The historic Italian club, caught up in an abysmal sports crisis, seems to have found its savior
The second most winning club in the history of the Italian Serie A and the UEFA Champions League, AC Milan, has been stuck in a deep sports crisis since 2011.
The bad administration of its managers, the scarce hiring of high level players and trained coaches, and the lack of a reference to guide the team are some of the reasons why Milan has not been able to get off the ground.
However, the ‘rossonero’ group of Latin Americans Cristian Zapata, Gustavo Gómez, and Lucas Biglia seems to have found the messiah the team needed: Gennaro Gattuso.
"Rino" Gattuso = Firm hand
The legendary Italian player, who knew how to make history at AC Milan, when winning two Italian Serie A, three Italian Super Cups, two UEFA Champions League, two European Super Cups, and a Club World Cup, now wants to revalidate his winning label of football and men's insignia of Milan, however, now in the role of coach.
Gennaro, of strong temperament and high aggressiveness, prepared himself as a coach at FC Sion in Switzerland, at OFI Crete in Greece, and at the Italian clubs US Palermo and AC Pisa in 1909, before arriving in May 2017 at the Milan, better known as AC Milan Primavera.
This experience in the lower divisions of the club hardly lasted 6 months, because in November 2017, the professional team designated him as its technical director following the dismissal of Vincenzo Montella. The crisis was pressing and the warrior was called.
Gattuso, a stiff, rugged man, has revived Milan by taking the team to the UEFA Europa League sixteenth round and the semi-finals of the Italian Cup, after knocking out his historic archrival and teammate: Inter Milan.
The firm hand of Gattuso has made his players take ownership of the club and all that this entails. They are playing stronger and committed soccer, what Gattuso represents. In Serie A the scenario has been similar, because in 2018 the team has achieved a very high percentage of victories that has catapulted it to the eighth position, which is unusual for its history, but promising for its present raw.
The rudeness and discipline that "Rino" has printed to the team will make AC Milan fight until the end of the season for a place in the UEFA Champions League.
The fighting spirit of Gattuso has been transferred to his players through extensive work days. "Players have learned from first-hand that hard work can lead to something," Gattuso told Italian media after they saw the positive results of his training methods.
Similarly, the Italian coach acknowledged the change in mentality of the players: "They wanted to do double training sessions, something that is not even contemplated in the big teams, then after that, they want to eat together."
Gattuso demands commitment from all the people in the club, and he thinks about all his team, even those players who have not had so many minutes of play, so he lets them hit him to create a good atmosphere. "I just want to make them happy, especially the players who are angry with me because I leave them on the bench, so they have the chance to slap me," Gattuso told Italian media, Rino's rudeness philosophy, unconventional and questioned by many, has positively affected Milan.
The "rossoneri" box, diminished from the historic position that has won in football, seems to have found the savior it needed, a gladiator who leaves the soul for his club, a bull that now shows that he also knows how to think. Gennaro has returned to resurrect a great one.
Latin American Post | Javier Aldana
Translated by Marcela Peñaloza