Tuesday August 23 2011
Gattuso: 'Why I turned down Anzhi'

Gennaro Gattuso explained why he turned down Anzhi's multi-million pound offer, unlike Samuel Eto'o.

Before they agreed a €27m transfer fee for the Inter striker with a reported €20.5m per season contract, Dagestan club Anzhi had tried to sign Gattuso last year.

“Nobody talked about Anzhi in February, but I went to Dagestan for talks, they offered me a ton of money and I did think about it,” Gattuso told Milan Channel.

“No-one considered going to Dubai either, but after I went there, Fabio Cannavaro decided he'd accept the proposal.

“I opened the door to others! It was a crazy offer, albeit not quite as much as Eto'o has been given. Mind you, he is 1,000 times better as a player, so it's only right he gets paid more.”

Milan took a back seat at the time and left the 2006 World Cup winner the time to make his decision.

“Adriano Galliani said that for all I had given to the Milan cause, I would be given the chance to decide. He wanted me to stay, but would not stop me in the face of so much money.

“This sparked something within me and I realised how much they cared about me. Besides, my family was not happy about making the move to Russia and my business includes 50 people working for me.

“Putting everything into the balance, I realised it wasn't easy to leave a side like Milan. I prefer to go when I am no longer needed or even feel like a weight on their shoulders.”

Gattuso is now solely dedicated to the Rossoneri, having retired from the Italy squad after the 2010 World Cup.

“I gave everything to Italy and the Nazionale gave a lot to me. I had reached the point where I had to say enough, just like in a couple of years I could find the moment to stop playing football.

“I mustn't think about it, otherwise I get anxious and start biting my nails. The important thing is to be prepared, as that way you do not suffer.”