Marco revels in Czech strike
By Nadia Carminati. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Italy defender Marco Materazzi says the goal he scored against Czech Republic was the perfect riposte to all his critics.
The Internazionale stopper was introduced as a substitute for Alessandro Nesta and scored nine minutes later for the first goal in the 2-0 victory on Thursday.
Materazzi has been criticised in his home country for having an undisciplined approach to the game, but was delighted to score the important World Cup goal and help the Azzurri finish top in Group E.
"On a human level I think to have suffered few wrongs for my mistakes," said Materazzi.
"I made mistakes as all guys but I've been treated in a wrong way.
"Is it my career's beautiful day?
"Well I've entered the pitch replacing the strongest defender, I scored and I did my duty."
The Azzurri defender also dedicated his goal to team-mate Daniele De Rossi, who received a four match ban for his elbow on USA striker Brian McBride.
"I want to dedicate this goal to those who still believed in me and also to Daniele De Rossi.
"He has been wrong too, but he's a boy too.
"We are human beings and we can be wrong."