Marco Materazzi was in focus in tonight’s ‘Inter Legends’ on Inter Channel. The unforgettable central defender left Inter at the end of the 2010/2011 season after having won 4 Coppa Italia, 4 Supercoppa Italiana, 5 Scudetti, 1 Champions League and 1 FIFA Club World Cup titles to add to his 2006 World Cup win with Italy. Tonight it was a walk down memory lane for the former Inter number 23 and current Chennaiyin Football Club coach.

IN THE BEGINNING – “If I had started at the top and then gone down it would have been bad. Instead I kept going forward with my legs and with my head. Everything is useful, you can always learn and I did learn from coaches who liked me and wanted me to do well by helping me to grow and I think that I did in the best way. On a personal level the turning point came with Tor di Quinto. There they took me on like a son especially during a difficult time given that I had lost my mother recently. Instead I began my professional career at Trapani.

BASKETBALL – “I think this is a byt of a myth, that basketball is my favorite sport. I played when I was young, but football has always been my greatest passion.”

WALTER NOVELLINO & PERUGIA – “I met him first as an adversary and sparks flew between us but then we realized that we were both cut from the same cloth.. He wanted me at Perugia and I made my Serie A debut in a match against Inter, I didn’t sleep for a week before that match. But I wasn’t prepared to give up my chance and would have eaten grass to play. I was marking Zamorano, I made him feel my presence with some blows. I never want to lose, ever. I had the opportunity to go to Inter the year before, instead of Cirillo but then everything was postponed for one season. However, after having scored 10 goals, it was the ideal moment to move on to a big team.”

2001/2002 SEASON – “We had 4 phenomena in the team and in the beginning Ventola and Kallon ran a lot and helped us a lot. Nobody would have bet an Euro on us to win but we would have deserved that Scudetto. We made ourselves look stupid in the last match however if I today look at Chievo vs Inter that season and the foul on Ronaldo I start to laugh. I could bring up a lot of doubtfull decisions but it’s pointless to go back.”

2003/2004 SEASON – “I remember the goal against Modena, a nice free-kick. These are moments that stay with you.”

BRUNO CIRILLO – “I was suspended for 2 months for that. He made a mistake by saying what he did then in the tunnel it all kicked-off. He wanted to explain himself and then what happened happened. Facchetti saved me, my wife saw what happened at home and called me at once. Giacinto replied and reassured her. I made a mistake but I’ve always been broad shouldered to go forward.”

RETURN AGAINST JUVENTUS – “I have to thank myself as well as Zaccheroni who chose me, despite the great season Adani was having. Juventus were our historic opponents, I had a great desire to apologize by playing a great match. When people believe in you everything is much easier.”

CLOSE TO…MILAN – “I had a chance to sign for Milan before the World Cup, a choice that was dictated by the will not to lose my place in the national team squad and to show my worth. Mihajlovic was a great player but the coach could have made space for both of us. Before Christmas he injured himself, I came on and made a great save. Then I scored twice against Pro Sesto shortly after, before the match against Livorno. I hoped I would play but Mancini chose Mihajlovic again who injured himself. So I came on and scored and we had to clear the air between us. I can’t not remember Oriali here, probably my greatest admirer.”

NATIONAL TEAM – “I think I did everything in this World Cup, good and bad. What’s important is that we won the trophy, scoring twice in the final. There were a couple of decisions against me but generally you can say that the chickens all came home to roost. The goal against France was an unforgettable moment, I thought about my mother who is up in heaven. In the group stages we played against the Czech Republic who used zonal marking, whilst the French didn’t. I jumped and beat Vieira, Cannavaro said he was scared of me [laughs]. We lost Nesta in the beginning so it was up to me. I want to be honest though, I hoped that Nesta would play in the final because he was much better than me and with him on the pitch our chances to win would have been higher. But things ended well nonetheless.”

