World Cup winner Marco Materazzi has criticised those members of the Italian public who turned against him after the infamous incident with Zinedine Zidane.
Zidane was sent off as a result and Italy went on to win on penalties but Materazzi – who scored Italy’s equaliser in normal time – believes the Frenchman was protected in his own country more than the Italian was in his.
Zinedine Zidane headbutts Marco Materazzi in extra-time of the 2006 World Cup final
The France captain was sent off for the incident and Italy went on to win on penalties
‘Zidane was protected by the French, but I was torn apart by my own countrymen, who I don’t see as real Italians,’ Materazzi said in an Instagram interview with chef and Inter Milan supporter Davide Oldani on Thursday.
‘I am patriotic, I will always defend the colours of Italy. Their criticism is what hurt the most after that World Cup.
‘Those same people should’ve kissed the ground I walked on, seeing as I’d scored the equaliser in the final.’
Materazzi now says he was ‘torn apart’ by Italians following the infamous incident in the final
Zidane had earlier scored a penalty to put France ahead but Materazzi equalised for the Azzurri.
French defender Willy Sagnol admitted this week he didn’t speak to Zidane for two years such was his anger about the sending-off.
Sagnol was left livid as he felt that Zidane’s actions cost France in the World Cup final
‘We did not speak for almost two years,’ as reported by AS.
‘In 2008, after the European Championship, I had to get married. My wife told me to invite him.
‘I called him but he couldn’t come to the party at night, but it made me happy to see him arrive for the morning. We had an aperitif together.’