Thursday March 19 2020
Materazzi: 'Italy bullied Germany in 2006'

Italy’s 2006 World Cup games were repeated last week to boost morale and Marco Materazzi watched all of them. “We played better than I remembered! We bullied Germany on their turf.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, all of Italy is in lockdown and there are no sporting events, so Sky Sport Italia have been filling the schedules with repeats of all the 2006 World Cup matches.

They achieved surprisingly high viewing figures and one of them was star defender Materazzi.

“I watched them all back. I have to say, we played better than I remembered!” Matrix told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The semi-final and Final were really excellent performances. I played better in the semi-final with Germany. At times, I went a bit too far out of position, but Fabio Cannavaro and Gigi Buffon were behind me, so I could’ve gone for a coffee if I wanted to!

“At that time, we really proved that sport can genuinely unite a country. After all, at the time we were coming off a bit of a stormy period in our history.

“It reminds me a little of the current climate, as those who derided us a few days ago – see, France – have changed their tune.”

Italy beat France on penalties in the Final after a 1-1 draw, but it was the 2-0 victory in extra time over Germany that is most fondly remembered by fans.

“We were really nasty with the Germans, we bullied them on their own turf. That was immensely satisfying for us. I think that was the real Final of the tournament, the game of games,” continued Materazzi.

“Andrea Pirlo’s pass to Fabio Grosso was pure poetry. Nobody could’ve even thought of such a pass, only him.”