Over the past week, we have been turning back time to bring the events of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ to life all over again. Il Capitano Fabio Cannavaro lifted the FIFA World Cup Trophy into the night sky above Berlin’s Olympiastadion exactly ten years ago today, confirming Italy’s status as four-time world champions.
To mark this anniversary, FIFA.com has been publishing articles, videos and photos between 1 and 9 July recalling the most memorable moments, anecdotes and myths from that “summer fairy tale”.
One particular moment in the Final of the 18th edition of the World Cup remains etched in the memories of football fans everywhere and is perhaps the most infamous red card in the history of the beautiful game. Argentinian referee Horacio Elizondo revealed how the incident that marked the end of Zizou's international career unfolded from his privileged point of view. Enzo Francescoli’s horrified reaction to this dismissal doubtless resonates with many fans, making it all the more interesting to read that Zidane's boyhood hero was not always a perfect role model himself.
Cards, slips of paper and shivers down the spine
The Round of 16 encounter between the Netherlands and Portugal also made its way into the history books, with cards once again playing a leading role in proceedings. In total, 16 yellow and four red cards were produced – a record for any match at a FIFA tournament. Ten years on we caught up with the match official, Valentin Ivanov, to discuss the 'Battle of Nuremberg'.
As if that were not enough, we also invited you to take a private tour of the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich. The 2006 edition of the World Cup has its own section with lots of unique memorabilia from the event. Three names in particular feature prominently in the exhibits: Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo and Marcello Lippi.
Instead of pulling an ace out of his sleeve during Germany’s penalty shootout against Argentina at Berlin’s Olympiastadion, Die Mannschaft goalkeeper Jens Lehmann retrieved a ‘cheat sheet’ from his sock before making his crucial spot-kick saves. If you are curious about what was written on the former Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal custodian’s slip of paper, wonder no more, as we investigated the myth behind the most famous scribblings ever to grace the World Cup.
A decade on, it is all too easy to forget that most experts and bookmakers considered eventual world champions Italy to be rank outsiders before the event began, as our selection of facts and figures about the tournament revealed. For example, did you know how many tackles the formidable Gennaro Gattuso won during this month-long festival of football?
The last item on our 2006 World Cup menu is a true delicacy; a video that will not only make mouths water but give sport connoisseurs goosebumps, too. While watching and commenting on the key moments of 9 July 2006, Il Capitano Fabio Cannavaro discovered that the emotions of that night in Berlin have intensified over the past ten years.
If casting your mind back to the tournament is still not enough, you can also click through our photo gallery. We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane with FIFA.com!