Great players come to the fore in crucial times, standing up in games that matter. Marco Materazzi was this kind of player, with his name forever featuring for both Inter and the National Team. The entire world remembers him for the head butt that he received from Zidane and also his goal in the 2006 World Cup final. However for Inter fans, the Matrix’s scrapbook is much more substantial.
One of his best moments came back on 22nd April 2007. Inter triumphed in Siena and became Italian champions for the first time in 18 years (excluding the Italian Championship won by default the year before), despite a whole host of injuries. With Figo, Adriano and Crespo all missing, the match needed a hero and this time it was the turn of Marco Materazzi to score two goals and get the celebrations started. That same season saw the Matrix make a habit of scoring, racking up an impressive tally of 10, which was the same amount scored by Giacinto Facchetti back during the 1966-67 campaign.
With this Nerazzurri double, Materazzi put an end to a five-year nightmare. Back on May 5th 2002, front-runners Inter lost their last game of the season against Lazio and failed to secure the Scudetto. Materazzi featured that day and revealed his disappointment by crying in front of the cameras. However, things came round full circle in 2007, with Inter having already been champions for a month and Materazzi scoring the final goal of an incredible game against Lazio. Celebrating Inter’s 4-3 win, Materazzi turned to the Lazio fans, who he had never forgotten about since that fateful day on the fifth of May. The 2007 Scudetto only triggered further success with Inter. On May 22nd, Mourinho brought Materazzi on for the final two minutes to make history, saying: “You played in a World Cup final, you can now make your mark in tonight’s final”.