So, this time I’ve kind of gone off the beaten track with this particular ex-player, but it’s someone I thought certainly warrants some attention. Gennaro Ivan “Rino” Gattuso was an Italian defensive midfielder that joined Rangers from Perugia in 1997 at the age of 19. Walter Smith brought the tough tackling box-to-box midfielder to Glasgow as somewhat of an unknown quantity and very few knew what an illustrious career he would go on and have. Rino started out as a youth at Perugia and didn’t play many times for the senior team before moving to Scotland after making only 10 appearances for the first team in Umbria.

Rino only lasted one season with Rangers mainly due to Walter Smith leaving the club and Dick Advocaat taking over. The Dutchman didn’t particularly favour Gatusso and continued to play him out of position as a right back and that was that. Rino moved in October of 98 after making 34 appearances for the light blues to newly promoted Salernitana for a fee of £4 million. Despite his best efforts, they were relegated from the Italian top tier.

AC Milan signed Gatusso for 8 million euros in the summer of 1999 and this is where he made his mark as a truly outstanding player. Over 13 years representing the Italian giants he racked up over 400 senior games, he partnered Andrea Pirlo in the centre of the Milan midfield, which became one of the most successful partnerships for both club and country, accumulating in Italy winning the World Cup in 2006. He continued to play for the club until the summer of 2012 where he announced he would be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Gatusso joined Swiss club Sion where he played for just short of a year before being named the new manager. Unfortunately, he didn’t last too long and was sacked in May of 2013. He then moved onto Palermo after their relegation into Serie B, however, another short stint saw him being released in November after only two wins and a single draw in the opening 6 games of the season. In the following summer, he was appointed the manager of OFI Crete in the Greek Superleague, another team and another short period in his managerial career resulting in him submitting his resignation because of the club’s financial difficulties. He applied for the Hamilton post but was turned down by the club.

Rino was given the chance to manage Lega Pro side Pisa and guided the Tuscany club to promotion to the Serie B. Gatusso then parted ways with the club stating “serious, constant and unacceptable problems”. The tenacious midfield powerhouse is currently in charge of the AC Milan Primavera (under 19’s). The fiery hothead has certainly had an interesting and fruitful career both on and off the pitch and has got himself into trouble on more than one occasion, including headbutting Spurs coach Joe Jordan after a match. A player that won many trophies for club and country I felt I had to look at, I always admired watching him play football for both Rangers and Milan. An aggressive, heart on the sleeve type you just couldn’t get bored of trying to emulate. Rino always giving 100% every time he stepped onto the pitch is what made him a joy to behold.

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