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Benitez: Materazzi ‘lies’ will not discredit me

Italy's Marco Materazzi protests to the referee after he was headbutted by France's Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final. Photo: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Italy's Marco Materazzi protests to the referee after he was headbutted by France's Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final. Photo: Tony Marshall/EMPICS

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
7:20 AM

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez believes that Marco Materazzi’s criticism of him will not undermine his time at Stamford Bridge.

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The defender, who was on the end of Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt in the 2006 World Cup final and hung up his boots in 2011, hit out at Chelsea’s under-fire interim manager. describing life under Benitez at Inter as like “being back at school”.

Materatzzi also suggested the coach had been lined-up as Jose Mourinho’s successor while the Portuguese was in position and had told him to take down photographs in his locker of his former coaches.

“I was very clear [when I said he was a liar],” Benitez said. “In Italy, everybody knows him and at Inter everybody knows him.

“What he told Mourinho is not true. Nobody knew that Mourinho was leaving and nobody was talking about Inter.

“It’s a lie. The other one about the pictures. I didn’t know where he was in his locker room. It’s a lie. He’s still repeating these lies.”

He added: “He can’t discredit anyone because everybody knows him.

“He doesn’t know anything so forget about him.

“Keep talking about Chelsea – we are wasting time. It’s a lie. It is simple.

Benitez has kept quiet about his relationship with the defender but was not going to have his reputation sullied by claims, the Spaniard insists, are not true.

“I wanted to be professional and to respect people,” he explained.

“I was talking with members of his family and they told me that you need to understand him.

“I tried to be nice and professional as a person to respect him but I think he’s a liar. I will not talk too much about him. Everybody knows him there.”

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