It’s pretty well established that Marco Materazzi is an irritant. When the best player in the world would prefer to deck you than stay on the pitch to try to win a World Cup Final, you’ve got to have a pretty special talent for rubbing people up the wrong way. I’ve only ever watched him play in televised matches, but quite how the screen of my aeging Grundig gogglebox has survived the various items I’ve launched at the Italian, I really don’t know. The absence of a plie of bricks next to my sofa perhaps?
Anyway, why is he so annoying? Last week Didier Drogba threw himself theatrically into this series, along with a smorgasbord of expressions likely to get even the calmest of Anglican vicars reaching for their crucafix of wrath. That said though, whilst Drogba is undoubtedly a five star toss-pot, he is a very good footballer, and therefore I’m happy to allow him a small percentage of his sizeable arrogance. The problem we all have with Materazzi is that no-one ever really finishes a rant about him with ‘…but he is one hell of a player’.
Because he isn’t. Actually, it’s common knowledge that if you took away the Italian’s skills as a wind up merchant, and a level of aggression only similar to the rage-monkeys in 28 Days Later, he’d be, well, a bit rubbish. Ok, he’s useful at set-pieces, but so was Ramon Vega.
There are times when he even gets under the skin of his team mates. Zlatan Ibrahimovich, when asked why Inter lost to Liverpool in the Champions League a couple of seasons ago brilliantly replied, ‘Why did we lose? Why don’t you ask Materazzi’. The reporter didn’t need to bother, that said it all.
The level of regard with which he appears to hold himself is therefore unfounded, and therein lies the bugbear most of us share when it comes to Marco Materazzi. He prances about the pitch on the wind-up for 90 minutes, putting in the sort of career-ending mis-timed tackles that would make even Roy Keane wince, and then he has the sheer cheek to go and pick up a World Cup winners medal. It really makes you want to hurt him.
I mean, just look at some of these tackles (Advisory Warning: Mute the video to avoid the crappy Euro-Pop soundtrack the creator of this compilation has inexplicably chosen!)…
Anyway, I’d like to continue this rather therapeutic release of pent-up rage, as it has been far more useful (and less expensive) than throwing bricks at my television. However, I feel that I’ve wandered again into the realms of missing the point of my angry warbling. How smackable is his face? I have fed an image of his mug through the ever-reliable ‘Lee Bowyer Smackablomator’, and it has spat out the following result. I feel it’s let him off lightly. What do you think?