Ex-Inter defender Marco Materazzi praises Gianluca Mancini: “He’s like me, not afraid of anyone.”

Andy Mattioli

Former Inter and Italy defender Marco Materazzi gave a lengthy interview to La Gazzetta dello Sport where he discussed in detail his friendship with Roma’s Gianluca Mancini.

Materazzi was interviewed in light of Mancini’s recent impressive exploits including goals to win the Derby della Capitale and secure a win in Roma’s first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals over Milan.

“I don’t text him too often… I don’t think it’s necessary, especially when you have a relationship like ours: solid, full of respect and affection, built over the years. I’m simply happy about the path he’s on: he’s getting what he deserves.”

“Him being unlikeable on the pitch? That’s character, something hard to change. But you mature over time and being able to correct certain mistakes is a sign of intelligence. Don’t talk to me, however, about the flag he waved after winning the derby: that’s a joke that ends there, there’s no point in amplifying that episode. And I would have said the same even if a Lazio player had done it to him.”

“Similarities between him and me?  We both don’t shy away from the moment and are not afraid of anyone. I’m left-footed and he’s right-footed, I’m more technical and he’s faster: let’s say that we would have complemented each other well in a central pairing.”

“With José [Mourinho] he was on the pitch even with one leg and deserved the captain’s armband. He’s the kind of player who will give his all regardless of who’s around him.”

Match Center

MatchDay 36
12 May 20:45