Materazzi reignites Italy-France rivalry | india | Hindustan Times
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Materazzi reignites Italy-France rivalry

The Italians play 'Les Bleus' in a crunch Euro 2008 qualifier in Milan in September, in what will be the teams' second meeting since the World Cup 2006 showpiece.

india Updated: Jul 09, 2007 22:37 IST

Italy defender Marco Materazzi may have ended up a World Cup winner last year, but the Inter Milan hardman still has some unfinished business with the French.

The Italians, who beat France on penalties in the 2006 World Cup final, play 'Les Bleus' in a crunch Euro 2008 qualifier in Milan in September, in what will be the teams' second meeting since the Berlin showpiece.

France coach Raymond Domenech blamed Materazzi for provoking Zinedine Zidane into a headbutt which brought the French midfield genius' career to an infamous end in the final last July.

Zidane was shown the red card in the second period of extra-time after he butted Materazzi in the chest, apparently for an insult by the Italian centre-back.

Materazzi picked up a two-match ban, forcing him to miss the Euro 2008 qualifier in Paris last September which the French won 3-1.

But Materazzi will be available for the San Siro clash, and he can't wait to get at the French.

"I wasn't allowed to play the match in September, and I felt that was unfair when you compare what I got to what Zidane got," the 33-year-old was quoted as saying in the Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday.

"But now for the return leg and I look forward to seeing Signor Domenech and all the others who have expressed their opinions about me.

"I will look them in the eyes with a fixed stare, and I won't look away."