Legendary former Inter defender Marco Materazzi believes that Roma coach Jose Mourinho is still the same coach he’s always been ahead of the Portuguese manager’s clash with Inter tomorrow.
Speaking to Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview published in today’s print edition, the former defender hailed the understanding of match psychology that Mourinho had while in charge at the Nerazzurri.
Mourinho was only coach at Inter for two seasons, but he left a significant impression at the club.
Materazzi was among the members of the Nerazzurri’s squad to have gained a great admiration for the Portuguese during their time together at the club, and he believes that Mourinho has brought the same qualities to the Giallorossi.
The former defender feels that the first match against the club which he won the European treble will be a very emotional experience for Mourinho.
He began with an anecdote about his time under the Portuguese coach, recalling the Coppa Italia final against Roma.
“Jose was furious because before the match they played the Roma anthem,” he explained, “they were at home, he couldn’t do anything about it, but that was his particular way of encouraging us.”
“Nobody knows how to play on psychology like him,” the former defender added, “and he built a team that was stronger than all opponents.”
Materazzi went on that “He is the same as always, for me he has not changed. Now he is in a different place, it’s not easy to make that change.”
“It is as if he has had a ‘reset’ in his career and it is clear that, apart from this match where we are opponents, we will always cheer for him at least a bit,” he went on.
He explained that “In his heart there only Roma, as is only right. He is an employee of the club, a professional, and he will want to win.”
“He will experience the same thing that all Inter fans feel,” he added, “love and memories until the first whistle, then it will be battle.”
Materazzi also had another anecdote about his time under the Portuguese coach, recalling that “We were playing against Lazio just three days before the final of the Coppa Italia against Roma.”
“The game is in control and I am on the bench, then Jose turns around and says these exact words to me: ‘You want to play from the beginning on Wednesday?'”
“It was out of nowhere!” he explained, “who else would have said it at that moment? It surprised me, but it made me very happy. This exemplifies a lot about the relationship he was able to have with his players.”