Materazzi: “Director at Inter? Maybe the proposal hasn’t arrived yet because of my habit to pay no attention to what I say”

June 10, 2014 20:08
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About the future of the team, Materazzi also mentions the president Thohir, about whom he has recently been saying good things: “I am sure that President will make Inter shine again in a way that this team deserves. The new directors are very ambitious and also provide a considerable capital which, in modern football, is very important. It’s not enough to just have ambition. I believe that Inter are looking for three world-class players to raise the level of the team even more and the arrival of Vidic can do only good to this team. Other than that he needs two more.”

The chapter of the “past”, can only be opened with words about Javier Zanetti: “Pupi is an example for all of us, he is indisputably a symbol of Inter and his 20 years with Inter are proof. Me as a director like Zanetti? This question should be asked to the leaders of Inter. Maybe the proposal has not arrived yet because of my strong character and my habit to pay no attention to what I say. When I say something, I say it to someone’s face, and this can not please everyone.”

Another moment tied to the past that can not be forgotten is his relationship with Mourinho: “I had a great relationship with him and I still have. José was able to earn the respect and sympathy of everyone at Inter. I had a relationship with Mourinho that was totally different from that of others. Benitez? It’s not true that I was unhappy because I was not playing, the truth is that I had already made the decision to hang up my boots after 2010. Mourinho really is the ‘Special One’. Many try to imitate him, Conte for example in the way he prepares the games and motivates the players, but saying these things will lessen the magnitude of José, he is out of the ordinary.”

He spoke, then, of the career of Materazzi himself starting from the best season: “In terms of titles, the best is the 2010. We won everything we could win. On a personal level, I think the season that followed the World Cup was exciting for me. You would have thought that after winning a World Cup, a player would rest on his laurels, showing fewer ambitions, but instead I continued to work hard. I was hungry after lifting the Cup in Berlin.”

Another moment of great meaning is linked to the Moratti family: “They have given so much to Inter, participating in the construction of the club and to the winning of the many trophies. Fans should just thank Moratti, Inter as a whole owes much to him.”

Before he started talking about the World Cup, the one which will begin in two days, Materazzi leaves a comment on the new leadership of Roma and those who were his childhood idols: “Pallotta is clear on the organizational and economic situation. When it comes to the sporting area, however, Walter Sabatini is the author of this masterpiece that is the project of Roma: he has done well on the transfer market with limited means. And he was the key to Roma, one of the best sporting directors in the world. My idols? First it was Van Basten, then Maldini and Nesta, undoubtedly the Italian defenders are the strongest ever and I have learned a lot from them.”

He opened the chapter of the World Cup with a prediction, on which, however, Materazzi is cautious: “There are more teams in contention to win the World Cup. Brazil, which has the home advantage on their side, Germany, Argentina, Spain, Uruguay, Colombia and of course Italy. If Gli Azzurri pass the first round they could be in the same situation as in 2006; just need confidence. I know Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia well. Their teams are very strong. Colombia has extraordinary players despite the absence of Falcao, like Jackson Martinez. A phenomenon and then there’s James Rodriguez and Yepes. On the same level as Colombia there’s Belgium, but on paper the most complete team is Uruguay. With phenomena like Cavani and Suarez they will do much harm to the opponent. Returning to Belgium I can say that they are individuality interesting, as Courtois. When you can afford not to call Nainggolan, you understand the actual wealth of talent this team has.”

Belgium is inserted in the same group as Algeria and, being an Algerian newspaper, Le Buteur asked Materazzi if the match between these two teams can be decisive and key to qualification to the knockout stages: “Yes, because they will have all the pressure on them. Algeria is strong and must prove it, maybe attacking on the break, surprising the Red Devils. Beware, it’s not like Algeria have nothing to lose, indeed.”

On the subject of Algeria, it was inevitable to speak of Belfodil and Taïder, the two young Algerian forces at Inter: “I know Ishak well. He has not been lucky this season. He has not been given the chance to show what he’s got. In Parma he was awesome. I remember a match in Naples where he was fantastic. This year, Mazzarri’s way of playing has stopped his growth. The three missed penalties in a friendly? Yes, but on that occasion the thing that impressed me most was his mental strength to go and shoot the other after missing the first. It’s strength of character and it is more important than technique. It’s different for Taïder, because he started well. Then, he felt the backlash of bad results. Mazzarri changed him, he is the kind of coach who does not like to make mistakes. Taïder will have to show a lot of patience.”


By Olof Svensson