Marco Materazzi has finally revealed that an insult involving Zinedine Zidane's sister prompted the Frenchman to head-butt him during the World Cup final.
Zidane's amazing aberration was a spectacular way to bring the curtain down on his illustrious career, with a red card on the biggest stage of all in the World Cup final in Berlin.
As France and Italy prepare to go head-to-head again in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, Materazzi has finally revealed what was said as Zidane amazingly lost his head - before plunging it into the Italian's chest.
After Zidane responded to a shirt tug by saying he could swap shirts at full time if he wanted it so much, Materazzi's mention of his sister drove the Frenchman over the edge.
"I did not provoke him, I responded verbally to a provocation," Materazzi told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"We both spoke and I wasn't the first. I held his shirt but don't you think it is a provocation to say that 'if you want my shirt I will give it you afterwards'?
"I replied to Zidane that I would prefer his sister, that is true. I brought up his sister and that wasn't a nice thing, that is true.
"Thankfully there are dozens of footballers who could confirm that much worse things are said on the field."
World champions Italy will make the trip to France without Materazzi, as the Internazionale stopper sits out a two-game ban for his part in the affair in Berlin.
Zidane has retired from football but was fined and banned for three games and will now serve three days on community service for Fifa.
Materazzi did say that he does not feel he owes Zidane himself an apology, but did think that the two could make peace in the future.
"He has not apologised to me and I certainly don't have to apologise to him," added Materazzi.
"If anything, I owe apologies to his sister, although I swear, before all this mess I didn't even know Zidane had a sister.
"If peace can be made after terrible wars can Zidane and I not make peace? A peace between men, without much publicity, certainly yes.
"The door of my house will always be open to him and if he wants, Zidane knows how to find out my address."