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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Zidane remains best-loved French despite head-butt

Zidane remains best-loved French despite head-butt

December 31, 2006 09:06 IST

Zinedine Zidane remains France's best-loved personality despite his head-butt against Italy's Marco Materazzi in the soccer World Cup final this year, a survey showed on Saturday.

Zidane came first in a ranking of France's Top 50 personalities, beating ex-tennis champion Yannick Noah, who came in second place, and leaving singers Charles Aznavour and Johnny Hallyday, as well as actor Gerard Depardieu behind.

The footballer had already come first in a comparable survey by pollster Ifop six months ago.

Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal came in 23rd place, up from 49th in July, and her likely conservative challenger for next year's election, Nicolas Sarkozy, came 42nd in the Ifop poll for the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

Sarkozy had not appeared on the list in July.

Both Royal and Sarkozy were overtaken by television star Nicolas Hulot, who has threatened to run for president unless mainstream politicians do more for the environment. He came third in the poll of 1,064 people.

Zidane was shown a red card 10 minutes before the end of extra time in the July 9 final in Berlin after head butting Materazzi in the chest. That ensured he missed the penalty shootout that decided the match in Italy's favour.

The incident inspired the summer hit "Coup de Boule" (Head Butt) in France, and an Italian entrepreneur has come up with a line of sweatshirts with two stick figures depicting the incident printed on the back.

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