Materazzi is tall and uses his body to play as a tough and hard working defender. Known mostly for his aggressive playing taste, Marco Materazzi was a late bloomer. He is known for scoring a good deal of goals despite being a defender and is a regular penalty and free of charge-kick taker. His nickname amongst his team mates is ‘The Matrix’ due to his ‘complicated’ mind. Materazzi is married to Daniela and they have 3 children: 2 boys, Gianmarco and Davide, and a girl, Anna.
Background and Club
Materazzi was born in Lecce, where his father Giuseppe Materazzi was playing for local side US Lecce. His birthdate, 19 October 1973, forms part of the prominent tattoo on his forearm with the word LION and XIX VIII MCMLXXIII – his birthdate in Roman numerals. Materazzi’s father Giuseppe was also a former football coach and manager of Pisa Calcio, S.S. Lazio, A.S. Bari, Calcio Padova, Brescia Calcio, Piacenza Calcio, Sporting Clube de Portugal and Tianjin Teda. Materazzi was a fan of S.S. Lazio in his childhood, during his father’s stint as SS Lazio manager in the late 1980s.
He moved his first football steps playing for Messina youth team from 1990-1991. He spent his early career in the lower divisions of Italian football, with amateur side Tor di Quinto (1991-92), Serie C2 team S.C. Marsala 1912 (1993-94), and Serie C1’s A.S. Trapani (1994-95), where he narrowly missed a historical promotion to Serie B for his side, losing promotion playoffs to S.S. Gualdo, then coached by Walter Novellino. A.C. Perugia, then in Serie B and coached by Novellino, signed Materazzi for the first time in 1995, but spent a part of the 1996-97 season at Serie C’s Carpi F.C. 1909, before coming back to Perugia.
Materazzi then spent 1998-99 with Everton (where he was sent off four times in just 27 games), before another stint with Perugia, now in the Serie C1. He scored 12 goals in the 2000-01 season, breaking Daniel Passarella’s Serie A list of most goals by a defender in one season. He was then signed by Inter for â‚¬10m.
At Perugia, he was known for his accurate left-footed free kicks, but with so several good free kick takers at Inter, he rarely becomes a chance to take one. Materazzi also excels in long passes to forwards. Materazzi is a significant part of the Inter defence and a key figure for them on the pitch. With Inter, he has won two Serie A titles in 2006 and 2007, two Coppa Italia, and two Italian Supercups. He has recently been provided with the opportunity to captain the side in occasion of Javier Zanetti’s injury.
Today he is regarded as one of most aggressive central defenders in the world. He signed a contract extension in summer 2006, extending the relation with club from 2009 to 2010. Materazzi finished the 2006-07 season as the top scoring defender of Serie A with 10 goals.
Materazzi earned his first cap for Italy in a 2001 match against South Africa. Since then Materazzi has competed in three major tournaments: the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2004, and the 2006 World Cup. He has twice aided as team captain, in friendlies against Finland in November 2004 and Iceland in March 2005, respectively.
2006 World Cup
Materazzi was a member of the Italian national team that won the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Materazzi started the tournament on the bench, but an injury to Alessandro Nesta allowed him to play a a lot more important role.
He came as a substitute for Nesta in Italy’s game against the Czech Republic and scored the first goal of the game with a towering header after a corner kick. He dedicated the goal to midfielder Daniele De Rossi, who had been sent off in the previous match for an elbow, described by Materazzi as a mistake. In the following match, the second round tie against Australia, he received a controversial straight red card and was suspended for the next match.
He also featured prominently in Italy’s World Cup Final game against France, first conceding the penalty that put France ahead, then scoring a headed equaliser from a Pirlo corner kick. Later in the game he was involved in an off-the-ball incident; he was headbutted in the chest by Zinedine Zidane. Zidane refused to confirm if Materazzi’s insults were of racist or religion nature but he alluded that Materazzi made reference to his sister. The official FIFA investigation fined Materazzi CHF 5,000 and suspended him for two matches, while Zidane was fined CHF 7,500 and suspended for three matches. On September 5 Materazzi admitted that he did indeed insult Zidane’s sister. In an interview with Materazzi, he revealed the comment he made to Zidane. “I replied to Zidane that I would prefer his sister, that is true. I brought up his sister and that wasn’t a nice thing, that is true”. Furthermore, Materazzi claimed that he did not even know Zidane had a sister. Some time later, Materazzi made a public statement of inviting Zidane to his home for a dinner between peers, as an effort to bury the hatchet. He jocularly added that his only condition was that Zidane make good on his offer of the jersey. In August 2007 Materazzi confessed in “Sorrisi e Canzoni” that he indeed referred to Zidane’s sister as a prostitute.
Materazzi went on to score Italy’s second penalty in the shoot-out, which Italy won 5-3, to win the FIFA World Cup. By scoring two goals for Italy, Materazzi became top team goalscorer alongside with Luca Toni. Materazzi acquired a long lasting reminder of the World Cup campaign: a World Cup trophy tattoo inked onto his left thigh. Several months after the World Cup final Materazzi showed up in a Nike commercial based on what happened between him and Zidane.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 22 June 2006 Hamburg, Germany Czech Republic 2-0 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup
2. 9 July 2006 Berlin, Germany France 1-1(AET), 5-3(PSO) Win 2006 FIFA World Cup
og. 15 November 2006 Bergamo, Italy Turkey 1-1 Draw Friendly
Materazzi is not included in the computer games FIFA 06 or FIFA 07; however, he can be accessed as he is renamed “Valerio Bernardi” in the game’s player-edit option. The reason being is because Materazzi is not a registered member of FIFPro (Federation of International Football Players), therefore EA is not legally allowed to show Materazzi in the game. In FIFA 08, the latest installment in the series, Materazzi is no longer addressed under a false name.
|Date of Birth||19 August 1973|
|Place of Birth||Lecce, Italy|