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Algerian artist Adel Abdessemed has immortalized the headbutt given by Zinedine Zidane to Italian player Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup final. (Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images)

The historic headbutt that marked the end of France great Zinedine Zidane's international football career is now more than just a memory.

A five-metre-high bronze statue portraying Zidane aiming his shaven head at Italian opponent Marco Materazzi's torso has been erected in front of Paris's Centre Pompidou modern art museum.

Zidane lit up the field playing for Real Madrid and other professional teams and helped France to victory at the 1998 World Cup.

But in the 110th minute of a riveting World Cup final in 2006 against Italy, Zidane lowered his head and rammed Materazzi's chest, knocking him to the ground.

Zidane, who had been planning to retire after the World Cup, later apologized to viewers and said he was responding to repeated insults.