Zidane - World Cup's best player

Zidane polled 2012 points in the vote by journalists covering the tournament, beating ItaliansFabio 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 extra time.

It was his last act as a professional player and one that was widely criticized in France and abroad.

With the score locked 1-1 after 120 minutes the French missed Zidane's prowess in the penalty shootout, which Italy calmly won 5-3 to collect its fourth World Cup title, the AP reports.

Zidane, 34, a former international player of the year and 1998 World Cup champion, announced last month that he was retiring from soccer after the tournament.

He wasn't particularly outstanding in France's opening draws with Switzerland and South Korea and missed the last group match against Togo due to suspension. But Zidane produced some vintage performances in the wins over Spain, Brazil and Portugal in the knockout phase.