Everyone knows the story of what happened between Zinedine Zidane (Zizou) and Marco Materazzi (Matrix) in the 2006 World Cup final between France and Italy. After some shirt-pulling and some pleasant conversation, the Les Bleus legend unleashed the headbutt heard 'round the world. On that day Materazzi was able to use his skills as an asshole to rattle Zizou and affect the outcome of the match in Italy's favor. But everyone wondered exactly what he had said to cause such a reaction.
Several prominent newspapers printed that Materrazi had called Zizou, who is of Algerian heritage, "the son of a terrorist whore." Given the tense nature of post-colonial relations between France and Algeria, along with increased global perception of Muslims as terrorists due to America's "War on Terror", this was a particularly grievous insult. These newspapers (sic) hired lip readers to review video of the match, had alleged witnesses (who? the ball boys?) to the incident, and generally felt comfortable with their assertions. Unfortunately for them, it was eventually revealed that Marco had simply said that he preferred Zizou's "whore of a sister" rather than the Frenchman's jersey, which Zidane had sarcastically offered to give him after Materazzi had repeatedly grabbed it.
Eventually the Matrix realized that he had been so scarred by his treatment at the hands of these newspapers that he needed to go "full American" and file lawsuits for libel. Because, really, who could ever believe that Marco Materazzi, of all people, would do something outside the rules of the game?
After successfully suing the Daily Star, from which he received a formal apology and damages, as well as the Daily Mail, from which he also received damages, Materazzi was able to complete his British trifecta this week when The Sun agreed to a "six-figure settlement."
I've got a finger I would give him. Oh, they said figure? Nevermind.