Gattuso raring to go

by

November 29, 2017
Gennaro Gattuso

CARNAGO, Italy (AP):

Known for his intensity and relentlessness on the field, Gennaro Gattuso is hoping to bring that same attitude back to AC Milan as coach.

Gattuso was a gritty midfielder who helped Milan to two Serie A titles and two Champions League trophies. He also won the World Cup with Italy in 2006.

The 39-year-old Gattuso has replaced Vincenzo Montella as coach. Montella was fired on Monday after winning only six of Milan's 14 league matches despite spending more than 200 million euros (nearly $250 million) on new players in the offseason.

"I think this team can do a lot more," Gattuso said yesterday at Milanello, the club's training ground. "We need to become a team, we have to go onto the field as a group ... we need a battlefield spirit but there is talent."

Gattuso had that spirit when he was a player, but he won't be playing now.

"I think it's reductive to keep talking about Gattuso as a player," he said. "The spirit and never-say-die attitude has stayed with me. I never want to lose even playing table football against my son, that's always there.

"But I studied to become a coach, they didn't gift me my licence. You don't prepare for matches just with heart and determination ... you also need to work on the physical condition and technical and tactical preparation."

Milan's first match under Gattuso will be on Sunday at Benevento, who have yet to earn a point this season. Milan are seventh place in Serie A, 11 points behind fourth-place Roma, who occupys the last qualifying berth for the Champions League.

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