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memory lane

Everything you’ve forgotten about the 2006 World Cup

You remember Zizou's headbutt but what about all the little details?

Grab your bratwurst, pour yourself an oversized beer and slip into your favourite lederhosen.

We’re looking back at the 2006 World Cup in Germany!

Things you already know:

  • Zinedine Zidane secured his legacy by headbutting his way to near-glory (and being the best player at the tournament)
  • Miroslav Klose feasted on goals like a bear fresh out of hibernation
  • Joe Cole nearly broke football forever with a certified wondervolley
  • Cristiano Ronaldo’s wink overshadowed Rooney pulverising Ricardo Carvalho’s b*******
  • Italy ignited the biggest pizza party in history by winning the whole bloody thing



But what have you forgotten?

Everyone kicked the living s*** out of each other.

Zizou’s Glasgow kiss was the culmination of an ill-tempered tournament that had a record number of cards for a World Cup.

Portugal and Netherlands’ round of 16 fixture was more of a Royal Rumble than a football game.

The Battle of Nuremberg featured 16 yellow cards and four reds — Costinha, Khalid Boulahrouz, Deco and Giovanni van Bronckhorst.



Philippe Senderos was a defensive beast that took no prisoners.

Stop laughing, we’re being serious. Switzerland didn’t concede a goal, not even one.

They didn’t score that many either though, and were eliminated in the round of 16 against Ukraine on penalties.

Swiss defender Philippe Senderos with bl


Lukas Podolski was the Young Player of the Tournament.

The 20-year-old German had signed for Bayern Munich a week before the tournament started and his new employees must have been rubbing their hands watching him play just off Klose with immense effectiveness.

His two opportunistic goals in seven minutes against Sweden in the round of 16 sent his popularity sky-rocketing. Back then he probably didn’t envisage being a Galatasaray player a decade later.

German forward Lukas Podolski (L) scores


How about those Aussies?

Football briefly displaced cricket and rugby in Australian hearts as our distant cousins with the annoying accents became the first country from Oceania to reach the knockout stages of a World Cup.

Only a controversial 95th minute penalty from Francesco Totti forced Tim Cahill, Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell and co to scramble around for their passports for the long flight home.

FIFA 2006 World Cup Playoff - Australia v Uruguay


There’s probably not much you’ve forgotten about the final.

Although the details of the decisive penalty shootout may have escaped you.

Did you remember that the only player to miss was David Trezeguet? Or that Fabio Grosso slammed home the winning spot-kick?

Final Italy v France - World Cup 2006


To this day you’ve got to wonder what would have happened had Zidane resisted Matterazzi’s taunts?

It’s the ultimate question that will loom over the great man’s career forever.

Was the headbutt worth it?


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