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Dirty Tackle

Marco Materazzi says Rafa Benitez ‘afraid of his own shadow,’ made him toss Mourinho picture

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

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Diego Milito serves as Rafa Benitez's shadow bodyguard. (Getty)

Rafa Benitez's brief stint as Inter manager in 2010 was doomed as soon as his treble-winning predecessor, Jose Mourinho, said that Benitez wouldn't do better than him and that Rafa's trophies belonged to him. This came after reports that Benitez made the club take down pictures of Mourinho, which former Inter defender Marco Materazzi now confirms.

From Goal.com:

"Mourinho was number one. His secret was to make the players feelinvolved in the project," he explained on television program Undici. "In Madrid [during the 2010 Champions League final], he told me that he was leaving. I said to him: 'Damn you for leaving me with Benítez.'" [...]

"I did not get on well with Benitez. He made me remove pictures of the most important moments of my career with Mourinho and [Marcello] Lippi from my locker," he said. "He thought he knew everything, but he was afraid of his own shadow."

Well, Jose Mourinho would argue that it's actually his shadow that Benitez is standing in and afraid of, but Materazzi --- who can be prone to exaggeration -- makes his point. It should also be noted that Materazzi and Mourinho were so close that the two shared a good cry when Mourinho left for Real Madrid, something that probably didn't happen when Benitez was sacked just before Christmas, only six months into his two-year contract.

Related video from Yahoo! Sports: Mourinho warns Champions League rivals

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