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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=629 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD colSpan=3>French adore Zidane headbutt song




</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top width=416><!-- S BO --><!-- S IIMA --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=203 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>_41951738_headbutt203bafp.jpg Many French people sympathised with Zidane over the incident

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!-- E IIMA --><!-- S SF -->Zinedine Zidane's infamous World Cup headbutt has inspired a song that, thanks to the internet, has rocketed to the top of the French pop charts.

Just hours after the song's producers had e-mailed it to friends they got a flood of calls from the music industry and mobile phone companies.

The hit was written as a "joke... to entertain our friends," said Sebastien Lipszyc of La Plage Records in Paris.

The small studio e-mailed the song the day after France lost to Italy. <!-- E SF -->

The French star, affectionately known as "Zizou" in France, was banned for three games and fined £3,260 for head-butting Italy's Marco Materazzi during the World Cup final.

Fifa also suspended Materazzi for two games and fined him £2,170 for provoking Zidane, who was playing in the last game of his career.

Overnight success

Mr Lipszyc, whose company composes advertising jingles and sound-effects, said Coup de Boule (Headbutt) was written "in half an hour" and e-mailed to about 50 friends. That evening, he and his two colleagues heard it on Skyrock, a popular French radio network

<!-- S IBOX --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=208 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=5>o.gif</TD><TD class=sibtbg>start_quote_rb.gif Zidane, il l'a frappé, la Coupe, on l'a ratée

(Zidane hit him, the Cup - we missed it) end_quote_rb.gif

Coup de Boule

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!-- E IBOX -->

"The next day, the major players rang us," said Mr Lipszyc, quoted by the French newspaper Le Figaro.

He said Warner made the best offer to distribute the song - an advance of 45,000 euros for the clip, percentages on the sales and a guarantee that La Plage Records would retain authorship.

The hit was distributed to 20 countries and a video clip was made at the Charlety stadium in Paris.

According to Warner Music France president Thierry Chassagne, "all this took two weeks - that's unprecedented in our industry". The African-style song has become a tube de l'été (summer hit) in France, booming out at beaches, campsites and bars. Zidane, il l'a frappé, la Coupe, on l'a ratée (Zidane hit him, the Cup - we missed it), the song goes.<!-- E BO -->



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