Speaking ahead of Olympique de Marseille’s UEFA Europa League clash against Brighton & Hove Albion, Gennaro Gattuso was full of praise for compatriot Roberto De Zerbi.
The pair have met before during a 2016 Serie C play-off match. Gattuso was Pisa manager at the time, whilst De Zerbi was managing Foggia. The former was hit by a projectile from the crowd, sending him to the ground. De Zerbi didn’t appreciate how long his opposite number spent on the ground, leading to an argument between the pair and a pitch invasion. Both Gattuso and De Zerbi were sent off for the incident. “It was nothing,” said De Zerbi in a pre-match press conference, attended by Get French Football News. He added, “We both have passion. I have great respect for him. We are very close in terms of character, and passion. I think tomorrow will be better than 2016″
That respect is mutual. Speaking in a pre-match press conference, transcribed by RMC Sport, Gattuso said that De Zerbi is “one of the best Italian managers.”
“I think that Roberto is one of the best Italian managers at the moment. He knows what he wants; he knew it when he was in the third division and the first division. We both have a strong temperament. We had a little coming together during a promotion match, but that’s football. He is a young manager. I have a lot of respect for him,” said Gattuso.
Gattuso is making his home debut against the Seagulls on Thursday. He oversaw a Marseille loss against AS Monaco on Saturday at the Stade Louis II, and is therefore looking for his first points as manager of Les Phocéens, having arrived last week.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle