Sunday March 17 2019
Materazzi: 'Inter need suit of armour'

Marco Materazzi gave his views on the Milan Derby, the Mauro Icardi situation and why Beppe Marotta is “not used to” dealing with refereeing controversy.

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“The Nerazzurri jersey is like a suit of armour. In these situations, the squad has to stick together,” Matrix told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“If you are not standing side by side, the Milanisti will come and tear you to shreds. They’ve got a real pitbull on the bench like Gennaro Gattuso, but I mean that in a good way. I always cheer on Gattuso, but not today…”

Inter are forging another new era under director Beppe Marotta, who had helped start the cycle of success at Juventus.

“The club has gone through a few different hands and it’ll take a little time for the new leaders to study and take action. Marotta inherited bits and pieces from different plans and is trying to put the puzzle together.

“Inter have chosen one of the best directors in Italy with Marotta and his history speaks for itself.”

Naturally, Materazzi also aimed a sideswipe at rivals Juve when it came to refereeing controversy and that inexplicable late penalty awarded in a 3-3 draw with Fiorentina.

“I tried putting myself in Marotta’s shoes at the 94th minute of Fiorentina-Inter and I had to smile, because I don’t think he was used to it. That is part of the Inter history, you learn to swallow a lot of unpleasantness.”

The biggest task Marotta has had to deal with is Icardi, as the striker has not even trained with his teammates since he was stripped of the captaincy on February 13.

This is officially due to a knee injury, but intensive negotiations and an all-clear from the club doctor points to considerably more.

“I can’t really get into it too much, because I don’t know the dynamics of what happened. However, for the good of Inter, for what Icardi has done for the club and putting aside everything that has happened, I’d like to see him return, score and take Inter back to where they belong,” said Materazzi.

“I don’t think it’s ever too late to clear the air. We mustn’t carry bitterness, nor live in the past. I tried to leave my problems at home and I still do.

“On the other hand, I do understand that (Icardi’s wife and agent) Wanda has to do her job.”

The captain’s armband has been given to goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, although Andrea Ranocchia has taken on the role of unofficial dressing room captain.

“Handanovic doesn’t talk much, but his teammates do listen to him. The armband is just a piece of cloth, as the real one is given to you by the players if you are a leader.

“Ranocchia cares, he always has a word for his teammates and is ready when needed, despite being insulted so much over the years. He deserves credit for that, even if he’s not exactly Cristiano Ronaldo quality.”

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