Gattuso discusses Milan’s big strength, tie against Napoli and Tonali comparisons

By Oliver Fisher -

Gennaro Gattuso believes that AC Milan have what it takes to cause what many would consider to be an upset by beating Napoli in the Champions League.

The draw in Nyon on Friday saw Milan pitted against their domestic rivals for a place in the final four of the competition, with the winner then to face whoever emerges from the clash between Benfica and Inter.

Gattuso knows Milan and Napoli well having managed both in recent times, and he spoke on an interview with Radio Rai 1 during which he gave his thoughts on the upcoming tie, with his comments relayed by

“Napoli have been expressing incredible football for two years but in Europe, matches are different. It will be an open game. It’s normal that Napoli have a winning mentality now, they play with tranquillity and express European football. But both teams will play for it,” he said.

“Milan are a team that have been playing on an open pitch for two years now. They have to be physically well, with the collective being well. They’re a team that come at you, play in your face and when some aren’t well physically you notice it, and they can’t express themselves as they have done in the last two years.”

Napoli certainly have two stars going forward in striker Victor Osimhen and winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, and Gattuso was asked if he expected both to be as good as they have been.

“Yes, because he [Osimhen] was also paid a lot. He had done well at Lille, and I must say that it was very good of Giuntoli to get him to Napoli and it wasn’t easy.

“I lost him for several months for off-pitch situations and we suffered with his absence. He is very fast and very technical, an incredible player. This Napoli is not just Osimhen. There’s also Lobotka, who couldn’t express himself at his best with me.”

“Kvaratskhelia? It’s like seeing Best again. He does incredible things, with an incredible lightness. They’re a team that excites me a lot, that play dream football.”

The former midfielder also gave his thoughts on the race for a top four finish in Serie A which is threatening to go right down to the wire yet again.

“There’s important data, Italian football is no longer the child of catenaccio. Coverciano has improved a lot in this. The vision of football is updated. It’s difficult to face Italian teams.

“The comparison with the English teams, it’s another world. The Premier League is the NBA. You can no longer buy strong players like 20 years ago.

“You have to invent something with young players. The year I coached at Napoli, I lost out on the Champions League with 77 points. It’s been several years now that you have to give your best.”

Finally, Gattuso spoke about a couple of players in Serie A that have been likened to him in the past.

“Amrabat. At the World Cup he excited me. He managed to pull off incredible performances. When he looked dead, he brought out more energy. He is a player who is most like me.

“Tonali is a mix between me and Pirlo. He has more technique than me, he is a more complete player.”

Tags AC Milan Gennaro Gattuso


  1. Andrea Pirlo best strengths were his touch, technique, set pieces, passing ability and vision.
    His weaknesses were pace, strength athleticism.
    Tonali strengths are pace, strength athleticism.
    Tonali weaknesses are his touch, technique, set pieces, passing ability and vision.
    Why are people continue to mention these 2 players in the same sentence.
    Tonali is Gattuso, just a little bigger and faster.
    Besides playing in the midfield for both Brescia and Milan he has nothing in common with Pirlo.

    1. Mind you Tonali is only 22 and isnt fully developed yet.. He has passing ability and vision but ofc not on Pirlo lvl. There arent many players who will ever have that lvl.
      I think he can do a lot more than what Pioli wants from him. He is using him as muscle, last season when Kessie was muscle Tonali was better as playmaker

    2. It’s the hair. That’s the only reason why they compare him to Pirlo. And his first freekick goal. But that was just a one-time-thing though. So yeah… It’s all about the hair. 🙂

  2. Andrea Pirlo was A bit overrated he was great player don’t get me wrong but not at same level as seedorf xavi iniesta … don’t let media fool you , if it wasn’t for milan strong midfielder he won’t have the same repetition , yeah and zidane was the biggest overhyped player i ever seen that guy is way overrated is just talk like zidane was great player yes hes some games he was astounding like game against brazil in 2006 world cup and has some great goals but his ability as complete player wasn’t as great as hyped around i take totti or my favorite player rui costa over zidane any day , i never saw player overrated like zidane

    1. Zizzou is the greatest of all time to me. He is the greatest among them all. You don’t know football I watched Zidane from canes, Bordeaux Juventus, and Madrid. Please don’underrated a genius. Zindane on merit is more complete than messii. Please retract this version of zizxou

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