Gennaro Gattuso says watching Milan teammate Andrea Pirlo made him want to “change profession”.
The pair played together for Carlo Ancelotti’s Rossoneri, with Ringhio doing the leg work while his more creative teammate supplied the fantasy.
Following the latter’s retirement yesterday, Gattuso was asked on Radio 24 whether his work had made Pirlo better, and he scoffed at the suggestion.
“Don’t talk nonsense, let’s not confuse Nutella with ****,” the Milan Primavera boss replied.
“When I saw him play it made me think I had to change profession. Nobody knows that better than me, because I started playing with him at Italy Under-15 level and then all the youth teams after that.
“It wasn’t only about his quality, but he was an animal covering 1000 metres, he had this athletic quality which is why he played until this age .
“He was someone who ran so much.
“I played with him for about 20 years when you consider the national youth teams, in difficult moments I just gave it to him, I always felt assured when I was next to him.
“I understood what I had to do, and he was taking care of the rest. He helped me much more in my career than I did him.
“In the dressing room? He’s a big son of a… with all due respect to his mother! He teased me for months, he was very funny. I punched him more times than Bud Spencer did Terrence Hill!”
Pirlo left the Rossoneri for Juventus in 2011, something some Milanisti have never forgiven him for.
“He was incredibly lucky to find a Juventus who weren’t in Europe and worked so hard with [Antonio] Conte.
“You know how Conte is, he’s a bad guy for a week but after that you start to feel good. He [Pirlo] needed that, this work but strength in his legs and he got that desire back.
“In my opinion that was the secret.”