Ricorrenze Azzurre

Happy Birthday to Gennaro Gattuso, a World Cup winner in 2006!

'Ringhio', a combative midfielder who enjoyed great success with Milan and Italy, turns 43 today

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Happy Birthday to Gennaro Gattuso, a World Cup winner in 2006!

On 9 January 1978, Ivan Gennaro Gattuso, who would go on to become a World Champion with Italy in 2006, was born in Corigliano Calabro in the province of Cosenza.

After coming through the youth ranks at Perugia, with whom he won two Primavera league titles and then debuted in Serie A, Rino headed for Scotland at the age of just 19 to play for Glasgow Rangers. There, he got to experience playing in the major European competitions for the first time.

He then returned to Italy as Salernitana secured his services, but he only stayed in Campania for one campaign as Milan, who were looking to strengthen their midfield, came calling. He went on to remain at the Rossoneri for 13 seasons, during which he won everything: the Coppa Italia (x1), Scudetto (x2), Supercoppa Italiana (x2), Champions League (x2), UEFA Super Cup (x2) and FIFA Club World Cup (x1).

Gattuso was also successful on the international stage: after a second-place finish at the Under-18 European Championship, he won the 2000 Under-21 European Championship with the Azzurrini in 2000. In the same year, he won his first cap for the senior side at the age of 22 as Dino Zoff chose to play him in Italy’s friendly against Sweden in Palermo. On his first start for the Azzurri, which came against England, he scored his first and only goal for his country. He took part in the 2002 World Cup and the 2004 European Championship, but it was in Germany where, along with the rest of the Italian contingent in 2006, he made history as Marcello Lippi led the Azzurri to World Cup success. After becoming a World Champion, Gattuso was involved in the 2008 European Championship, the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, after which his Italy career came to an end following a total of 73 appearances.