Gennaro Ivan “Rino” Gattuso is an former footballer.As a player, he mainly played in the centre as a defensive midfielder, although he was also capable of playing on the wing. Although he initially played for smaller Italian clubs Perugia and Salernitana, as well as Scottish club Rangers, he is mostly remembered for his time with Milan in Serie A, where he won the Champions League, in 2002–03 and 2006–07, the Coppa Italia in 2002–03, and also the Serie A title in 2003–04 and 2010–11. In addition to these titles, he also won two Italian Supercups, two UEFA Supercups, and a FIFA Club World Cup. At international level, he represented the Italy national football team at the 2000 Summer Olympics, three FIFA World Cups, two UEFA European Championships, and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. Gattuso’s talismanic midfield partnership with playmaker Andrea Pirlo, both at club and international level, played a key role in Italy’s World Cup victory in 2006, as well as Milan’s domestic, European, and international successes during the mid-2000s. Despite not being blessed with notable technical skills, Gattuso’s pace, strength, and work-rate complemented and supported Pirlo’s composed, creative playing style, while his energy, aggression, and hard-tackling style of play enabled him to make a name for himself as one of the best players in the world in his position. In addition to his ball-winning abilities, Gattuso was also renowned for his competitive nature and leadership qualities throughout his career, often wearing the captain’s armband for Milan following Paolo Maldini’s retirement.
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Throughout his career, Gattuso mainly played as a central or defensive midfielder, although he was even deployed on the right flank on occasion, either as a full-back, wing-back, or as a winger, due to his versatility; he was also capable of playing as a central defender. Despite not being particularly skilful from a technical standpoint (although he was able to improve in this area with time under the tutelage of Mauro Tassotti), Gattuso was a strong, consistent, aggressive, and hard-tackling midfielder, with an extremely high work rate; he also possessed a powerful shot, and quick reactions, as well as an excellent positional sense and good anticipation, which enabled him to excel in this position; in his prime, he was widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. His energetic and combative box-to-box style of play, as well as his pace, tactical awareness and abilities as a ball-winner, allowed him to form a successful midfield partnership with playmaker Andrea Pirlo throughout his career, both at club and international level. Gattuso’s deeper position on the pitch allowed him to support Pirlo and his other team-mates defensively by breaking up the opposition’s attacks; he often only advanced in order to intercept the ball and play it to one of his more creative or offensive team-mates after winning back possession, subsequently returning to his more defensive midfield role. In addition to his footballing abilities, he also stood out for his competitive spirit and his leadership.
Match Worn & Signed Boots
Champions League Final 2007
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The 2007 UEFA Champions League Final was an association football match between A.C. Milan of Italy and Liverpool F.C. of England on 23 May 2007 at the Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece. The showpiece event was the final match of the 2006–07 season of Europe’s premier cup competition, the UEFA Champions League. The teams were appearing in the final, two years after facing each other in the 2005 final which Liverpool won 3–2 in a penalty shootout after the match finished 3–3.Watched by a crowd of 63,000, Milan took the lead when Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick deflected off Filippo Inzaghi in the first half. Milan extended their lead in the second half when Inzaghi scored a second goal. Liverpool scored a late goal through Dirk Kuyt, but were unable to equalise before the end of the match. Milan won the match 2–1 to win their seventh Champions League.
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Gattuso played his 300th game for the club in a goalless Champions League draw against Lille on 26 September 2006, and he extended his current deal with Milan until 2011 on 1 February 2007. On 23 May 2007, Gattuso won the Champions League for the second time in his career when Milan beat Liverpool 2–1 in the final. He will later on finish his career with Milan A.C. with more than 400 caps.