As the start of the 2010 World Cup is now just a few anticipation and hype-soaked days away, talk of the most remembered moment of the 2006 World Cup — or, perhaps, any World Cup, for that matter — was sure to return in a cloud of jokes and attempts to engage even the least interested members of the global population. So it should come as no surprise that an online betting company used the Zinedine Zidane's headbutt on Marco Materazzi in the tournament's final match four years ago as the basis for a series of ads promoting its World Cup services (video below).
But what's Zidane himself up to now?
[Photos: See what Zidane looks like now]
Although getting sent off before France lost to Italy on penalty kicks in 2006 marked the end of his legendary professional playing career, Zidane still dazzles adoring fans around the world in occasional charity matches (like last week's Soccer Aid match) and remains a part of the game on a professional level as an advisor for the club where he finished his playing career, Real Madrid.
And how about his relationship with the target of his headbutt, Marco Materazzi? Well, that blast to the chest remains about as close as the two have been. As recently as March of this year, Zidane said he would rather die than apologize for the attack after the things Materazzi said about his mother, and Marco responded by posting this picture on his official website:
That's Zidane, walking past the World Cup trophy after getting sent off in the final, with "Thank you very much, sir" written in French across the top. Obviously Materazzi didn't learn his lesson about prodding Zidane the first time.
As for those online betting company ads keeping the growing tradition of headbutt-based parody going, take a look:
In the example above, an attractive businesswoman unleashes the Zidane treatment on a presumably foul-mouthed office creeper and in others, an elderly man introduces his noggin to a skater kid's chest and a bald gentleman does the same to a police officer who tickets his car, which is where the betting company really ran afoul of Austrian television broadcaster ORF and the country's advertising cops.
From the South African Times:
Austria's advertising watchdog council called for the ads to be pulled, complaining "they convey that violence can be used to solve conflicts," and that they use the slogan "Life is a game" for showing unfair behavior.
However, the council said it had some understanding for one spot in the series in which a young woman floors a male coworker who made a sexist remark.
Clearly, this incident will never, ever die.
Other popular World Cup stories on Yahoo!:
• Soccer star's lavish gifts to teammates
• Harsh odor disrupts team at World Cup
• Unlikely motivator fires up England for U.S. match