The Daily Star apologised today in the high court to the Italian footballer headbutted in the chest by Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final for claiming he used racist abuse to provoke the attack.
Marco Materazzi, the Inter Milan defender, was at the high court in London today to hear a public apology from the Star's owner, Express Newspapers.
The Star, which alleged Materazzi made racist comments to goad Zidane during the game in July 2006, will also pay out "substantial" damages.
Materazzi's barrister, Jane Phillips, said the Star accepted that the allegations were "wholly untrue" and apologised for the distress and embarrassment caused.
In a series of articles, the Star alleged that Materazzi told Zidane that his mother was "a terrorist whore", the court heard.