Materazzi hits out at Benitez over Cannavaro

The former Inter star has taken a shot at the ex-Nerazzurri boss, this time over the Spaniard's recent decision to bench the Partenopei skipper

Former Italy international Marco Materazzi has hit out at Napoli coach Rafa Benitez over his treatment of club captain Paolo Cannavaro.

The 32-year-old defender has not featured for the Partenopei since his dismissal in October's Serie A defeat at Roma, in which he picked up two yellow cards in the space of 25 minutes after being brought on as a substitute.

Materazzi, who clashed with Benitez during their time together at Inter, feels the Spaniard has treated Cannavaro unfairly.

"Discrediting Paolo Cannavaro in such a short time didn't seem right because he's done a lot for Napoli," the World Cup winner told Radio CRC.

"Paolo is no less talented than any of the other players in that role. In my view, Benitez has won a lot, but he's too presumptuous."

Napoli face a tricky week, as they face a must-win Champions League clash with Arsenal at the San Paolo on Wednesday before taking on Inter in Serie A on Sunday night.

Materazzi, though, is expecting the Partenopei, who recruited the likes of Gonzalo Higuain during the summer, to rise to the challenges at hand.

"Napoli have bought so many players and spent a lot of money," he reasoned. "The squad is of higher quality than last season, so they have to do better than last season.

"The Azzurri have been strong in the league, but they've had too many setbacks. The problem is that when the key players aren't in shape, the whole team suffers.

"I expect them to play a good match against Inter. There's also the return of [Inter coach Walter] Mazzarri to Naples, and the coach wants to win."