Marco Materazzi has given a damning assessment of under-fire Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez.
The Italian World Cup winner spent half a season under Benitez at Inter in 2010 and Materazzi believes the Spaniard does not have the courage for a club of the magnitude of Real Madrid.
“Benitez was afraid of his own shadow. He was jealous of the memory of [Jose] Mourinho,” Materazzi told La Repubblica.
“I had a booth with photos of my successes and Benitez forced me to take them down.
“After we won the [2010 Champions League] final at the Bernabeu, I said to Mou, ‘You’re an a**hole, you’ll leave us with Benitez. I will never forgive you.'”
Benitez did not last long at the club, losing his job in December, just over six months after taking over.
“When Leonardo [came in], a smart coach, we were 16 points behind first place and we still managed to win another Scudetto,” Materazzi said in summing up Benitez’s reign.
Materazzi said there was simply no comparing Mourinho and Benitez.
“Mou remains the world’s best. The crisis of the third year is nonsense,” Materazzi said.
“At Porto, he won the Champions League in his third season, the first time at Chelsea he was fired in September, which was too soon and with Real Madrid he reached a Champions League semi-final and the Copa del Rey final.
“If he had started [at Inter], we would have won everything; the league, the Europeans Super Cup and with the Champions League you never know.”