Marco Materazzi: Mr Marmite, himself.
Just about everyone remembers Marco Materazzi for being the man who was on the receiving end of Zinedine Zidane’s shiny bald head in the 2006 World Cup final.
(if you haven’t seen that iconic moment, then where on earth have you been?)
However, far fewer people will recall that Materazzi actually turned out for the Toffees, once upon a time.
Yep, that’s right. Before the days of dominating Italian and world football – as well as getting the biggest nibble ever from one of the greatest of all time, Monsieur Zidane – Goodison Park was the temporary bastion of our man in question, between 1998 and 1999.
What’s more surprising than that though was how poor he was in comparison to his future self. The Italian made just 27 Premier League appearances for the Blues but somehow managed to get himself sent off four times in the process.
We say “somehow” as if we don’t know, but of course, we all do. There’s a reason why Zidane threw that hammer blast of a headbutt his way, and that was because Materazzi was a man who seemed to be more focused on provoking the opposition than actually producing the footballing goods.
(this’ll give you some indication as to the type of player he was)
Now, it might be a little harsh to criticise a player for their performances during the formative parts of their career. After all, it wasn’t until years later, when he joined Inter, that Materazzi became the terminator defender we all knew him as in his prime. And in fairness, he was an immensely popular character on and off the field, presumably for being the type of player that he was – a nightmare.
But at the end of the day, we simply didn’t see the best of Materazzi in the 12 months he spent wearing an Everton shirt.
Everton fans, what are your standout memories of Materazzi? How would you rate his time at the club? Let us know in the comments below…
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