Tonali: ‘Gattuso like a father to me’

Sandro Tonali admits Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso is ‘like a father to me’ and reveals the photograph that inspires Milan.

The midfielder has often been compared to Andrea Pirlo, but always said his football idol was Rino Gattuso.

The pair will cross paths on Sunday evening at San Siro and expect a warm hug on the touchline.

“We talk every now and then, as Gattuso is like a father to me in the football world,” Tonali told Sky Sport Italia.

Sandro Tonali admits Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso is ‘like a father to me’ and reveals the photograph that inspires Milan.

The midfielder has often been compared to Andrea Pirlo, but always said his football idol was Rino Gattuso.

The pair will cross paths on Sunday evening at San Siro and expect a warm hug on the touchline.

“We talk every now and then, as Gattuso is like a father to me in the football world,” Tonali told Sky Sport Italia.

“He can give advice, both on how to be a man and a plyer. He always tells me off! That’s just what he’s like, let’s say he doesn’t give much praise and always expects a great deal from you. That’s how it should be.”

Milan are feeling confident after Simon Kjaer’s stoppage-time header snatched a 1-1 Europa League draw away to Manchester United.

That was the sixth game this season that the Rossoneri have got back on track with a goal in injury time.

“We never give in. We’re a great team and are proving what we can do.”

Tonali also told Milan TV that there is a special photograph in the locker room to remind them of how far they’ve come.

“I often look at that picture of when we were all together in midfield in the rain and freezing cold, watching the penalty shoot-out against Rio Ave.

“That photograph really sparks something in us, it makes us realise where we came from and what we’ve been through to get where we are now.

“It makes us realise we earned all of it with sweat, hard work, determination and victories. That photograph reminds us we are here for a reason and we will certainly not stop now.”

That penalty shoot-out in Portugal was the third and final preliminary round of the Europa League on October 1.

It was 1-1 after 90 minutes, Milan were on the verge of elimination 2-1 before Hakan Calhanoglu’s penalty with the last kick of extra time.

The tie went to a shoot-out, which went on for an extraordinarily long time, requiring 12 penalties each before Gianluigi Donnarumma saved from Aderllan Santos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *