The Euro 2024 final stadium has witnessed iconic sporting moments from Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt to the fastest 100m sprint in history
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The Euro 2024 final stadium has witnessed iconic sporting moments from Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt to the fastest 100m sprint in history

May 11, 2024

One of the stadiums being used at Euro 2024 has witnessed some of the most iconic moments in sport.

The Olympastadion in Berlin will host six matches at this summer’s tournament – including the final, which England will be very much hoping to be at on July 14.

Hertha Berlin play their home games at the Olympiastadion

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Hertha Berlin play their home games at the OlympiastadionCredit: Getty

There will be 10 venues that are hosting games in Germany, but perhaps none more iconic than the Olympiastadion.

It was originally built in 1936 for the summer Olympics and was thought to have a record attendance of well over 100,000.

Those games held in Nazi Germany went on to be known for Jesse Owens incredible achievements where he won four gold medals (in 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay, and long jump).

The ground later became the home of Herta Berlin, in 1963, and hosted matches at the 1974 World Cup.

It was renovated in 2004, with a permanent capacity of 74,475, and is still the largest stadium in Germany.

The Olympiastadion hosted the 2006 World Cup, including the final… witnessing one of the most memorable moments in sporting history this century.

That of course was Zinedine Zidane’s red card in the final against Italy, where he headbutted Marco Materazzi in the chest.

There is an iconic image of him walking past the World Cup trophy, knowing that it could have well cost his country. 

Zidane's headbutt was one of those iconic sporting moments

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Zidane’s headbutt was one of those iconic sporting momentsCredit: AFP
His last act on a football pitch was a red card

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His last act on a football pitch was a red cardCredit: AFP

The red card was in extra-time and Italy went on to win the shootout. Perhaps what makes that moment even more iconic is that it was his last ever act as a player on a football field.

Former Premier League defender Mikael Silvestre, who was part of the squad, told talkSPORT about the immediate aftermath of the game.

He said: “He was already in the dressing room before us and he took his shower so he apologised.

“I didn’t know why he was apologising. It was only when I went to the media that I saw the replay of the headbutt and I thought ‘wow, wow, wow, okay.’

“But what can you say? You’re not going to tell off God!

“He was very introverted but you have to realise before that incident he had already collected 10 red cards in his career. There were times where he’d lose it but sometimes a lot of geniuses lose their heads.”

Just three years later, the Olympiastadion witnessed another truly great moment in sport. That was Usain Bolt’s world record 100m time.

Bolt shattered his own world record at the Olympiastadion

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Bolt shattered his own world record at the OlympiastadionCredit: Getty

Bolt shattered his own record in August 2009 as he won World Championship gold in a remarkable time of 9.58 seconds.

That comfortably beat the previous mark he had set the previous year at the Beijing Olympics of 9.69 seconds.

That record still stands to this day and no one has even managed to get close to that time.

In honour of that record, Bolt was gifted a three-ton piece of the Berlin Wall that was later sent to his training facility in Jamaica.

Barcelona would later go on to win the treble there in 2015 when they beat Juventus in the final.

Now the Olympiastadion will hopefully, for England fans, be the host of yet more iconic memories.

It will have three group stage matches, followed by a round of 16 match, a quarter-final and the final.

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