Materazzi: Thiago Motta quickly understands footballers and isn’t afraid to take risks

Thiago Motta’s Bologna side is currently gaining the attention of Europe’s footballing giants. His former Inter Milan teammate, Marco Materazzi, reflected on Motta’s journey to renowned coach in an interview with Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

About Motta’s elevation to one of the top coaches, Materazzi esteemed, “How could you not see it coming from someone who managed to control the team without touching the ball? Both he and Cambiasso did it. They were the metronomes within the team, responsible for everything that happened on the pitch. Cambiasso hasn’t had the right opportunity yet that he’d absolutely love, but he’s more than ready. Just like Chivu and Stankovic were ready: wherever they work, they always leave their mark.”

Materazzi went on to reference a time when Motta revealed his coaching ambitions, sharing, “Not with me, at least. But once I understood how he saw football, I knew he would become a coach. Two years ago, when he first arrived in Bologna, I said in an interview that I would bet on him, even though things weren’t going very well. I knew it was just a matter of time.”

The ex-Inter Milan player acclaimed Motta’s best quality as a coach. “He instantly understands the right position for every player. And he knows how to use the stick. Ask Arnautovic, Orsolini: he had no trouble leaving them out, and they are hardly insignificant players for Bologna. It takes courage, but it was what was needed at the time and so he did it. Even if it meant taking a risk.”

When pondering what Motta has assimilated from Mourinho, Materazzi imparted, “The character he had to always play with his head held high today is audacity, creativity, and Jose never lacked these. But it’s never recklessness: like the Special One, Thiago makes choices that might appear risky, but only superficially: in reality, he acts with conscience, they are just brave decisions.”

He also conjectured on what Mourinho particularly admired about Motta. “Almost everything about the player, and the honesty of the man. They had some tough confrontations, and if Thiago had something to tell him, he was not ashamed and did not defer. I saw them arguing more than once, each with his own character: after all, José only likes the real ones.”

Looking ahead to the Bologna–Roma game on Sunday, Materazzi expressed, “It’s a great battle between two foxes: both cunning. The master is still the master, but the student is running hard, even though he’s never had a Formula One car like Mourinho. But he will have it soon, I believe.”

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