Rafael Benitez has branded Marco Materazzi a liar after the defender described the Spaniard’s tenure at Inter Milan as like ‘being back at school’.
The Chelsea interim boss endured an ill-fated six-month spell at San Siro, winning just 12 of his 25 games in charge after Jose Mourinho, who guided Inter to the Champions League the season before, left to take charge of Real Madrid.
Benitez is claimed to have been approached to replace Mourinho before the Portuguese had left the club – an accusation that has been vehemently denied.
“He’s lying,” Benitez told reporters.
“Marco Materazzi is lying. He’s lying, just lying. Everything that he said is a lie. Simple. When he was talking with Mourinho it’s a lie, because nobody knew I was going to Inter, even me. It’s a lie.”
Materazzi also insisted that, once appointed, the new manager ordered the defender to remove of all pictures of former Inter managers from his personal locker – a claim Benitez also denies.
He continued: “About the pictures, it’s a lie. So he’s a liar.”
Benitez has been similarly unpopular among fans at Chelsea after being appointed the successor to club favourite Roberto Di Matteo following the Italian’s shock sacking in November.