Gattuso role key for Azzurri

07 July 2006 08:51
Italy defender Marco Materazzi believes that team-mate Gennaro Gattuso is the man to blot out the threat of France legend Zinedine Zidane in the World Cup final. Zidane will retire from the game after Sunday's showpiece in Berlin, with Materazzi aware that his side need to stem the influence of the veteran playmaker. He told reporters: "We have players that can mark Zidane, like Gattuso. "There's no need to charge him up, otherwise he is capable of splitting the world in two. "We will have to work very hard because our opponents have great players. "We are confident, we know we are playing the most important game of our lives." Meanwhile, Materazzi has admitted that he has plenty of sympathy for Alessandro Nesta, who will miss the Azzurri's big day as a result of injury. He added: "For Alessandro it's a difficult time. This is his third World Cup and each time he's had a physical problem. "For me, he is an idol and a point of reference."

Source: ESA

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