The defender moved to Goodison Park after helping Perugia bounce back into Italy's top flight at the first attempt following relegation – scoring 5 goals in 33 appearances – and made a lasting impression with Evertonians.
Materazzi, then 25, scored the winning goal and was sent off in only his eighth game, against Huddersfield, then saw red twice more that season before returning to Perugia. However, he maintains that the last of those dismissals – in the last of his 33 Everton games – was an injustice.
“You must always evaluate how the red cards came about. I remember one, against [Coventry's] Darren Huckerby – there was a picture of me crying by the advertising boards. That red card, in my opinion, was completely wrong. But you know how it works in England – when it's a red, it's a red. There is no excuse. It taught me something.”
“I learned what it means to be a stranger in a new country [at Everton],” he says. “When foreign players come to Italy, they say they need time. It was good to try that experience and it helped me.
“For a guy who goes to England, then returns home as he wants to represent his country – because in those years, you wouldn't play for Italy if you weren't in Serie A – imagine what pushed me to come back: the Azzurri dream.”
» Read the full article at FourFourTwo
Reader Comments (29)
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1 Posted 23/07/2020 at 10:52:16
I thought Steve Bickerton's report (remember him?) was particularly animated. The whole match was littered with refereeing errors, and Marco really got shafted.
2 Posted 23/07/2020 at 12:34:21
3 Posted 23/07/2020 at 12:54:52
The second goal by Super Kev was especially nice to see again. The determination to finish at close quarters under almost blanket defending.
Game sounds really exciting... maybe it was hearing a real crowd!
4 Posted 23/07/2020 at 18:50:03
I'm pleased Dave Watson got the retaliation in first on Huckerby the previous season.
5 Posted 23/07/2020 at 19:03:21
I think he would have made a great CB if he'd stayed, as he showed in the World Cup a few years later.
6 Posted 23/07/2020 at 19:09:32
I wonder if pass completion % was a big thing back then? Players seem more interested in this than actually winning a game!
Marco Materazzi was very unlucky with that red. Huckerby should've got an Oscar for that dive!
7 Posted 23/07/2020 at 19:58:38
Everton seemed like home for both but that a familiar tale, taking in strays who need rehabilitation.
8 Posted 23/07/2020 at 20:08:24
9 Posted 23/07/2020 at 20:10:39
I can barely remember a game that happened a month ago but I remember that vividly. Terrible dive by Huckerby. If Pires, Ginola etc had done that...
Materazzi was a fine centre half. A bit raw back then but had a very good career, of course picking up a World Cup winners medal. Dacourt was also a good signing that same year (I think). A shame we only hung on to both for a year.
10 Posted 23/07/2020 at 20:42:22
11 Posted 23/07/2020 at 21:14:40
Funny thing too: both Bilic and Materazzi were portrayed as World Cup villains for dastardly deeds against France in getting Laurent Blanc sent off (Bilic, fake head butt dive in 98 semi-final) and Materazzi (actual headbutt from Zidane in 2006).
I thought the 2006 World Cup final summed up Materazzi perfectly, his brilliance and his dark side, he was a hero but also a villain, always somehow at the centre of attention though.
12 Posted 23/07/2020 at 21:50:27
13 Posted 23/07/2020 at 22:24:24
14 Posted 23/07/2020 at 22:53:16
Shoot and Match were the go-to for transfer rumours back then. They were never true, although after about 6 years of transfer exclusives, Pat Nevin did join Everton.
15 Posted 23/07/2020 at 22:57:24
I was up in the North-East at the time and got to see him first hand at Newcastle. I was deeply underwhelmed. He got two yellows and both could have been red. He couldn't stay on his feet, every challenge was on a knife-edge. He was all over the place.
Materazzi was so similar, just zero discipline and thought everything could be done with brut force. Of course, the charismatic force of personality was there but actually I never rated either because both lacked judgment.
