An Italian World Cup winner reveals he got into a fight with Mario Balotelli during his time at Inter Milan, and insists the striker deserved the 'beating'.
Balotelli had a bit of bad boy reputation in the past and was also pictured in altercations with former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and defender Jerome Boateng.
Marco Materazzi has now revealed that he gave the Italian striker a beating for something he should not have done.
“I gave him a good beating, it’s true. I love Mario, but he really deserved it that day. We’ve become friends again now, practically brothers, but he did something that day that he really should not have done," Materazzi said on Instagram live, as per the Sun.
“Throwing his shirt to the ground after the final whistle wasn’t even the worst of it. Before the game, on the team bus, he told us: ‘Today I’m going to play badly,’ so I promised to make him pay if he did.
“When he came off the bench, he tried a shot from midfield rather than go on the counter. Diego Milito wanted to kill him. We believed in Mario, he scored many goals and contributed to the victory, but a week after that, I asked Mourinho to put me against Balotelli in the training ground games between ranks. After a few seconds, I’d send him back to the dressing room.
“I really loved his father, as after a game with Rubin Kazan he told Mario: ‘I didn’t like your performance, you have to play more for your teammates. And stop going around with girls!’ What an idol.”
What did you make of Balotelli's antics in his younger days? Have your say in the comment section below.