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Zinedine Zidane: I'd Rather Die Than Apologize For World Cup Headbutt

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MADRID — Former French soccer star Zinedine Zidane says he regrets headbutting Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup final but he'd rather die than apologize to the Italian.

In an interview with Spanish daily El Pais published Monday, Zidane recalls the infamous incident with a sense of shame, saying he apologizes to soccer fans and his team.

That apology does not extend to Materazzi.

The headbutt came in Zidane's last match after a sparkling career in which he became one of the game's most respected players.

In the 20th minute of extra time, Materazzi insulted Zidane, who responded by headbutting the Italian violently in the chest. Zidane consequently got sent off and, from the sideline, watched France lose the match.

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