France coach Raymond Domenech on Monday stuck the boot in on
stricken Italy international Marco Materazzi after the centre-back
was the victim of another headbutt.
Materazzi, who was famously felled by a Zinedine Zidane headbutt
in last year's World Cup final, was butted again on Sunday by
Sampdoria's Gennaro Delvecchio.
But Domenech told L'Equipe TV that Materazzi "has a habit of
falling over easily" before adding mischievously, "he must have a
The Inter Milan player, who scored Italy's goal in the World Cup
final that saw them win eventually in a penalty shootout, claimed
afterwards that he did not provoke Delvecchio in Sunday's fractious
Serie A match.
Inter maintained their 11-point lead at the top of the table and
extended their record run of consecutive league wins to 14 matches
with a 2-0 victory in Genoa.
But the game swung heavily in Inter's favour in the seventh
minute when Delvecchio was sent off for headbutting Materazzi
squarely on the chin.
Materazzi, who reacted angrily when Delvecchio caught Inter
keeper Julio Cesar with a late challenge, insisted he did nothing
"My reaction was instinctive and all I wanted to do was protect
my keeper," said the 33-year-old who lay on the ground as
Delvecchio was sent off.
"I went over to say to him 'What do you think you're doing'?. He
then pushed me and I didn't go down. Then he headbutted me and I
fell to the ground. He hurt my lip.
"I admit it when I make a mistake, but on this occasion I didn't
do anything wrong."
(China Daily via AFP January 31, 2007)