Following the recent revelations about what Materazzi said to Zidane, which has been confirmed by The Daily Mail and City A.M1 I think some credit should be given to Zidane for having the guts to react like that in such a situation.
Materazzi allegidly said:
You are the son of a terrorist whore.
If you were in the World Cup Final, with then minutes left of a very long career which may be topped off with a World Cup win, would you have the guts and pride to defend your nationality like that?
Zidane was right to be sent off, it was violent conduct and there are no exceptions. But Materazzi got what was coming to him, and if the allegations are true, then Zidane may even be seen as a hero.