Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Higuain “rejuvenated” by Gattuso after Juve “kicked me out”

Leave a comment

Gonzalo Higuain is off and running at AC Milan, even if the club hasn’t been finding the wins it needs to contend in Serie A.

The 30-year-old forward has six goals in seven games for Milan after his surprising summer move from Juventus, which came after Cristiano Ronaldo arrived from Real Madrid.

[ MORE: Spurs injury update ]

Rather than feel slighted just two seasons after a $106 million move from Napoli to Juve, though, Higuain is feeling reborn.

Apparently, you can’t feel disillusioned about soccer when Gennaro Gattuso gives you those football eyes.

“I feel rejuvenated,” Higuain said. “I love Gattuso. He looks at you and sends you his love for football.”

Higuain admitted he had no desires to leave Juve, saying the club didn’t give him an option and he still is fond of The Old Lady.

“Mine is a feeling of affection because they treated me very well; team-mates and supporters have given me huge affection,” he said in the interview with Gazzetta dello Sport (Italian link). “But I did not ask to leave. Basically, everyone says it, they kicked me out. At Milan I immediately had a great love and so they convinced me.”

Higuain scored 55 goals in 105 appearances for Juventus, adding 12 assists in winning two scudetto and matching Coppa Italia crowns.

AC Milan extends Gattuso’s contract until 2021

Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Leave a comment

MILAN (AP) AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso’s contract has been extended until the end of season 2020-21.

While details of the new deal were not released in Thursday’s announcement, according to media reports it is worth 2 million euros ($2.5 million) per season – a huge increase on the annual 120,000 euros that Gattuso was earning.

[ MORE: De Bruyne on UCL comeback bid ]

The former Italy and Milan midfielder was promoted from youth-team coach in November to replace the fired Vincenzo Montella and has guided his team to sixth place in Serie A.

Milan, seven-times European Cup winners, will also meet Juventus in next month’s Italian Cup final.

“I hope to continue … to do things well and bring Milan back where it’s accustomed to being,” Gattuso said.

CEO Marco Fassone said the club wants to begin a “long-term project” with Gattuso.

New AC Milan boss Gattuso likens Benevento draw to being “stabbed”

Twitter/@EuropaLeague
Leave a comment

The agony of defeat in sports is sometimes hard to take, and that’s exactly how AC Milan’s new manager took it on Sunday.

[ MORE: Man City storms back to top West Ham ]

With the Italian giants seemingly on the verge of securing three points against Serie A bottom dwellers Benevento, Milan conceded a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time after goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli headed home for the equalizer.

[ MORE: Adam Smith reveals referee apologized for incorrect PK decision ]

Manager Gennaro Gattuso was not happy with the 2-2 draw, saying that he would have rather been “stabbed.”

“It certainly burns, it hurts. It would’ve been better to be stabbed,” the 39-year-old told Sky Sport Italia. “It hurts to concede goals like that. We suffered in the last 15 minutes but we conceded a strange goal. I would never expect to concede from a goalkeeper in the 95th minute.”

Gattuso continued by saying that the draw is simply a status of where the club is right now, and that Milan has its work cut out ahead in order to challenge the league’s elite.

AC Milan currently sits eighth in the Serie A table on 21 points. They stand 18 points behind league leaders and rivals Inter Milan.

“We conceded a strange goal and that’s just how our luck is at the moment,” the former Milan player added.

“Today, we lick our wounds, we have a duty to improve our physical condition and our mentality, but I can’t reproach them for anything.

“We could have developed our play a lot better when moving forward on some occasions. Benevento have lost their last games without deserving to. They’re a lively team and we knew it would be difficult. We paid dearly for the first mistake and we go forward.

“We have a long way to go and a lot to improve.”

Gennaro Gattuso to Goal: US soccer improving, Italian game declining

Leave a comment

Gennaro Gattuso is no stranger to strong words. He’s chastised the involvement of women in soccer, and responded to allegations of match-fixing by saying he’d commit suicide if proven guilty.

So take that into consideration when Gattuso used an interview with Goal.com to tell the world that American soccer is on its way up while Italian soccer is in decline.

And Gattuso’s comments point to something soccer fans witness every week in France, England and Spain; having a great reputation is going to help a club or league up its game, but having a ton of money is going to help it happen faster.

“The problem is that we think we know everything about soccer and are the best at it, but the reality is that today we’re no longer the best,” Gattuso said. “Germany has surpassed us in terms of attendance, in terms of quality of soccer; as for England, it’s already been some time since they’ve surpassed as well, Spain too. So today we have to be more careful, because there’s a lot of movement.”

He added: “Even in MLS you see a lot of change, with the players that are coming here and a lot of money is being invested in the game, so things are really moving here too. Already you see it with the U.S. national team that already plays very well.”

Goal caught up with Gattuso in Montreal, where he was “helping conduct training sessions and coaching seminars for the Genova International School of Soccer, a private Italy-based academy that’s helped over 90 young players to professional contracts worldwide.”

Gennaro Gattuso under investigation for match-fixing

Leave a comment

Gennaro Gattuso has been placed under investigation for match-fixing in Italy.

The former Italian international and retired Lazio player Cristian Brocchi had their homes searched on Tuesday and will reportedly face charges of criminal conspiracy and sports fraud.

The allegations are that Gattuso and Brocchi played a part in a ring that fixed Serie A and other Italian matches during the 2010-11 season. At that time Gattuso was playing in his 12th season at AC Milan.

“Gennaro is stunned by the news,” his agent Andrea D’Amico told the Press Association. “I spoke to him and he is returning home (to Milan). We are remaining calm and we have to be patient and see how the investigation develops.

“However, just because he is under investigation does not mean anything, for all we know this could be just false allegations. Sometimes when you are a famous player, it is very easy for your name to appear and to be a target. We will wait and see how the situation develops.”

The match-fixing ring allegedly extends from Singapore to Italy to South America and has been in operation for more than 10 years. Since 2011, more than 50 people have been arrested for match-fixing in Italy with a number of lengthy bans handed out to players including former Lazio captains Giuseppe Signori and Stefano Mauri, as well as former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni.

No stranger to controversy on the pitch, since retiring as a player in 2012-13 Gattuso has continued to make headlines for all the wrong reasons.

In February 2013 he was named manager of Swiss side Sion, with whom he ended his playing career. Three months later, Sion sacked the Italian after a poor run of results. The 35-year-old was subsequently hired by Serie B side Palermo last fall but was sacked after just six weeks into the season.

Two weeks ago Gattuso made the back pages when he said he couldn’t see a place for women in soccer: “I can’t really see women in football. I don’t like to say it but that’s how it is.” That comment was made after Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani agreed to share his role with Barbara Berlusconi, the daughter of club president Silvio.