INTERview with the Matrix
After the kind comments recieved by myself, on behalf of Bob as well as Nacka, G.Faccheti and others, I decided to show my appreciation for their appreciation by flying out to Milan and tracking down Marco Materazzi. I found him in 'La Coppola' being served a free pasta dish. He greeted me in a white T-Shirt with silver glittered shirt with the letters 'The Rich' written accros it. I asked him if he had time to catch up as the XT Community wanted to hear his thoughts as he is worshipped around these parts of the net. He told me he adored the support of every Inter fan and that he wanted to stay at Inter so they have nothing to worry about. The guy had tatoos all over his arm and his presence was larger than you'd see on television. However he had the eyes of a man who clearly could not hurt a fly. His injury had sent him to hell and back and I asked about his triumphant return in the unforgettable Milanese derby which saw Andrea Pirlo score a devastating free kick only for Inter to come back and show their superiority:
It was more or less your first game back, what a return!
I didn't expect to be playing. I obviously wanted to be there on the pitch, but Walter Samuel and Ivan Cordoba were doing well. I had hardly played any minutes and was in far from top condition. Life is strange and Walter, who had been in extraordinry form, got injured just as I had returned. There is nothing you can do about destiny.
Did you not put any pressure on Roberto Mancini to start you in the derby?
If I'm honset, I madly wanted to play in Turin against Juventus back in week 11, but I wasn't ready. So I did everything to be there against Milan. The game and our fans didn't disappoint.
What did you do when you were injured? - Do you have a Playstation 3?
Immediately afterwards I handled it very badly. I was in a desparate state at the stadium that day as I thought I wouldn't get the operation in time. I was only a few hours awat from having my career ended. Then once the operation was over, I relaxed and everything got better. I was convinced that I could return earlier than expected and the day after the injury I was already thinking of the road back. I have a certain level of experience that allows me to hand things correctly.
How does this experience help?
You can't let things get you down but you also can't' push things too hard at the start of your recovery. I think that optimism and a general positive attitude can cut your time on the sidelines. We signed hristian Chivu and Samuel was playing like a God, so there was no pressure - Inter were winning without me. It was early in the season and the worst-case senario was that I would be back in mid January.
It seems that your relationship with Mancini has improved a lot. I even saw you speaking to him on one occasion
Now we get on perfectly, but I'll admit that there were mistakes at the start. There was this big problem regarding our jobs. The respect just wasn't there. He had only just arrived and seemed to have a players mentality and perhaps I felt like I could challenge his opinion. Slowly but surely we learnt our roles. I started to appreciate him and discovered what a great Coach he really is. He started to understand who I am, what I do and what I can do. It took some time, but here we are. The results speak for us both.
At this point, our main course had arrived and I thanked the waiter for his outstanding service. Marco just laughed at me. I wasn't sure if I had missed something. I loved Tagliattele con pesto and we both dug in...
...The second half of the INTERview to follow....