Gennaro Gattuso (Part 1)

12 Mar 2024

Gennaro Gattuso (Part 1)

Gennaro Ivan Gattuso, born on January 9, 1978, is an Italian professional football coach and retired player. He recently served as the manager of Ligue 1 club Marseille.During his playing career, Gattuso excelled as a defensive midfielder, primarily with AC Milan in Serie A. He achieved notable success, winning the Champions League in 2002–03 and 2006–07, the Coppa Italia in 2002–03, and Serie A titles in 2003–04 and 2010–11. Gattuso also secured two Italian Supercups, two UEFA Supercups, and a FIFA Club World Cup with AC Milan. Internationally, he represented Italy at the 2000 Summer Olympics, three FIFA World Cups, two UEFA European Championships, and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Gattuso midfield partnership with Andrea Pirlo played a pivotal role in Italy's 2006 World Cup victory and Milan's success in the mid-2000s. Despite lacking notable technical skills, Gattuso's speed, strength, and work ethic complemented Pirlo's style. Known for his energy, aggression, and hard-tackling, he emerged as one of the world's best players in his position. Gattuso showcased leadership and competitive qualities, often captaining Milan after Paolo Maldini's retirement.His coaching career began as a player-coach at Sion in the Swiss Super League. Gattuso had brief managerial stints with Palermo and OFI Crete. In 2016, he led Pisa to Serie B promotion. Gattuso then coached the youth and first team at Milan from 2017 to 2019. Later in 2019, he became the manager of Napoli, winning his first coaching title with the 2019–20 Coppa Italia.

Gennaro Gattuso was born in Corigliano Calabro, Italy, and began his football career with Perugia. However, controversy arose when he transferred to the Scottish team Rangers in July 1997 at the age of 19. Perugia accused Rangers of an illegal signing, taking the case to FIFA, but it was unsuccessful. Gattuso initially resisted the move but eventually agreed after his father persuaded him.

Gattuso made his Rangers debut as an 81st-minute substitute in a 3–1 victory against Hearts. He scored his first goal for the club in a UEFA Cup match against RC Strasbourg, although Rangers lost 4–2 on aggregate. Gattuso received his first professional red card for a second bookable offense in a 5–2 win against Hearts on December 20, 1997. Despite this, he scored two more goals for the club, earning praise as an unsung hero.In the Scottish Cup final, Gattuso played the entire game, but Rangers lost 2–1 against Hearts. By the end of the 1997–98 season, he had made forty appearances and scored four times in all competitions. Walter Smith, who brought Gattuso to Rangers, left the club in 1998. His successor, Dick Advocaat, didn't favor Gattuso and played him out of position as a right-back. Nevertheless, Gattuso scored in the UEFA Cup 4–2 win against Beitar Jerusalem. In October 1998, Gattuso was sold to Serie A club Salernitana for £4 million after turning down a move to Juventus.

Gattuso was acquired by AC Milan for 8 million from Salernitana in the summer of 1999. He made his debut on 15 September 1999, in a 0–0 draw with Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League. Gattuso quickly secured a spot in the starting lineup and made a memorable impression during his first Milan-derby match against Inter on 24 October 1999. He demonstrated maturity and tenacity, endearing himself to Milan fans.
Under manager Carlo Ancelotti, Gattuso formed a crucial midfield partnership with Andrea Pirlo, contributing to Milan's successes in domestic and international competitions. They won the Coppa Italia, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup in 2003, Serie A title, and Supercoppa Italiana in 2004. Gattuso extended his contract with Milan in June 2003 and October 2004. In the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final, Milan reached the final but lost to Liverpool on penalties after leading 3–0 at halftime.

Gattuso played his 300th game for Milan in a goalless Champions League draw against Lille on 26 September 2006. He won his second Champions League title on 23 May 2007, as Milan defeated Liverpool 2–1 in the final. In December 2007, Gattuso trained with Rangers during the Serie A winter break to regain fitness.
Despite a torn Anterior cruciate ligament in December 2008, Gattuso returned ahead of schedule in May 2009. He celebrated his 400th appearance for Milan on 22 August 2009. On 14 December 2009, Milan extended Gattuso's contract until 30 June 2012. The 2010–11 season was one of Gattuso's best, featuring goals against Juventus and Cagliari. Vision problems and an injury in September 2011 raised concerns about his career, but he continued to contribute.Gattuso confirmed on 11 May 2012 that he would not renew his contract with Milan, ending his long and successful tenure with the club.

Gattuso's fiery temperament led to several notable incidents during his playing career. In a UEFA Champions League group stage match against Ajax in September 2003, he was sent off for slapping Ajax striker Zlatan Ibrahimović in the face during injury time. Another incident occurred in December 2005, after Milan's 3–2 defeat of Schalke 04, where Gattuso taunted Schalke's Christian Poulsen, reacting to Poulsen's intense marking of Kaká in the first leg. Gattuso claimed that the press exaggerated the significance of the incident.
A more infamous incident took place on 15 February 2011, during Milan's Champions League game against Tottenham Hotspur. Gattuso pushed Tottenham coach Joe Jordan by the throat on the sideline. The confrontation stemmed from an exchange of words between Gattuso and Jordan, who was seen outside his allowed technical area.

After shaking hands with Tottenham players, video footage revealed Gattuso head butting Jordan after another exchange of words, requiring restraint from teammates and opponents. Gattuso admitted to losing control, took responsibility, and expressed regret for his actions. Reports suggested that Jordan had made racist, offensive comments throughout the game, calling Gattuso a fucking Italian bastard from the sidelines.
UEFA charged Gattuso with gross unsporting conduct, resulting in a five-match suspension in the Champions League – one for yellow card accumulation and four for the incident with Jordan. Jordan also received a touchline ban from UEFA for his involvement in the altercation.


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  13. ^ "Rangers sign Italian but Melli is rejected"The Herald Scotland. 11 April 1997. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  14. ^ "Celtic rule out Kinnear No go for Kinnear"The Herald Scotland. 20 June 1997. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  15. ^ "Gennaro Gattuso on his Rangers transfer as he reveals his dad threatened to PUNCH him if he didn't sign"Football Scotland. 26 December 2022. Retrieved 15 February 2024.

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