Materazzi: Benitez is nothing like Mourinho

Former Inter defender Marco Materazzi has revealed that he was devastated when Jose Mourinho left the San Siro and was replaced by Rafa Benitez.

Football News: Jose Mourinho

By staff

Materazzi revealed that Mourinho's departure from the Italian side after their treble-winning season left him saddened - as was witnessed on video when the two were caught crying in each other's embrace the night Mourinho left the club - and that the situation was exacerbated by the fact that Benitez was the manager to replace the Portuguese.

The 2010 World Cup winner praised the Portuguese's way of dealing with players while criticising Benitez's management style.

"Mourinho was number one. His secret was to make the players feel involved in the project," he explained on television programme Undici.

"In Madrid [during the 2010 Champions League final], he told me that he was leaving. I said to him: 'Damn you for leaving me with Benitez.'

"I did not get on well with Benitez. He made me remove pictures of the most important moments of my career with Mourinho and [Marcello] Lippi from my locker.

"He thought he knew everything, but he was afraid of his own shadow."

When asked to pick the best eleven players he has played with or against, Materazzi surprisingly included Zinedine Zidane, who was famously sent off after he headbutted Materazzi in the 2010 World Cup Final, in the list.

"Julio Cesar, Maicon, [Fabio] Cannavaro, Materazzi and [Christian]Chivu in defence," he added.

"[Gennaro] Gattuso, [Dejan] Stankovic and [Daniele] De Rossi in midfield, with [Antonio] Cassano, Zidane and [Samuel] Eto'o up front.

"Why Zidane? He has a place in my heart. He made me win a World Cup."

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