Thursday December 9 2010
Materazzi: 'Zidane, Ibra, Balo and me'

Marco Materazzi reveals he nearly joined Milan, blasts Roberto Mancini, Zinedine Zidane, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and “threw a shoe at Mario Balotelli.”

The Nerazzurri and Italy veteran gave a sweeping interview on the last few often controversial years of his career.

“It's true that in 2005-06 I was very close to joining Milan,” he told Mediaset Premium.

“Mancini wanted me to go. Villarreal were also interested, while the most important thing for me was playing so I'd have a chance to go to the World Cup.

“I have no problems admitting that I was very close to signing for Milan, but then I talked to Marcello Lippi who told me not to worry, that I'd have a place in the 23 anyway and that meeting made my career.”

Matrix was crucial to Italy's victory in the World Cup, even though he was involved in that infamous altercation with Zidane. The men met again in Milan last month and he reveals what happened.

“Zidane was parking his car next to mine and I took the opportunity to tell him some things, which remain between us. Let's say I was the one to talk more and when at the end he held out his hand, I gripped it and would not let go until he looked me in the face.

“That was what I wanted. It was good for me; I don't know how he felt about it.”

Materazzi also famously had a fight with teammate Balotelli when the now-Manchester City striker threw his shirt to the ground after the Champions League semi-final with Barcelona.

“Mario got a slap and a shoe in the face. But when he had his operation I was in hospital at midnight to keep him company and get snacks from the machine.

“As for Ibrahimovic, the truth is that Inter ought to thank him. If we had faced Barcelona a year ago with him in the side, perhaps we wouldn't have been able to eliminate them and therefore wouldn't have won the Champions League.”

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with