PENALTIES – “Those who take them are the ones that are sure they will score, I was especially happy about De Rossi’s penalty after being criticized heavily for the sending off against the USA. That made me happier than my own penalty going in.”

2006/2007 SEASON – “The most difficult thing in life is to confirm yourself at the top and the fact that I scored 10 goals during this season represents the fact that I managed to do just that. We had a very physically strong team, maybe the Milan team with the Dutch players was stronger than us from this perspective.”

MILAN-INTER 4-3 – “I scored and showed that shirt for my son, it was a message for his birthday. But in Italy the rules are like this. I took a fine and in the appeal the club lawyer at the time told me not to say that I had something with the Milan fans, but I preferred to be honest also in this circumstance. For ten years they sang ‘Materazzi son of a wh*re’.”

SCUDETTO MATCH VS SIENA – “Penalties are special. If you have the characteristics to take them you don’t miss. I felt calm and serene, I wasn’t worried. In fact we managed to close all discussions regarding the Scudetto at Siena.”

LAZIO-INTER – “I think that in the match on the 5th of May, Lazio’s players did what they should have done. There were a lot of rumors flying about but Lazio played to win. Full stop, there’s nothing more to say. I appreciate honesty a lot.”

2007/2008 SEASON – “Balotelli played a fantastic match against Parma as a right winger but if Ibrahimovic hadn’t come-on we would never have won that match. I say this in all honesty. They paid him for this too, in winning league titles he is the best in the world. It’s another discussion when it comes to the Champions League, we’re still waiting.”

JOSÉ MOURINHO – “I was never a starter under him, and generally the predicted line-ups in the newspapers were different to how it looked on the pitch. With his arrival I knew perfectly well that having reached a certain age, it would have been very difficult to always play. But I really appreciated his honesty, as I did with Zaccheroni, and so in José I found my ideal coach. When you find a person like that, who tells you things clearly, you grow a lot.”

2008/2009 SEASON – “After being eliminated against Manchester United José understood what was missing in order to win. Ibrahimovic left, but in his place great players arrived who did great things with us. Lucio gave us an international dimension, he never made a mistake in big matches, like in the Champions League”.

MADRID – “I didn’t expect to play against Siena, despite Lucio having a tiny injury but Mourinho had faith in me and after the match against Barcelona he told me that I would come on against Bayern Munich. Against Barcelona, Cordoba was selected which was the correct choice. That match didn’t sit my characteristics. I have scored a lot of goals at Inter, which means that obviously I’m not as poor as some people think.”

BICYCLE KICK GOAL – “Against Messina I scored the most beautiful goal I’ve ever scored. We weren’t able to unblock that match then Ibra assisted me.”

MICHAEL JORDAN – “I chose his number, I think he’s the greatest athlete of all time. He wasn’t a big man but he flew. He was hard and tough, he managed to always transfer his force to his team mates.”

THE FAMOUS HUG – “Mourinho represented a lot for me. Benitez never treated me like he did. I think we could have won more together with José.”

RAFAEL BENITEZ – “When he brought on Mariga and not me against Mazembe, that was the end of a series of situations. Benitez decided to bring down the photo of Mourinho lifting the Champions League trophy, a completely wrong move to do when coming into our dressing room.”

SERSE COSMI – “We’re still great friends today.”

DEJAN STANKOVIC – “He is a friend whom I’ve gone through a thousand battles woth, I’m very close to him both in football and in life. I can say the same about Chivu.”

MARCELLO LIPPI – “After the defeat against Iceland he confirmed everything, then we won the World Cup. I have to laigh when I think about all the doubts that were raised about him.”

CALCIOPOLI – “I had seen the events that were never really clear as to why they transpired, then the facts demonstrated that we were right.”

FACCHETTI – “He gave me something important, he always gave me a lot of advice, real advice. He was a simple person.”

REGRETS – “I would like to play that 5th of May match again, but my career hasn’t been a poor one. I have seen worse.”

Source: IC.