Fast forward 20 years later and their reincarnation appeared; Funes Mori. Lots of personality but ultimately an over physical defender who lacked a brain.
All three in retrospect benefited from their personality but, laid bare, I'm not sure they were very good?!
16 Posted 23/07/2020 at 23:01:28
I have had a profound dislike for Rush because of it. He joined Newcastle and got the winner at the Gwladys Street end in the FA Cup I think. Listen closely I'm the one behind the goal giving him dog's abuse. Some along the lines of â€˜yer big red-nosed twat' and so on.
Absolutely abhor him.
17 Posted 23/07/2020 at 23:15:55
From a kid, I used to spend every single day thinking about which players we could sign to improve. As a 13-year-old I even considered writing a letter to Howard Kendall (2nd time round) on what players could sign lol. I thought every Evertonian did that but judging by some responses on TW to player links I'm not sure that is the case at least not to the same level.
I actually had high hopes that summer, as I'm sure most Evertonian's did when we bought Materazzi, Dacourt, Collins and Unsworth. Was pretty gutted when the bottom fell out of it when we had to sell Dunc etc cos Peter Johnson lost a load of money on his failed oven chip venture.
18 Posted 23/07/2020 at 23:33:26
I could then add you to my list of World's Funniest Epitaphs, which includes "Here Lies an Atheist: All Dressed Up and No Place to Go", "We Finally Found a Place to Park in Georgetown", "Damn It's Dark Down Here", and Mel Blanc's tombstone, "That's All Folks!"
19 Posted 23/07/2020 at 23:45:35
Sam & Gavin. I'm delighted to have found you. Both as tragically sad as I am.
20 Posted 24/07/2020 at 03:43:10
You're absolutely right. I forgot about Fumes Mori but he was cut from the same cloth. Yeah, I was excited about Bilic too even though he was bizarrely signed in that period “between managersâ€. He pissed me off after missing all year at Everton then playing for Croatia. Then he retired at Everton and suddenly came back at Hadjuk Split!
On Rush, yeah I hated him. As a man, I always preferred John Aldridge though I met his Dad once and he spent an hour lamenting the fact his son was never as good as “Rushieâ€.
21 Posted 24/07/2020 at 03:49:56
I DID write Howard Kendall II a letter urging him to sign Tony Philliskirk from Bolton and Czech Republic player Ivan Hazel. Howard, wisely, didn't follow my advice or personally reply but someone at Everton sent me a signed photo of Kevin Ratcliffe, and weirdly a photo copy of an autographed picture of Graeme Sharp. That was the end of my scouting career.
22 Posted 24/07/2020 at 06:24:24
23 Posted 24/07/2020 at 07:56:43
24 Posted 24/07/2020 at 22:45:29
Steve â€“ Yes, Bakayoko sounded decent at the time. Wasn't he meant to be the next George Weah?! â€“ lol!
I remember the season had started when we bought him cos I remember reading the newspaper when I was back at university. He was useless. I think I saw his first goal at Goodison against Saints.
25 Posted 24/07/2020 at 22:53:32
Next season, he joined us. I remember telling all the kopites he was going to win us the league. Oh how they laughed! Oh how I cried! Still hurts now!
26 Posted 24/07/2020 at 23:30:18
I was at that game too, behind the goal. When he scored, there was a loud cheer followed by what seemed like an even louder shout from an old guy of “About bloody time!â€
Bakayoko was kind of a smaller Paulo Wanchope only Wanchope's mazy seemingly uncontrolled runs resulted in goals.
27 Posted 25/07/2020 at 00:08:47
28 Posted 01/08/2020 at 10:12:13
Over 10 years ago, I met Rush in Singapore, and asked him if he was aware of the interest in him at the time, and he said he was. I then asked the hypothetical question if Lee had signed both, would he have struck up a good partnership with Sharpy?
His reply was short. "You can never tell." He paused. "But we'd have won everything".
29 Posted 01/08/2020 at 10:32:13
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