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Despite red card, Zizou is Cup's best

Zidane polls 2012 points followed by Italians Cannavaro and Pirlo. Fallen Hero | Italy's equaliser | Fan fest | Romans v Gauls

india Updated: Jul 10, 2006 18:39 IST

France captain Zinedine Zidane, sent off for headbutting Marco Materazzi late in Sunday's World Cup final loss to Italy, won the Golden Ball award for the tournament's best player.

The results were released on Monday morning in Berlin by FIFA. Zidane polled 2012 points in the vote by journalists covering the tournament, beating Italians Fabio Cannavaro (1977 points) and Andrea Pirlo (715 points) in the ballot.

Zidane, who put France ahead with a penalty kick in the opening minutes, was given a red card after slamming his head into Materazzi's chest during the tense second period of overtime. It was his last act as a professional player.

The French missed Zidane's prowess in the penalty shootout, which Italy calmly won to collect its fourth World Cup title.

Zidane, a former international player of the year and 1998 World Cup champion, announced last month that he was retiring from soccer after the tournament.

Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn won the Golden Ball in 2002. Other previous winners were Brazilians Ronaldo (1998) and Romario ('94), Italy's Salvatore Schillaci ('90) and Argentine great Diego Maradona.

Germany striker Miroslav Klose was the Golden Shoe winner for the tournament's leading scorer. He won with five goals. Ronaldo won the award in 2002 with eight goals.