'If Mourinho had to go to war, I'd be the first person he'd bring'

Lucio Brazil

Former Inter stopper Lucio has seen fit to remind to the world of his relationship with Jose Mourinho in response to Marco Materazzi.

Materazzi has long been a controversial figure - known best for being head butted to the floor by Zinedine Zidane in the World Cup 2006 final after allegedly insulting the Frenchman’s family.

Near the end of January the man known as ‘Matrix’ denounced ex-Nerazzurri boss Rafael Benitez, singling him out as a “weak” character, leveling further criticism after the now-Napoli coach’s side fell 3-0 to Atalanta just over a fortnight ago.

And the retired defender didn’t stop there, suggesting his one-time team-mate Lucio should hang up his boots instead of prolonging his playing days back in Brazil, adding in a jibe referencing a supposed incident with Mourinho in the 2010 Champions League final.

Lucio - seeing out his career with Palmeiras - has now had his say, clearly not having taken kindly to the Italian’s words.

“It’s difficult to talk about Materazzi,” he said. “Because I arrived in Italy in 2009 and the last time I saw him play well was 2006.

“Perhaps it hurts him that before I arrived he’d never got past the Champions League round of 16.”

Materazzi had claimed that Mourinho had threatened his fellow centre-back during proceedings in Madrid four years ago, but Lucio has responded by noting the esteem the Portuguese held him in.

And the former Brazil international went a step further as well - questioning Materazzi’s character both on and off the pitch.

“I always had an excellent rapport with Mourinho,” he continued. “In fact, he once said that if he had to go to war, I’d be the first person he’d bring with him.

“Materazzi is a bit repressed, but on the pitch he was very nasty as he went in to hurt his opponents.

“I played alongside him and heard him say he played to hurt the opposition.

“Now he behaves the same way off the field, as a nasty person.”

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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