Two Footballers in Search of an Author

At the World Cup Newletter, we put together a play based on Zidane’s head-butt. At the risk of beating a dead horse (We wouldn’t even beat a live horse), here is a roundup of our dramatic farce. Broadway here we come.

First there was a basic Beckett-like production:

Scene 1

(Lights up on an empty stage. MARCO MATERAZZI is standing in the middle. He wears the blue Italian national football kit and Puma cleats. He is in his early 30s, but he could be any age. He has long, silly sideburns, big eyes, and a cartoonish look. He practices expressions of surprise and pain.)

(Enter ZINEDINE ZIDANE stage left. He wears a white French national football kit and Adidas cleats. He is a bald man in his mid-30s. He has a single eyebrow. He squints frequently. ZIDANE walks quickly past MATERAZZI, who grabs his shirt. ZIDANE stops and looks him up and down.)


If you want my shirt, I’ll give it to you after.


(still holding the shirt)

No thank you.

(He lets go. ZIDANE continues walking. MATERAZZI shouts.)


(ZIDANE stops. Pause. ZIDANE turns around and rams MATERAZZI with his head. The lights go out.)

Keith Mowlah-Baksh added a brilliant absurd touch:
I’ve got Materazzi speaking in a language unknown to Zidane, and Zidane replying in a language unknown to Materazzi, and both conversing, for as long as the scene goes on.

Joe Kelley took the early Modern approach:


While you may have scored a goal today, sir, I have equaled your feat, and, what is more, I remain the more skilled player on the pitch.


Monsieur Zidane, you have besmirched my honor. Accordingly, I demand satisfaction.


Very well. Shall it be head-butts at dawn?


I think my sir had in mind to make more of an expedited resolution to the matter.



I see. Yes. It must be so.

Joe added: I’m also looking for an excuse to write “Enter BUFFON.”

E.J Murphy introduced a new character to the mix: “Enter C. Ronaldo who immediately proceeds to fall of stage apparently untouched.”

A.C. went the classical route: What about a Greek tragic chorus (possibly the Euro 2004 winners who didn’t qualify for WC ‘06) crying: ‘Woe! Woe! Woe!’

Lastly, Enzo got to the heart of insult and injury:

‘What He Did Say’
by Enzo
brought to you by

Pierre Luigi Colonna-Referee
Austin Kelley-Narrator


(Stage Left, in two different languages, translated to english.)

Your mother’s eyes and legs are like Bullfights in spring (without pants). In my mouth.

(Stage right, ZIDANE doles out vicious head butt)

(Referee emerges from the black and shows the red card.)

NARRATOR (not seen)

Football fans worldwide owe a debt of gratitude to Zizou for keeping this World Cup alive. The pain and suffering associated with the reality that we have to wait another four years for this, the greatest sporting event on earth, can wait another few days. So many of you have waited to hear this head butt explained in Zidanes own words. Wait no longer. As reported by the French media and confirmed by sources within the French Government and The French Football Federation, Zidane spoke these words Sunday night to his brother.


(Now in his black suit,w/ referee and Materazzi in the background)

The business about the eyes and legs and bullfights I can understand, that is your average, everyday nipple tugging, hair pulling, ankle kicking football taunt. But the bit about ‘in his mouth’…That’s just wrong, that’s not football….I went batshit.


He went batshit.




(In Italian, repeating and fading away)


(Translation: “Butt-Fucked one…Butt-Fucked one.”)

(ZIDANE stalks around the stage enraged.)


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