Final score - after penalties - 120'
1 - 1
18:00 +00:00, July 9, 2006
Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany
Referee: Horacio Elizondo (ARG)
Italy win 5-3 on penalties
And we'll see you in a few weeks for the start of the new season...
Stick with us for all the reaction from both sides, as well as photo galleries and insight from our team of experts.
Right, that's me done. Hope you enjoyed the final and ESPN Soccernet's World Cup coverage in general.
The France players look a bit bewildered as the stadium erups around them. Trezeguet is comforted; he missed the crucial kick.
ITALY WIN THE WORLD CUP FOR THE FOURTH TIME! THEY CELEBRATE LIKE...WELL, LIKE THEY'VE JUST WON THE WORLD CUP!
ITA 5-3 FRA: HE DOES IT!
Grosso has the chance to win the World Cup for Italy...
ITA 4-3 FRA: Sagnol pats down the penalty spot with his boot before placing the ball... and blasting a shot down the middle.
ITA 4-2 FRA: Barthez looks to the skies as Del Piero places the ball... before thumping past Barthez.
ITA 3-2 FRA: Abidal pulls his socks up before taking a short run... and slotting the ball past Buffon.
ITA 3-1 FRA: De Rossi smashes a shot in to the top corner. Barthez has no chance.
ITA 2-1 FRA: Trezeguet looks calm as he places the ball...but he thumps his shot against the underside of the crossbar. It didn't cross the line. Advantage Italy.
ITA 2-1 FRA: Materazzi has had an eventful game... and he ends it by thumping a shot low in to the bottom corner.
ITA 1-1 FRANCE: Wiltord takes a deep breath... before placing a shot past the goalkeeper, who goes the wrong way.
ITA 1-0 FRA: Pirlo waddles up to place the ball as Barthez waits; no problem, Pirlo smashes past the goalkeeper to put Italy one-up.
Italy will have the first penalty...
The goalkeepers make their way down to one end as the two teams huddle on the half-way line...
Barthez and Buffon can make themselves heroes over the next ten minutes. They both look very nervous.
For just the second time in the tournament's history, the World Cup will be won on penalties. Who will hold their nerves?
FULL-TIME: The 2006 FIFA World Cup is going to be decided by penalties...
RUBBISH! Malouda finds Wiltord in the penalty area; he tries to slide a pass across to Trezeguet, but instead hopelessly slices the ball out of play for a goalkick.
Italy are pressing forward, but they don't look to have enough in them to win this match before penalties - or even to force Barthez in to a save.
If France win the match, it will be interesting to see whether FIFA allow Zidane to come back on to lift the trophy.
The crowd are still reeling from the Zidane dismissal; they can't believe such a wonderful career ended in such lunacy.
Grosso goes on a good run down the left, but he fails to spot De Rossi's run and is met by three French defenders.
Domenech is furious on the sidelines; he clearly disagreed with the red card.
Perhaps Zidane's dismissal will lift this tired Italy side; the momentum now has to be with them.
France are forced to play the remainder of the game with ten men. The referee is being booed, although there is no reason for it - he had no choice.
One of the greatest careers in football history ends in disgrace - and Zidane can have no complaints. He clearly head-butted Materazzi in the chest after the two had exchanged words off-the-ball.
SENT OFF! Zidane's career ends in ignomony as he is shown the red card for head-butting Materazzi in the chest!
Television replays show Zidane head-butting Materazzi, for a reason unknown. Italy are furious, and the defender is taken from the field...
Zidane and Materazzi clash off-the-ball; there is some confusion at the moment...
Wiltord has come on down the left flank; he will inject some much-needed pace in to the game. Hopefully.
FRANCE SUB: Wiltord comes on to replace Henry; Henry trudges off, looking tired, grumpy and disconsolate.
De Rossi goes down, holding his head, after a challenge from Malouda as the two jumped for a high ball.
Italy kick off the second half of extra-time. A lot of players needed treatment for cramp during the change-around.
HALF-TIME, EXTRA-TIME: Both teams look very tired.
Italy lost the 1994 final on penalties; they'll be getting nervous.
