After playing much of his career in relative obscurity, Marco Materazzi was head butted to fame when Zinedine Zidane put the defender down in the FIFA World Cup final and it was on this day in soccer history in 1973 that the defender was born.
The defender almost did not even get a chance to be head butted into fame. He was originally listed as a reserve for the Italian national team FIFA World Cup roster but worked his way into the lineup after Alessandro Nesta suffered an injury in the group match against Czech Republic. He then saw red in the Round of 16.
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The Inter Milan player was a key in the FIFA World Cup final. He conceded the penalty that Zidane put away to make the score 1-0 but then equalized with a header to level the match. He eventually made the second penalty in the penalty shoot out to decide the match.
But it was in the extra time period that Materazzi and Zidane took center stage. After Materazzi tried to slow Zidane with a shirt pull, Zidane sarcastically offered to give it to him after the game which the Italian replied with an insult to his sister and/or mother. Zidane had none of it and head butted Materazzi before receiving a red card.
Materazzi started his professional career with various clubs in Serie B and Serie C before signing with Perugia in Serie A. He moved for one season to Everton in the English Premier League before returning to Perugia. He made a €10 million from Perugia to Internazionale in 2001.
1914 – Lajos Baróti, Hungarian footballer (d. 2005)
1971 – João Vieira Pinto, Portuguese football player
1972 – Roberto Abbondanzieri, Argentine footballer
1973 – Marco Materazzi, Italian footballer
1979 – Oumar Kondé, Swiss footballer
1980 – Paul Parry, Welsh footballer
1984 – Alessandro Matri, Italian footballer
1984 – Ryan Taylor, English footballer
1987 – Richard Stearman, English footballer