“He lost his head, and launched it into Materazzi’s chest”
You know what I am talking about; an infamous incident in the final night of 2006 World Cup. A legend finished his time in such a way nobody will ever forget. In a final of the most prestigious tournament in the world, Zidane finished the game, and also his playing career, by headbutting the chest of Materazzi. Latter he revealed that the reason of his outrageous act is Materazzi insulted his mother and sister. In the end, France lost to Italy on Penalties. The story might have ended differently had Zidane not lost his temper.
|the infamous headbutt|
|Zidane leaving the pitch, the cup, and the career|
Last night, in a match ordained as the derby with most cards in England, a legend, to his people at least, was supposed to play his 33 derbies in a worth-remembered-manner. In fact, his last derby is worth-remembered, but not in the manner every Kopite would ever imagine, in the wildest even. His presence in the end of the tunnel at the beginning of the second half, with the captain armband, raised hope of every Kopite at Anfield that night. With the team trailing by a goal, against the fiercest rival, the charisma of a captain is surely an oasis in the middle of a dessert. But, nobody, even the supporter at the other end, expected what happened next. Gerrard’s time in the field lasted just 40 seconds short. A red card for intentionally stepping on the right leg of Ander Herrera ended his supposedly last North West Derby. Kopites can say it was harsh decision, that the referee got it wrong, that it was unfair, but at the end of the day we can all agree that such challenge has no place in football, and always will produce red card, except if it was Diego Costa, maybe.
|the stomp that stop his shortcoming|
Zidane’s conduct may be unacceptable to some, but there are people who understand and defend him. Zidane stood for the honor of his mother and sister. He took the possible worst punishment as a professional because he believed that nobody should disparage his mother and sister; a belief that most people would agree on. He maybe lost his chance to hold the highest team prize a football player could achieve, but he sure not lost respect for the principle he hold. The Coup de tête statue initially erected in Centre Pompidou, France is the obvious proof.
|Coup de tête|
Gerrard reaction, in the other hand, was, according to his former team mate Carragher, result of his frustration. Frustration of seeing the team trailing, frustration of losing the automatic place in the squad, and maybe frustration over the fact that he will end his last season mostly in the bench. That was very human, but that doesn’t make his conduct less unacceptable. For a player of his caliber, in the game of that importance, he should know how much the stake was put.
Unlike Zidane, Gerrard has time make up for his mistakes, to save his magnificent career as a redman. That match maybe was his last North-West Derby, but hopefully that was not his last match with LFC. And by then his professional career ends, whether in USA or in England, I hope we can see the statue of Gerrard stand, not the statue of his stomping Herrera, but the statue of one of his greatest time in LFC.