Now, this is rich. It’s so full of irony that I can barely keep my fingers steady while typing. Zinedine Zidane has won the prized golden ball for this year’s World Cup. Despite his headbutt that earned him a trip to the lockerroom and the disappointment of watching his team win the runner-up medals, journalists from around the world gave Zizou 2012 votes, crowning him the player-of-the-tournament. Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro came in second with 1977.

The press writes now that most of these votes were garnered before the red-card-worthy blow. In typical form, the press jumped the gun, assuming that the player that they had seen increase in skill (and greatness) was simply going to play out the final in like manner.