GREAT SAVE! Buffon ruins history as he palms over Zidane's goal-bound header.
GOOD CLAIM! Buffon comes a long way to claim a Zidane cross, aimed in towards Trezeguet.
Henry appears to have been moved out to the left wing to accomodate the arrival of Trezeguet up front; they are still in a 4-5-1 formation.
FRANCE SUB: Ribery is replaced by Trezeguet; Ribery has had a poor game, and is replaced by striker Trezeguet.
SHOULD HAVE SCORED! Ribery combines well with Malouda on the edge of the penalty area, but he prods his shot wide of the far post.
The crowd certainly don't like this; they are whistling their disapproval as Italy walk the ball out of defence.
Henry launches a counter-attack, though he can't find Ribery with his pass.
There look to be some very tired legs out there; the game is being played at walking pace, with only short, infrequent spells of activity.
Gattuso stays down after taking a stray arm in the face; everyone takes on some fluid in an effort to fuel themselves through this extra-time period.
Malouda goes down as he tries to beat Gattuso on the edge of the area; no foul, says the referee.
I'm not sure either side have got the bottle to commit men forward and gamble on getting a winner.
...but Zidane's corner is cleared at the near post. Poor delivery.
Malouda wins his side a corner off Cannavaro; Gallas and Thuram come forward...
Pirlo's cross in to the middle is easily claimed by Barthez.
Italy have made all three of their subtitutions; France, just one. Domenech holds all the cards now.
France kick off the first period of extra-time.
END OF 90 MINUTES: Neither side can break the deadlock; we're set for 30 minutes of extra-time...
UNBELIEVABLE! Ribery gets in to the penalty area down the left-hand side, but France have absolutely no-one in the penalty area.
The game has got very cagey now; neither side wants to make a late mistake.
GOOD DEFENDING! Thuram and Abidal check the run of Iaquinta, trying to get on the end of De Rossi's pass through the middle.
De Rossi wins a free-kick against Diarra; Italy take it short as they try to stay patient in their build-up.
ITALY SUB: Del Piero comes on to replace Camoranesi.
France win another corner when Materazzi flicks out a leg to intercept Zidane's pass, meant for Henry. The set-piece will be delayed as Italy make a change...
ALMOST! Henry gets to the by-line and cuts a pass back to Zidane, but Materazzi makes a crucial interception on the edge of his six-yard box.
Are either side brave enough to take a chance or a gamble in these closing minutes?
France win a corner when Zambrotta nervously puts a ball out at the back post, but Zidane's corner is easily cleared.
Perhaps I was premature in calling the end of Zidane's career; he seems fit enough to carry on. Sorry for being such a drama queen...
Zidane manages to trot back on, although he looks far from comfortable; he is loping around, holding his shoulder and grimacing.
It seems to be a shoulder injury to Zidane; I think he is going to have to be substituted, ending one of the greatest football careers ever.
Zidane stays down after a collision with Cannavaro; he doesn't look happy and seems to signal that he wants to be brought off...
Zidane has been fairly anonymous since the break; he hasn't managed to get on the ball at all.
Extra-time is looming in Berlin, unless one of these sides can find a breakthrough in the final quarter of an hour or so.
JUST WIDE! Pirlo sends a low shot goalwards, but he curls his effort just wide of the post. Barthez looked very concerned for a moment.
Pirlo directs operations at the set-piece as the French form their defensive wall...
Italy win a free-kick of their own when Diarra fouls, 30 yards from goal. The French substitute is shown the yellow card for the challenge.
...but Malouda can't jump high enough to get a head to the cross at the far post.
...Zidane sends the free-kick to the crowded penalty area...
Canoranesi loses the ball to Abidal, but he gets back to put in a challenge on the rampaging full-back. Unfortunately, the referee spots a foul in te challenge and awards France the free-kick...
Toni spins and fires in a shot from inside the area, although the referee rules he had used his hand to control the ball.
...but fires it high in to the stands. Dreadful.
AMBITIOUS! Abidal picks up a loose ball; he decides he can beat the World's best goalkeeper from 45 yards and fires in a shot...
