Saturday April 4 2020
Materazzi: 'Mourinho a shield, father, brother'

Marco Materazzi describes Inter’s Treble-winning coach Jose Mourinho as “a shield, a friend, a father and a brother. He’d tear us to shreds, too.”

The rapport between the two men remains strong a decade later, and Matrix discussed Mou in an Instagram Live chat with Sebastien Frey.

“Mourinho was a shield, a friend, a father and a brother. He’d tear us to shreds, too, really gave us a dressing down. He knew the right buttons to press and you saw the results.

“I basically stopped playing football with him, as the rapport we had was one of trust and respect. I knew that I might only need to play one game, but he’d respect me just as much.

“Consistency was the most important thing and he was consistent. He did what he said he would. People say I was angry with the one that followed him (Rafa Benitez), but we didn’t get along because he wasn’t consistent.

“It’s difficult to follow Mourinho, but Leonardo was really intelligent in that he basically copied and pasted what Mou had done. Once he arrived, we recovered 19 points from Milan, and if we hadn’t lost the derby in April, we would’ve overtaken them.”

Under Mourinho in 2009-10, Inter won the Scudetto, Champions League and Coppa Italia.

“We had such a strong team in his first season, but then brought in Lucio, Samuel Eto’o, Diego Milito and Thiago Motta. There were 25 players and it didn’t matter who played, we were the same team.

“Eto’o is a brother and I will thank him for the rest of my life. He promised me the Champions League and he kept that promise.”

Materazzi also revealed a much earlier story from worse times for the Nerazzurri, the 4-2 defeat to Lazio that lost them the Scudetto on the final day in May 2002.

Inter had been leading twice only to lose with a couple of howlers from Vratislav Gresko.

“That is the match I’d want to play all over again. We were leaving the stadium, getting on the team bus, when Gresko asked why everyone was angry. Gigi Di Biagio couldn’t believe it, what was he saying? 

“It turns out this was the third time it had happened to Gresko. In one season, he’d lost the title, Champions League Final and German Supercup.”

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