Italy defender Marco Materazzi has admitted he did insult France’s Zinedine Zidane during the World Cup final.
But Materazzi denied reports he called Zidane a “terrorist” or insulting Zidane’s mother.
“It was the kind of insult you will hear dozens of times and just slips out of the ground,” Materazzi told La Gazetta dello Sport.
“I didn’t call Zidane a terrorist and certainly didn’t mention his mother.”
But Materazzi added: “I am ignorant, I don’t even know what an Islamic terrorist is; my only terrorist is her,” he said pointing to his 10-month-old daughter.
“I did not bring up Zidane’s mother; for me a mother is sacred.”
After Materazzi’s insult Zidane shoved his head into the Italian’s chest and was sent off.
“I held his shirt, for only a few seconds,” said Materazzi.
“He turned towards me and scoffed at me, looking at me with super arrogance, up and down.
“He said ‘if you really want my shirt, you can have it later.’
“It’s true, I shot back with an insult.”