• Serie A

Materazzi reignites Rafa Benitez feud

ESPN staff
February 3, 2014
Benitez enjoyed an unpopular spell at Chelsea last season © PA Photos

Marco Materazzi says Napoli fans are now discovering 'the real' Rafa Benitez after their 3-0 defeat to Atalanta on Saturday.

Materazzi has not forgotten Rafael Benitez's short spell as Inter Milan coach, during which the pair hardly saw eye to eye.

Ever since Benitez left the club, the 2006 World Cup-winner has been critical of the Spaniard, saying in January 2013 that he "would not trust him with my team."

The Italian is now looking on as Napoli's title challenge comes off the rails, and after Sunday's heavy defeat in Bergamo he took to Twitter to make his feelings known.

"Same tactics… same methods… same smart arse… Now they are starting to get to know you. Better late than never #jealousy" Materazzi tweeted.

On Friday, Materazzi retweeted a tweet from fellow World Cup-winner Fabio Cannavaro, who was critical of the way Benitez treated his brother Paolo. The former Juventus defender's younger brother joined Sassuolo on transfer deadline day after hardly featuring under Benitez, despite being club captain and a practical ever-present since their rise from Serie B.

"Good luck Paolino and compliments to he who made you feel a stranger in YOUR OWN HOME!!!" wrote Cannavaro.

Napoli's defeat on Sunday extended their winless streak in Serie A to three matches, leaving them 15 points behind league leaders Juventus and only three ahead of fourth-placed Fiorentina, who were also beaten at the weekend.

They travel to second-placed Roma, who they trail by six points, in the semi-final of the Coppa Italia on Wednesday with Benitez coming under pressure with his side's early-season promise evaporating.

The Partenopei were also eliminated from the Champions League, despite picking up 12 points in their group.

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