Gennaro Gattuso: The Italian Midfield General

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lorenzo bernardi

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  • Gennaro Gattuso: The Italian Midfield General


Another survivor of the 2006 FIFA World Cup titlist Italy, Gennaro Gattuso is always hungry for victory and has an aggressiveness that constantly pressures his opponents. With a positive disposition, he has and continues to inspire everyone around him, especially the younger generation that will inherit Italy’s throne as one of the world’s finest football teams.


Gennaro Ivan Gattuso or Ringhio is currently playing for Milan in Serie A. He holds the position of a defensive midfielder and is regarded as the most destructive in his level. He was at the starting line-up in the 2006 Germany FIFA World Cup that was faced with controversies after France’s midfield superstar Zinedine Zidane head butted Italy’s Materazzi in the extra time during the Finals. The incident graced headlines of newspapers around the globe as Italy marched out of the field as the champions.


His career began when he joined Italian club Perugia. He only had a short stint with this team and transferred to Glasgow Rangers in 1997 after he was bought by Walter Smith. However, when Smith retired, his successor decided to sell him to Serie A's Salemitana for £4 million.


After his fair performances with this Italian team, Gattuso signed an £8 million deal with Milan. In this team, he played a bigger role in the midfield after team manager Carlo Ancelotti placed Andrea Prilo in the attacking midfielder post. His distinct and fierce playing style is always displayed when he moves frontward to the ball, creating scoring opportunities. Witnessing Gattuso move with the football, one will readily realize that this guy does not know what losing means.


His contract with Milan was extended twice in 2003 and 2004. But the downside of this great is his temper. He had a red card at the 2003 UEFA Champions League after slapping Zlatan Ibrahimovic with his backhand in the second half of their game against Ajax. It was in December of 2005, when he went after and taunted Poulsen after the latter dropped disrespectful remarks on Kaka. However, during an interview, Gattuso stressed that the incident was just embroidered with colors by some media men. He played his 300th game with Milan in September 2006 against Lille in the Champions League. Gattuso’s contract was extended until February 2011.


He copped his second Champions League with the club in May 2007 as they overpowered Liverpool in a 2-1 triumph. Like any other player, injury is something he could not avoid, especially in football. He sustained an injury during the finals but he managed to stay and finish the game where they won against Catania. Soon after, he was diagnosed to have anterior cruciate ligament and had an operation. Doctors predicted that he could not return to the fields in six months, but a warrior as he is, Gattuso played even if he’s still not fully-healed.


The 31-year old together with the rest of the reigning champions of the Italian National Football Team, marched their way to Green Point Stadium in Cape Town for their opening game where they faced Paraguay. They opened their 2010 FIFA World Cup title defense with a frustrating draw that left the game’s scoreboard tied at 1-1. The two goals came from Daniele de Rossi of Italy and Antolin Alcaraz of Paraguay. Unfortunately, the best goalkeeper in the world today, Gianluigi Buffon, had to step out because of an injury and the team has not yet confirmed if the nine-time Defensive Player of the Year can still return to the field and play again in this year’s FIFA World Cup. Their second game will be against New Zealand.



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