Gattuso: Coppa like World Cup

Gennaro Gattuso has likened the importance of their Wednesday Coppa Italia final with Juventus to that of the World Cup for his AC Milan’s team.

Gattuso admitted that his side has a mammoth task on Wednesday against the Juventus side that is hard to crack and also plays with discipline.

The Coppa Italia final will be played in Rome with Juventus looking for a double as they are also in pole posistion to clinch the Serie A title.

Gattuso told a press conference: “This is like the World Cup for our enthusiasm, the enthusiasm of the fans and their desire to get back to lifting a trophy again.

“You can sense it. Considering the team we’ve got, we just need that spark to light up the fireworks. I didn’t need to fire up the lads, as it’s the kind of match that fires you up anyway. We’re playing against a side that has dominated Italian football and been a protagonist in Europe for seven years, so they have a great mentality.

“We’ve got to give our best and if we can overcome this obstacle, we can do something important. I am sure of that.”

The former Milan and Italy midfielder also stated that the Wednesday’s final is the biggest of his young coaching career.  

Added Gattuso: “This is the most important match of my coaching career. There have been a few disappointments; we hope it can be satisfying. If this game was at the end of the season, I’d be less worried. We’ve got two battles with Atalanta and Fiorentina coming up, so going into those with a Cup on the mantlepiece is different to the feeling after a defeat.

“As a player, and it’s the same as a Coach, I always got the feeling Juventus had this extraordinary mentality. Their players are proud to wear the jersey. They’re passionate. I’m impressed by the discipline and battling spirit of the Juve world and I saw that made the difference, even when Milan had more technically gifted players. Sometimes I see the Juve players and they don’t even look sweaty.

“Milan brought something different in Europe in terms of football, but winning the way Juve do – with mentality, physical strength and quality – is not easy. People might say they didn’t win the Champions League as often, but reaching the Final is like winning it.”