Italian coach Gennaro Gattuso was “pained” by an online campaign portraying him as homophobic and sexist, based on highly questionable comments he actually made when he was a player.
“I have had to accept a story that has hurt me much more than any defeat or suspension,” lamented the former AC Milan midfielder, attacked on social media in June by Tottenham fans opposed to his arrival as new manager.
“My regret is that I did not have the opportunity to defend myself, to explain that what people said in England did not fit me,” he added in an interview with the newspaper Il Messaggero. “They described me as someone I am not and there was nothing to do.”
The internet campaign, called #NoToGattuso (No to Gattuso), was decisive in preventing the Italian from signing with Spurs, fans say. Portuguese Nuno Espirito Santo was finally appointed in June to lead the London club.
“Bad things come from Facebook and Twitter, where it is possible to give force to any lie,” he observed. «I don’t have a profile (on social networks) and I don’t want to have one. Why should I be insulted? ”Continued the 2006 world champion.
#NoToGattuso highlighted some of the Italian’s most controversial statements, some of which were made 13 years ago.
During Euro 2008, Gattuso declared himself “scandalized” by the legalization of homosexual marriage in Spain. «I do not agree with weddings between homosexuals. For me it is between a man and a woman », he launched. “Yes, that scandalizes me, because I believe in family,” he added. “But hey, we are in 2008 and everyone does what they want.”
«I don’t like women in football. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is, ”he also said in 2013, reacting to the appointment of Barbara Berlusconi, daughter of the former Italian prime minister and owner of AC Milan, as manager of the Lombard club.
Gattuso was fired from Fiorentina in June, three weeks after his appointment. Although the Italian did not want to dwell on the subject, he announced that he will be “back soon” and said that he is “also available for a national team.” AFP (HN)