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Everton Past Player Profile
Central Defender

Born Lecce (Italy), 19 August 1973
Height 6' - 3" (190 cm)
Joined Everton from Perugia (Ita) in July 1998 (£2,800,000)
Debut v Aston Villa (h), 15 August 1998
Nicknames Mazza, Mazeratti, Ferrari, Bugatti
Left Everton for Perugia (Ita) in July 1999 (£3,000,000)
Finale v Coventry City (h), 11 April 1999
Seasons Club Apps Gls
1993-1994 Marsala (Serie CND) 25 4
1994-1995 Trapani (Serie C1) 13 2
1995-1996 Perugia (Serie B) 1 -
1996-1997 Perugia (Serie A) 14 2
1996-1997 Carpi (Serie C1) 18 -
1997-1998 Perugia (Serie B) ?? 5

Video clips of Marco's Recent Goals at the Rete Website
  • Aggressive
  • Good in the air
  • Good shot from free kicks
  • Comfortable on the ball
  • May be too aggressive at times
  • Can be too cool and confident
  • Refs keep giving him cards
Marco Materazzi is a tall, mobile and aggressive player who should have suited English football.  He became the first Italian to play for Everton, and had scored a few goals, including one against Luton Town in 1995-96 Anglo-Italian Cup.

Walter Smith said when he joined: "He is an honest player who I hope will do very well for us.  He is tall, quite aggressive, can pass the ball, has a good shot from free-kicks and is in good the air at set pieces.  He should be beneficial to us overall.

"He is someone I watched play a few times when I went to watch Marco Negri, who I signed for Rangers.  He always impressed me with the way he played.  He had just come into the team and stood out. I had heard that he was being transferred to Lazio as cover for Alessandro Nesta, who was injured playing for Italy in the World Cup and is going to be out for much of the season.

In 1997-98, Marco helped Perugia win promotion back to Serie A, after spending a while out on loan with Carpi.

"Perugia were keener to sell the player abroad than to one of their rivals and we managed to get him. I'm delighted about that.  He's a good defender, aggressive, good in the air, good on the ground and he can pass the ball.  He was a player who caught my eye and I think he will handle the Premiership, no problem.

"Italian defenders are normally in their middle to late 20s before they start to play.  He is getting towards that level now, having played very well the last couple of seasons.

"But one or two Italian clubs were interested in him, which is what sparked our interest.  Both the club and the player are happy with the deal."

The initial assessment of Materazzi by Evertonians was not so glowing: He was a bit of a disappointment on the pre-season tour of Holland and Belgium.  He was slow on the turn and when starting to run, though once he got into his stride those long legs give him fair pace.

But as the season progressed, reports soon began to improve.  In no time, Marco was being heralded as a great find by Walter Smith.  He was a rarity in that he is a defender who can play football.  His calm composure in controlling the ball and bringing it out of defence was a revelation for the hoof-merchants at Everton.  Forget about him needing time to get used to English football: Marco had arrived already.  But his downside was poor discipline.  And an annoying tendency for getting himself sent off.

Sadly, murmurings of unrest surrounded Mazza as his first season in England ended; his days at Goodison were already numbered.  Citing personal reasons and inability to settle on Merseyside, Everton realized a small profit by selling him back to Perugia.  Some say Materazzi left because he hated the country and the  city of Liverpool. His wife was quoted as saying she was scared to go outside.

For Everton to lose a key player of his all-round ability and confidence at such a young age is a tragedy.  And a sign of the difficult times ahead...

Season Squad
1998-99 15 26 (1) 1 6 (-) 1 32 (1) 2
Totals: 26 (1) 1 6 (-) 1 32 (1) 2
Last update: 13 July 1999


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