knew how helpful this would be. I am especially impressed with the large group of people who agree that Zidane could have kept it to a verbal head butt — and then went on to suggest things he might have said. (I especially like the one about the Italians scoring a goal against themselves against the hapless USA.)

    And Tom — I know, it takes a village to lose a game. Or something like that.

  9. BlogLily,
    You sure do stir us up. The variety (and agreement in this case) of answers is almost as revealing as innocently asking people their views on afterlife or not-afterlife. Probably best not to do that one. The wordpress server may not have enough storage space, either down here or up there. Smokey

  10. No Bloglily, all Canadians are definitely NOT multi-lingual. We are a bilingual nation, though the majority of Canadians only speak one of the two languages (English). I’ve been fluently billingual in French and English, have also learned Italian, and learned Latin in my university days. I grew up with the notion (emparted on me by my grandmother, a French teacher) that learning more than one language will bridge a lot of gaps we as people have in a global community.

  11. Smokey, It’s good you’ve refrained. Imagine if you’d asked whether there are stationery stores in the afterlife! Discretion matters. Thank you for the Monty Python link, Edwin. It’s a good day when you come across a good insult. Jeff — I second your wise grandmother.

  12. I fully agree with my grandmother also. Hopefully that wisdom will spread, and we will all learn to communicate with each other in an increasingly improved fashion.

  13. Pingback: A Golden World » Professionalism

  14. Golden World brings up an interesting point for me. There really are things that can be said, written or drawn that push people over the edge, even when they know better than to fall off. Family insults and being called a terrorist in certain contexts could qualify. Zidane had done the head-butting and back-stomping moves before, and according to one article players have been assigned to get under his skin. The Norwegian cartoons making fun of Islam are another case where I intitially thought they went to far, but Salmon Rushdie, interviewed by Bill Moyers on the PBS Faith and Reason series, brilliantly defends freedom of press and speech, including, of course, his Satanic Verses.
    And to make the confession of the century (OK, it’s short, so far) I was even offended by the TV sitcom in the first year of the George Bush II presidency, that was brutally satirical about his bumbling speech and reasoning ability. Now I can’t get enough of Jon Stewart.
    (I got 2.8 million entries for Jon Stewart on my search just now, so I shouldn’t be lacking for Stewart humor anytime soon.)

  15. im on close terms with zidane and this is what actually happened

    when materazzi saw zidane passing he held zidane back and said to him “dude, i think i saw some lice in ur short short shooooort hair, want me to get rid of it before it spreads to other players?”

    Zidane pauses as he considers the offer and walks infront of materazzi wondering if this wud take a long time (this was the world cup after all and he needed to win!)

    Coming to a decision, he tilts his head toward materazzi in a gesture that meant “yeah ok, take my lice away please” but being so much shorter and in his urgency to get rid of the lice(which had been distracting him from scoring any more goals) zidane ACCIDENTLY bumped his head into materazzi’s chest, and materazzi, being the wonderful acors that he is, feel down like a sack of potatoes and got zidane sent off…all becuz of those pesky lice!

  16. Did I miss something or did Israel just headbutt Lebanon?

    Which reminds me, earlier this baseball season in a San Francisco Giants game on TV there was the accidental (we are never sure) baseball beaning followed a half inning later by the even more, absolutely necessary, for team pride, and to defend our guy (who got beaned), obligatory retaliatory beaning. In this case you might think someone would figure out the stupidity of it all because the SF retaliatory beaning of the other team led to a rally that led to SF losing the game. But no, the SF play-by-play announcers had to lecture in defense of the retaliation, and, boy, this is pure, super-rational, male, sports-think right out of the Roman Colosseum. It was enough that the announcers defended the retaliation as team pride, but they had to go on, realizing they might be promoting something that you wouldn’t want in a Little League game. They actually said that, oh, by the way, we want to emphasize that this is not something that kids’ teams should do– this is an adult thing, and it’s OK for adult teams and players to defend their honor by returning evey beaning with a beaning in kind. I don’t know if the SFGiants announcers ever apologized. I know they weren’t fired, because, well, they weren’t, because that could have implications for the jobs and behavior of people way up the line who have really have balls–big, 500lb, explosive, guided ones. Or even the ones that have “Nuke–Must Be Nuts To Use” –stenciled prominently between the seams.

  17. France lost, because football has *rules* It’s not against the rules to say something to someone. It *is* against the rules to head-butt someone.

    If you think that there should be special dispensation, then you don’t really care about the rules of the game, and, thus, you don’t really care about football and its meaning. Which is to say, you’re probably French.

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