Disgraced Zidane wins World Cup Golden Ball

July 10, 2006

BERLIN, July 10 (Reuters) - France captain Zinedine Zidane won the FIFA Golden Ball award as the outstanding player of the World Cup despite being sent off in their final penalties shootout defeat by Italy on Sunday.

The prize was decided by media votes, cast before Zidane was shown the red card. Zidane received 2,012, Italian captain Fabio Cannavaro finished second (1,977) and his team mate Andrea Pirlo was third (715).

Brazil and Spain shared the fair play award.

Zidane's mark on the 18th World Cup finals will never be forgotten - for good and bad reasons.

His successful seventh minute penalty for France against Italy meant he became the fourth player to score three goals in the history of the showpiece final.

But his sending off in the 111th minute meant he also became only the fourth player to be sent off in a World Cup final.

Zidane's early spot kick added to the two headed goals the French playmaker scored in the 3-0 win over Brazil in the 1998 final on home soil in Paris.

Zidane also scored in France's second-round 3-1 victory over Spain and he netted from the penalty spot in their 1-0 semi-final victory over Portugal.

To cap a vintage World Cup - until the final itself - Zidane, 34, set up Thierry Henry's winner in the 1-0 victory over champions Brazil in the quarter-finals.

The final was Zidane's last competitive match.

Other Fifa awards from the World Cup finals:

Golden Shoe (top scorer): Miroslav Klose (Germany)

Most Entertaining Team: Portugal

Best Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)

Best Young Player: Lukas Podolski (Germany)