The period from 9 June to 9 July 2006 – famously billed as 'A time to make friends' – was one of the most special in Germany's history. And, as if by design, the sun shone throughout – a fact rare enough in the country in question to make it well worthy of note. This small meteorological miracle only added to the aura of an occasion that many observers continue to class as a 'summer fairy tale'.
Teeming with extraordinary exploits and memorable moments – many of which will surely spring to mind if you think back – the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ now holds pride of place in the history of the global showpiece.
From 1 to 9 July, FIFA.com and our various social media accounts will be taking you on a journey back in time. Together we will look back at the highlights of this 18th edition of the competition, at which Italy showcased a potent blend of close camaraderie and individual talent to capture their fourth World Cup title.
One image in particular has remained indelibly etched on the memories of all fans who followed Germany 2006: Zinedine Zidane's head-butt on Marco Materazzi at a crucial stage of the Final at Berlin's Olympiastadion. We reflected on this with the former France playmaker and talked to him about his idol, the Uruguayan legend Enzo Francescoli. We also caught up with Horacio Elizondo, who refereed the Final, to speak about the most inglorious chapter of Zizou's distinguished career.
We will be bringing you plenty of anecdotes, facts and figures about the tournament that culminated with Italy adding a fourth star to their shirt. Furthermore, we asked Fabio Cannavaro, who captained the Azzurri to glory and marshalled a defence that conceded just twice along the way, to relive the title decider with us and give us his take.
Have you ever wondered about the famous 'cheat sheet' that Jens Lehmann used during the penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Germany and Argentina? Now you will have the opportunity to find out Juan Riquelme's thoughts on the matter.
You will also be able to discover some of the treasures related to the competition that are stored in FIFA's display units and archives, thanks to a private multimedia tour of the FIFA World Football Museum. In addition, we will be revisiting one of the most tenacious game in World Cup history in terms of red and yellow cards: the so-called Battle of Nuremburg between Portugal and the Netherlands.
The visually inclined among you are sure to love the exclusive selection of images we have plucked from our photo library. This series of snapshots is a perfect way to rediscover at a glance the highlights of the tournament – the joy, the suspense and the unique atmosphere that comes with this event. A host of eye-catching pictures and videos await you on FIFA.com and on our dedicated Instagram, Twitter and Facebook profiles.
Memories and competitions, a winning combination
There is one final surprise in store on our multimedia trip down memory lane. The FIFA World Cup Facebook page will not only be offering you exclusive content related to Germany 2006, but also the chance to win prizes. Keep a close watch on our posts from 1 to 9 July – the most eagle-eyed readers are in with a shot at scooping some very special treats.