...Zidane curls in to the middle, but Buffon comes through a crowd to flap the ball clear.
Zidane stands over the free-kick as Thuram goes forward from the back...
Ribery takes Henry's pass; he is forced away from goal by Cannavaro, but wins a free-kick as he tumbles to the ground on the touchline.
NOT FROM THERE! Ribery opts to shoot from 40 yards; unsurprisingly, he blasts high and wide. Brainless.
The game is opening up now as both sides look for a goal that would prevent this final going in to extra-time.
Cannavaro and Zidane are believed to be the two players contesting the Golden Ball award for the best player at this year's World Cup. Check out the Soccernet website on Monday morning when FIFA will announce the winner of the honour.
SENSATIONAL DEFENDING! Cannavaro shows great strength and determination to rob Henry on the edge of the penalty area.
Play immediately shifts up to the France end, but Toni's shot on the edge of the penalty are is blocked.
GOOD SAVE! Henry manages to get one-on-one with Cannavaro; he shifts the ball to his right foot before firing in a shot, but Buffon is well-positioned and makes a good save.
Replays are showing that the linesman probably got that off-side decision correct; Toni had just drifted a yard in front of the lastd defender.
GOAL! NO! OFF-SIDE! Grosso sends a free-kick in to the middle; Toni glances a stunning header past Barthez, but his celebrations are halted by an off-side flag.
ITALY SUBS: Di Rossi and Iaquinta replace Perrotta and Totti; Lippi makes the first move as he strengthens his forward line.
A number of players are probably playing in their final international match this evening. As well as Zidane, it is expected that tonight will be the final appearance in the blue of France for Thuram, Barthez, Makelele and Wiltord. There have also been rumours that Totti will also hang up his Italian boots at the final whistle. The veterans have 45 minutes to make sure they go out on a high.
ASKING A LOT! Zidane beats two men with a neat body-sweve before knocking the ball to Henry; the striker then tries to play a return pass to his captain, but Zidane doesn't fancy chasing it down.
France have drastically improved on their first-half performance; they look threatening now and are putting Italy under a little pressure.
BLOCKED! Zidane latches on to a loose ball on the edge of the area; he blasts a volley goalwards, but Materazzi blocks.
FRANCE SUB: Diarra comes on to replace Vieira; the midfield master is too injured to continue, and is replaced by Domenech.
Vieira needs some treatment after going down in midfield; he seemed to pull up with a hamstring injury.
GET IN THE BOX! Malouda does wonderfully well to get to the by-line down the left; he rolls a pass across the face of goal, but France have only one man in the box.
PENALTY? NO! Malouda gets down the left and in to the penalty area; he is brought down by Zambrotta, but the referee waves the France winger to his feet.
Perrotta gets in to the area, but he can't get the ball out from under his feet and France clear.
GET A SHOT IN! Abidal finds Henry with a cut-back inside the area, but the striker wants too much time and Materazzi gets in a tackle.
SHOULD HAVE SHOT! Henry spins and gets in to the penalty area; he closes down no Buffon, but opts to roll a pass across the face of goal instead of shooting; Cannavaro clears.
I think Domenech would have had the harder job at half-time; France look strangely shaky at the back, and a couple of the French side had very poor first half.
NERVY! A cross in to the area causes more panic in the French defence, though the ball eventually runs dead.
Grosso gets forward down the left and wins his side a corner...
It has been a very slow start after the break; the tempo is at walking pace at the moment.
Fans in the two countries will be gearing themselves up for a second-half of unbelieveable tension and excitement. In Rome, around 200,000 people are expecting to watch the match on big screens at the ancient Circus Maximus; they will probably feel confident that their side can go on and win this final.
GREAT RUN, POOR FINISH! Henry ghosts past a couple of players before breaking in to the penalty area, but his finish is weak and hit straight at Buffon.
France kick off the second half. No changes at the break from either side.
HALF-TIME: Honours even at the end of a scrappy, but certainly absorbing, half. The coaches have 15 minutes to try come up with some rousing and inspirational words.
Toni is brought down by Vieira; free-kick, and Italy again send forward their defenders to try and get on the end of the set-piece.
