In an interview with the French television channel Canal Plus, a chastened-looking Zidane also apologized to children and fans but said that he did not regret the attack which led to his sending off.
"He (Materazzi) pulled on my shirt several times and I told him that we could swap shirts at the end of the game if he wanted to," Zidane said in the live interview.
"He then pronounced very tough words, words that hurt me deeply, words about my mother and my sister. At first, I tried not to listen to him but he kept repeating them," Zidane said.
"I knew it was my last game and I knew there were only 10 minutes to play but things happened very swiftly," he said.
"I am a man before anything else."