Football legends Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso formed a formidable midfield partnership for both AC Milan and the Italy national team. While their on-field chemistry was unparalleled, their off-pitch antics truly showcased their incredible camaraderie. Among the many humorous tales, one story stands out as pure comedy gold – the unforgettable “fork attacks” orchestrated by none other than the fiery Gattuso!
Andrea Pirlo, renowned for his vision, technique, and free-kick prowess, began his illustrious career with his hometown club Brescia. He soon moved to AC Milan, where his talent blossomed, leading the club to two Serie A titles and two UEFA Champions League triumphs. His brilliance extended to the international stage, where he played 116 games for Italy, winning the 2006 FIFA World Cup and leading them to the final of UEFA Euro 2012. He was one of the best free transfers of all time when he moved to Juventus in 2011 and won the Serie A title for all four seasons he was with the club!
Gennaro Gattuso, famously known as “Rino,” was a midfield dynamo with boundless energy and aggression. His partnership with Pirlo proved pivotal in Italy’s World Cup glory in 2006 and AC Milan’s domestic and European successes. Gattuso’s relentless work rate and tenacity perfectly complemented Pirlo’s composed playing style, making them an unstoppable duo.
However, it was behind the scenes that Pirlo’s mischievous nature came to light. He and his fellow “bast***s” in the team loved tormenting Rino, especially during meal times at Milanello, AC Milan’s training ground. They would pounce on him when he got his verbs wrong or even when he got them right, to wind him up further. Despite his competitive nature, Gattuso was always a good sport and took their playful jabs in good humour.
But the legendary fork attacks take the cake for sheer hilarity. During meal times, the pranksters often found ways to put Gattuso on the spot. Rino’s comical verbal mishaps became a prime target for amusement. The playful banter between Pirlo, Ambrosini, Nesta, Inzaghi, Abbiati, and Oddo would leave the team in stitches.
Pirlo recounted in his book an example of the hilarious dialogue that went on between him and Gattuso:
“Rino, how are you?”
“Bad. We got beat yesterday. I was better if we won.”
“Rino, try again. It’s: ‘I’d be better if we’d won.'”
“But it’s the same thing.”
“Not exactly, Rino.”
“Fine then. I’d be better if we’d won.”
“Rino, just how ignorant are you? ‘I was better if we won.’ That’s how you say it.”
“But that’s what I said before.”
Their laughter, however, escalated when Gattuso playfully retaliated with a fork. At times, his competitive spirit got the better of him, and he’d go for the ultimate fork attack on his teammates. He even managed to strike his intended target on some occasions, leaving them with a fork in the skin! Some players had to miss games due to these injuries, and they were covered up by announcing to the public that the victim was suffering from “muscle fatigue.”
Despite Gattuso’s fork attacks, the team adored him, and the camaraderie remained strong. When he returned to his room to calm down, the group blocked his exit, piled up sofas, and chuckled at his reactions.
The tale of Gattuso’s fork attacks adds a touch of hilarity to the incredible careers of Pirlo and Gattuso. Despite the banter and the attacks, they were the best of friends. Time for the cliche: With friends like that, who needs enemies?!