Zidane is starting to come in to the game a little more now; he beginning to link things in midfield with a series of superb flicks and tricks.
Toni rolls Thuram and wins his side a free-kick; Grosso takes it, but simply thumps the set-piece long down field to Barthez.
Makelele is spoken to by the referee after saying something out of turn. The referee has done quite well so far this evening; he has tried to allow the game to flow, as much as he can.
In addition to Zidane's farewell, it is a memorable evening for another veteran; Fabio Cannavaro is winning his 100th cap for Italy. He becomes the third Italian player to reach this milestone, joining the legendary duo of Paolo Maldini (126) and Dino Zoff (112).
A great tackle from Materazzi halts Zidane in full flight; the veteran playmaker has struggled to fully get in to this first half.
ALMOST! Toni almost chases down a sloppy back-pass, although Barthez is alert enough to come out and clear.
...Malouda clips the corner in to the middle; a France heads sends a header flying across the face of goal, but no-one is there to turn it past Buffon.
The game is picking up now; Cannavaro is forced in to an excellent challenge to sldie the ball off the feet of Henry and out for a France corner...
OFF THE BAR! Toni climbs high and sends a header against the top of the crossbar as another Pirlo corner causes panic in the French defence.
GREAT BLOCK! Thuram makes a stunning block on the edge of his six-yard box as he prevents Toni's shot testing Barthez.
During the break in play, Zidane leads a little pow-wow between the veteran France players; Vieira and Makelele join him as they try to plot a second goal.
The referee seems loathe to allow the Italian physio on to treat Perrotta, although he eventually waves him on.
France put the ball out of play to allow treatment to Perrotta, who lies holding his leg just inside the France half.
TAME! Henry holds off Gattuso down the left wing before flicking a pass inside to Malouda on the edge of the area; the Lyon man tries a quick shot, but he clips his effort straight at Buffon.
Zambrotta shows nice skill on the ball to get out of a tight spot on the right touchline.
...but his ambitious effort is blocked by the defensive wall.
Italy win a free-kick, 40 yards out; Totti eyes a long-range shot...
Our referee for this evening's match is Argentine Horacio Elizondo, a 42-year-old physical education teacher.
OFF THE LINE! Materazzi climbs again at the back post; he thumps a downward header goalwards, but Makelele clears - although the referee has already blown for a push by the Italian as he climbed.
Italy win another corner when Abidal gets a boot in to nick the ball from Camoranesi.
These two sides had played 12 games between them in this tournament before tonight, and had conceded only three goals, so this start will have caught many people by surprise.
NICE ATTACK! Henry glides past his marker before playing a nice pass in to the run of Ribery, but his low cross is cut out at the near post.
Malouda's shot is blocked by Gattuso on the edge of his penalty area, and the ball ricochets out for a throw.
Television replays show Lippi celebrating his side's equaliser. The Italian coach has been widely praised for the way he has managed to turn the Serie A match-fixing scandal in to a positive.
Ribery goes down as he tries to get to the by-line around the outside of Grosso. No free-kick, says the referee.
The last meeting between these two sides was also in the final of a massive competition, in Rotterdam at Euro 2000. Italy led 1-0 until the 90th minute when Wiltord equalised to force extra-time. Trezeguet, on the bench this evening, scored a golden goal to win the competition. We could be set for another nerve-wracking evening tonight, if things keep going as they are.
Zidane looks for Henry with a pass down the middle, but the striker is penalised for pulling back Zambrotta as he tried to get in to the penalty area.
Materazzi celebrates wildly as he makes ammends for giving away an early penalty by climbing high at the back post to thump home an equalising penalty.
GOAL! Pirlo's corner is headed past Barthez by Materazzi!
Camoranesi wins a corner off the legs of Abidal; the big men come forward from the back once more...
Grosso looks to be getting forward a lot down the Italian flank; he seems to have license to attack at will.
It has been a very scrappy start to this match; neither side has been able to get the ball down and have a spell of calming possession.
Pirlo looks for Toni with a clipped pass down the left channel, but he puts too much on it and France win a goal-kick.
