‘I gave him a good beating… he really deserved it that day’: Marco Materazzi admits he brawled with controversial Inter Milan team-mate Mario Balotelli after infamous Champions League semi-final meltdown in 2010
- Inter Milan won the Champions League in 2010, first beating Barcelona in semis
- They won first leg 3-1 but it is better remembered for Mario Balotelli’s meltdown
- He threw his shirt to floor at full-time and was chased away by Marco Materazzi
- Materazzi has now revealed he ‘gave Balotelli a good beating’ in dressing room
Marco Materazzi has lifted the lid on the infamous 2010 Champions League semi-final incident which saw him brawl with his controversial team-mate Mario Balotelli.
The pair were at Inter Milan together playing under Jose Mourinho, and Balotelli caused anger among his own fans when he threw down his shirt at full-time after putting in a half-hearted performance off the bench.
Materazzi, a no-nonsense World Cup-winning defender with Italy, has now opened up on the incident and how he chased Balotelli into the dressing room and pinned him against the wall.
Mario Balotelli caused fury among his own fans and team-mates when he threw away his shirt
Balotelli stormed back to the dressing room, where Marco Materazzi pinned him to the wall
‘I gave him a good beating, it’s true,’ he said in an Instagram Live chat. ‘I love Mario, but he really deserved it that day. We’ve become friends again now, practically brothers, but he did something that day that he really should not have done.
‘Throwing his shirt to the ground after the final whistle wasn’t even the worst of it. Before the game, on the team bus, he told us: “Today I’m going to play badly,” so I promised to make him pay if he did.
‘When he came off the bench, he tried a shot from midfield rather than go on the counter. Diego Milito wanted to kill him. We believed in Mario, he scored many goals and contributed to the victory, but a week after that, I asked Mourinho to put me against Balotelli in the training ground games between ranks. After a few seconds, I’d send him back to the dressing room.
Controversial striker Balotelli ‘deserved a beating’ according to his then team-mate Materazzi
‘I really loved his father, as after a game with Rubin Kazan he told Mario: “I didn’t like your performance, you have to play more for your team-mates. And stop going around with girls!” What an idol.’
Despite Balotelli’s misdemeanour, Inter Milan went on to win the Champions League that season, beating Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Bernabeu.
In fact, Inter won the treble that season in one of Mourinho’s finest seasons – before he moved on to pastures new.
Materazzi (left) was a no-nonsense defender and Balotelli felt his full wrath back in 2010
Materazzi has heaped praise on Jose Mourinho and says he hopes he finds success at Spurs
Now at Tottenham, the Portuguese has struggled to find instant success, but Materazzi is hoping he returns to his best soon.
‘Nobody can match Mourinho when it comes to creating that empathic connection with players,’ he noted. ‘Plus, he’s a smartass.
‘He has struggled to win recently, because he was successful at Manchester United. Tottenham have a young and strong squad, so I hope he can get back to winning ways.’