Posted at 03:10 PM ET, 09/28/2012

France unveils Zidane head-butt statue

Retired French soccer player Zinedine Zidane has plenty of victories to his name, having been a key player when France won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship.

But Algerian-born artist Adel Abdessemed was more interested in memorializing one of Zidane’s more aggressive moments on the field.
Detail of a sculpture by French artist Adel Abdessemed in front of Paris's Pompidou Center modern art museum. (Remy de la Mauviniere - AP)

This week, Paris’s Pompidou Center unveiled a 16-foot statue depicting Zidane head-butting Italian opponent Marco Materazzi in the chest, the infamous move that got Zidane ejected from the 2006 World Cup final.

“This statue goes against the tradition of making statues in honor of certain victories. It is an ode to defeat,” exhibition organizer Alain Michaud told Agence France-Presse.

Zidane claimed after the head-butt that knocked Materazzi down that the Italian defender had insulted his mother and sister. Zidane was sent from the field with a red card in the match’s 110th minute, and Italy went on to win. Zidane retired after the match.

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By  |  03:10 PM ET, 09/28/2012

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