By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The FC Sion midfielder had spoken out strongly against the sales of Milan stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain and had called out the current crop of players for lacking the ambition to win games for the club.
With Milan having lost six games from their initial 15 games, such criticism appears justified but El Shaarawy has worked hard to help spur the Rossoneri on with 12 goals already within the league.
Gattuso now feels he was hasty with his judgements and has restored his backing for the Milan squad.
"I've said this from the heart, but I was wrong. You cannot criticize just because you see dynamics that do not respond to your code," he told Guerin Sportivo.
"Carlo Ancelotti was right. He always told me: 'You'll see Rino, players are not all alike, no horse runs like another.'
"Now I understand. The error is to expect that the generation behind you is the same as yours.
"I did not like the hair of (Stephan) El Shaarawy, the eyebrows. Maybe now they miss my slaps. But I repeat: I was wrong.
"He is indeed proving to be a phenomenon."
And he went on to say that he still remains a supporter of the club with whom he made a total of 335 appearances.
“I love Milan. It was a dream that lasted for 13 years. I consider myself an ultra who had the privilege of lifting the European Cup, to wear the captain’s armband and become sixth in the club’s all-time appearances in the field.
“Why am I no longer there? I had a great relationship with the club that I will always be grateful for, but I wanted to keep playing. They made me feel important, but in a different role from that which I wanted.”
Furthermore, he does not feel that his relationship with Milan coach Massimilano Allegri has suffered from his previous round of tirades against the team.
“I have a great relationship with Max. We were teammates, we won a championship together, but when you hear certain words, you find it difficult to digest.
“Do I regret anything? I have not yet left Milan. I feel them inside. During these months I have avoided going home to say goodbye to the people that I love, but only because pandemonium would break out in the papers.
“However, the sentiments spoken about me are nice and respectful, they make me realise that I made the right decision and that it pays to be passionate about the work.”
Milan have achieved qualification to the Champions League round-of-16 and are currently in seventh place, nine points behind third-placed Napoli.