Leonardo Bonucci thanks Gennaro Gattuso for transforming Milan and his own career. “We weren’t a team before him and also lacking physically.”
The Rossoneri are unbeaten in 10 competitive games, winning seven, are in the Coppa Italia semi-final and have a 3-0 first leg lead over Ludogorets in the Europa League Round of 32.
“Since Gattuso arrived, we’ve changed completely,” Bonucci told Mediaset Premium and Sky Sport Italia after a 1-0 victory over Sampdoria.
“A team has been formed, we are in better shape and it’s all down to him. We’ve made a huge leap forward and now must continue like this.
“Gattuso has given us a mentality, a sense of belonging and fitness levels, basically everything we’d been missing. We weren’t a team before him, we were also lacking physically. We worked to become a unit.”
Vincenzo Montella was sacked in November and Gattuso promoted from the Primavera youth team, but Bonucci also realised he’d been taking the wrong attitude after his transfer from Juventus.
“I took some of the responsibility off my shoulders and found myself again. Gattuso did help me in that sense too. He took on a lot of that responsibility.
“At the start I was wrong and focused too much on everything that was around me, thinking I had to rescue the club, but it’s a team effort and about working together. There is a long journey ahead of us.
“The Coach did well to press the right buttons, giving back confidence to those who felt they were cast aside or not performing the way they expected. He convinced us that Milan could not be what we’d seen in those first few months and gave us new ideas.”
Bonucci had hit the back of the net in this evening’s match, but it was ruled offside using VAR.
“I already knew I was offside. I celebrated a little bit, because I so rarely get to enjoy that moment, but I told my teammates even then that I was offside.”
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