Henry persues a long pass forward from Sagnol, but Materazzi comes across to cut out the threat and launch a swift Italian counter.
Domenech looks very calm as he stands by the French dugout. Not everybody loves Raymond; he was been much-criticised during the run-up to the tournament, noteably when he first announced his 23-man squad and when rumours of discord emerged from the France camp. If he leads his side to glory tonight, he can allow himself a wry smile.
GREAT DEFENDING! Pirlo whips the free-kick in to the middle, but Thuram dives full-length to head the ball behind for a corner.
Italy win a free-kick when Abidal is penalised for a high boot on the edge of his own penalty area; Italy send forward their big defenders as Pirlo stands over the set-piece...
Despite France having won the tournament more recently, it would be fair to say Italy have the more impressive World Cup pedigree; they are bidding for their fourth title this evening, a feat only achieved by one other nation - Brazil, who have won five championships.
It has been a dramatic start to this final; a penalty, cheeky goal from Zidane, two yellow cards and an injury to Henry. Phew!
Sagnol becomes the second player booked as he follows through on Grosso as they challenged for the ball in the Italy half.
France have certainly made the better start in Berlin; they have settled very quickly and have a priceless early goal to show for it.
NERVY MOMENT! Buffon has to dive full-length to ensure that Materazzi's back header doesn't sneak inside his near post. Corner to France...
Of course, tonight is a massive night for Zinedine Zidane, his final-ever competitive football match. French newspaper L'Equipe's headline on Saturday labelled him 'The Blue Angel'. He has just become only the fourth player to score in two World Cup finals.
So, France take a very early lead in this final; that might be a fantastic thing for the neutral - the game should really open up now.
That took unbelievable courage from Zidane; he waited for Buffon to dive before chipping calmly down the middle. Amazing, although there must have been a nervy moment when he saw the ball strike the underside of the crossbar.
MISSED! NO! GOAL! Zidane tries a cheeky chip as Buffon dives to his right; the ball comes back off the underside of the crossbar and bounces down a foot or so behind the line!
PENALTY! Henry flicks through to Malouda, who breaks in to the area before being tripped by Materazzi!
Zambrotta is shown a very early yellow card as he catches Vieira on the edge of the penalty area. He's got a long time to play on a booking.
Grosso's cross from the left is well defended inside their penalty area by Thuram.
Henry trots back on to the field, looking a bit worse-for-wear.
After lengthy on-field treatment, Henry is being led to the touchlines for further examination. Play resumes, with France down to ten for the time-being.
Henry has ice applied to the back of his neck as Trezeguet warms up on the sidelines; if Henry had to come off, it would be a massive blow for France.
There is real drama here; Henry seems to be very groggy after being caught on the side of the head by an accidental clash with the Italian defender.
Henry goes down after being caught early on in midfield by Cannavaro. A very early appearance for the French physio...
France snap around the Italian heels in midfield as they win back possession.
Italy are the designated home team and will turn out in their familiar blue kit, though France won't be complaining too much; they are playing in white for the fourth game in a row and have won their last three matches...
HERE WE GO, READERS! The biggest match of the last four years begins as Italy kick off to an enormous roar.
Abidal stands stone-faced as the French anthem begins. Television cameras pick out some flambuyont costumes amongst the fans in the crowd.
The Italian anthem is sang with gusto and passion from all quarters of the ground. Lippi's lips barely move as he mumbles his way through.
Out the players come, to a fantastic reception from the crowd. A fanfare belts out of the PA system as the two starting XIs line up for the national anthems.
Zidane jokes with one of the mascots as he waits at the head of the French side, waiting in the tunnel. The great Zizou looks very relaxed.
...as the two flags are led out on to the pitch.
The players are waiting in the tunnel...
Italy coach Marcello Lippi and his France counterpart Raymond Domenech have both named unchanged teams for final, in Berlin's Olympic Stadium.
Hello. I'm Alex, and I'm here to guide you through the 64th and final match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. It's Italy v France, for the greatest prize in football.
Daniele De Rossi
Alessandro Del Piero
Daniele De Rossi
Alessandro Del Piero
Jean Alain Boumsong