Inter Milan’s triumphant win over Barcelona is being overshadowed by reports that Italy international Marco Materazzi attacked fellow compatriot Mario Balotelli in the tunnel as they made their way back to the dressing room.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic who supposedly saw the tussle said that it was like nothing he had seen before. Balotelli who has struggled to gain the acceptance of the Inter fans had a less than warm reception when he was substituted late in the match. To make it even worse for Super Mario, his every touch of the ball was received by jeers.
Balotelli threw off his shirt and gave Inter fans the middle finger after the final whistle and it was these actions that did not go done well with both the players and his coach.
“I saw that Materazzi was attacking him in the players’ tunnel and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Ibrahimovic told RAI. “If I were him, I’d have left Mario alone, but Materazzi was attacking him and I was stunned. If Materazzi had attacked me like that, I would’ve decked him in a second!
“Materazzi was causing all sorts of trouble and in the Barcelona locker room we were amazed, all talking about it. A player should be proud after a win, not chase down a 20-year-old to berate him.”
Even Inter skipper, Zanetti was not amused with Balotelli’s actions. ”I am disappointed that a celebration was ruined with something like this. If the fans whistle at him he’s got to understand that it could depend on a lot of different things. We’ve always stood by him.”
The ramifications of Balotelli will only become clear in the preceding days. Inter CEO Ernesto Paolillo said that the club will be taking action against Balotelli. Not one to mince his words, Paolillo aid that Super Mario will indeed be punished for his gestures.
I do not know how long Inter will keep up with this love/hate relationship, but i know i speak for a majority when i say that Balotelli will have to get rid of his attitude if he wants to cement his place as one of Inter’s stars.
Photo credit: from galeria_futbolera