Former Inter defender Marco Materazzi spoke to former Nerazzurri shot stopper Sebastien Frey on Instagram earlier today, discussing his career and memories related to Inter, with his statement reported in their entirety by Italian media outlet FcInterNews.
The former Inter goalkeeper recalled a story from the Legends Cup 2020 held in Russia, which was won by Materazzi’s International All Stars Team.
“We went to Russia for the Legends Cup. The Russians had been winning for twelve years, you came and said, ‘This is the first time and maybe the last time I’ve been here, but the Russians are not winning this year.
“With three minutes to go before the end of the final you left because you freaked out, you said there was too much injustice. At a certain point there was a forty-minute interruption, the players didn’t want to come back in and until you said ‘come back in’ nobody came back to play. In the end it was played and you won the game.
The 46-year-old Lecce born 2006 FIFA World Cup winning former central defender highlighted how he is not a person that enjoys arguing.
“I don’t fight with anyone, but I hate bullying and those who have to in order to win. In fact, there are few teams I hate in the world, those who bully. We don’t name names, I just say the name of the team I love, Inter.”
He then responded to a fans question asking about a particular rival and his feelings toward them.
“Sportingly I hate Juve, a lot. But only sportingly, because I know them all. But if Inter win, I’m happier.”
Materazzi spoke about how strong the Nerazzurri squad were under former coach Jose Mourinho.
“We were already very strong the first year, then the second year if you think that Lucio, Eto, Milito, Thiago Motta, etc arrived. At a certain point, in the end, with the opponents it seemed like we were throwing down pins.
“Just think of the last three games, all were decisive. Siena, the week before that the Coppa Italia final at the Olimpico with everyone against us. Then Siena and then Madrid. All scored by Milito.”
Materazzi then went on to touch on his relationship with Samuel Eto’o.
“Great, he’s a brother and I’ll thank him for life because he brought me the Champions League, he promised me it and he brought it to me, I love him. Before he came, I sent him a message, I told him ‘come you can win’.”
Materazzi then touched on his relationship with Mourinho.
“What can I say? He was a shield, a father, a brother. One who got angry, gave us some incredible lessons. He knew how to hit the right strings, and in fact, he achieved his goals.
“I stopped playing football with him. I was 37. The relationship I had with him was one of trust and respect. I could play one or twenty games but I knew I always had his esteem.
“I was told that I was angry with what came after him but I wasn’t. I had a great relationship with Mourinho because he was consistent. With the person that came after, I didn’t have a good relationship with him because he wasn’t consistent.”
The 46-year-old spoke about Inter after Mourinho’s departure.
“Difficult, yes, but you have to be smart. I’m not saying a repeat, but if you get close to doing it as Leonardo did, you risk winning the Scudetto and we could have won it if the season started in January with us being 19 points ahead of Milan.
“If we didn’t lose the derby where Pato scored a goal in the beginning of the match, we could have won it. I assure you that Leo copied everything that was done prior to the last six months, that was intelligence.”
He spoke about former Italian defender Daniele Adani.
“One of the few people who makes you fall in love with football. He’s impartial and enjoys it as if he were a child, and there he makes everyone think he’s at the stadium. He knows so much, he’s prepared, he’s one of the few who knows so much.”
Materazzi revealed that there is a WhatsApp group containing both the 2006 World Cup winning squad and the 2010 Inter Treble winning team.
“We have a WhatsApp group from the World Cup and also from the Treble. We’ll get together. We were organizing a Treble game that we can’t do now, but we’re postponing it until October.
“Then we’ll do one with Legends again. This is good because we all meet again, a replay of good games like Inter v Roma or before Inter v Barcelona.”
The 2006 World Cup winner spoke about former Brazil striker Ronaldo.
“I had the great fortune to play with Ronie, even if only for a short time. Then when he came back to AC Milan, he wasn’t the same as before, but he knew that with me he was going easy with the shimmies, I didn’t understand them.
“If you put him next to me when he was well, I’d concede 20 goals. Colonnese gave more assists to Ronie than Ventola, he told me. He swept the ball, it didn’t matter from the right or the left, he’d catch it. Ciccio Colonnese, the backbone of that Inter. I don’t know if you remember him in Paris in the UEFA Cup.”
He touched on the 2006 World Cup final, where he was famously headbutted by French star Zinedine Zidane in extra time.
“The day before I saw them training under water, going at it like robots. I was hoping to finish the game soon, if you remember the 120th minute I swept the last ball out of the stadium.
“I thought let’s go to penalties and see how it ends. France’s penalty in the game wasn’t right? Well, it’s long past now.”
Materazzi highlighted a particular game that he would like to play again.
“May 5th 2002. I’d play that one again. After May 5th, I didn’t go out for weeks. On May 5th, we were leaving the stadium, we were on the bus and Gresko asked, ‘Why are you all angry? Di Biagio looked at him and says, ‘What are you talking about?’ And he said, ‘This is the third time this has happened to me. In one year he had lost the Champions League final, the league title on the last day, the Super Cup in August and the German Cup final. Four out of four.”
He also spoke about former Inter and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.
“Mario is number one, he’s a great guy. It’s that sometimes I had to give something to him, once he arrived with AC Milan socks on and I cut them all up. Once with Barcelona he went crazy and I, well, I told him that I’d beat him. But I love him too much. Mario is not a bad guy, he is a good guy, a big boy.”
The 46-year-old spoke about former Inter and Roma forward Antonio Cassano.
“If we were on social nights, we’d have fun. He’s great too and he’s a great football connoisseur, he knows all the footballers in the world.
“He said I was decisive and the best on the pitch, so I can’t speak ill of someone who has said those things about me and I don’t even know them.”
He touched on a future replacement for Inter captain Samir Handanovic.
“I think there’s still more than a couple of years left. Even 3-4. He’s so strong, he brings home a lot of saves. I like Musso a lot too.”
Finally, Materazzi spoke about Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni.
“I like him so much, he’s mean, he’s got personality and a good future.”