Tassotti: “36 unforgettable years at Milan, I’m leaving because I want to be a coach again”

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AC Milan assistant coach Mauro Tassotti looks on before the Serie A match between AC Milan and Genoa CFC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 25, 2012 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Mauro Tassotti said goodbye to Milan for the first time in 36 years as he terminated his contract earlier this week and is set to join Andriy Shevchenko in Ukraine.

The contract of Tassotti (along with that of Andrea Maldera) was terminated by mutual consent this week and the former defender, who first joined Milan in 1980 and never left since, is set to start a new road in the Ukraine national team.

Tassotti, who acted as Carlo Ancelotti, Leonardo, Massimiliano Allegri and Filippo Inzaghi’s assistant is going with Sheva to help Ukraine reach the 2018 World Cup and he explains his decision in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Shevchenko’s call? It’s not something that just happened. I carefully weighed it up, digesting everything first,” Tassotti told the pink newspaper. “And I’d like to stress that for the moment the only thing I signed is my contract termination. However, the door should be open this week.

“When he proposed to me this possibility he left with me a sense of gratification. His respect was a great pleasure, and he’s very enthusiastic and geared up. But I must also say it’s a very intriguing project. To work towards World Cup qualification is something only done every four years. It’s something that intrigues me a lot as I’ve only worked at club level up to this point.

Mauro Tassotti during the press conference today (@acmilan.com)
Mauro Tassotti during a press conference (@acmilan.com)

“What went through my mind when I terminated with Milan? I felt both strange and upset. The sadness came to me because it was 36 unforgettable years [at Milan]. I had Adriano Galliani in front of me saying, ‘If you’re happy, then so are we.’ I knew in my heart I wanted to return to the pitch and I knew that they wouldn’t have prevented me from doing so even though I have a year left on my contract. If there were tears? I was very close but I managed to restrain myself.

“My three most beautiful memories that I will take with me to Ukraine from Milan? The first Champions League victory, entering the San Siro for our first Scudetto celebration, and my final match at the San Siro, against Cagliari. I played as a central midfielder.

“My last year working as a scout? When I accepted the job a year ago I saw it as a good opportunity to enrich my growth as a professional. In reality it was less exciting than I expected. I had so much nostalgia towards the pitch it was inevitable I’d leave in this manner. I wanted, and still want, to coach again. The fact that the role was still of importance as I had to monitor the growth and evolution of about 20-25 on-loan players and report back to the club? Well… the other option would’ve been to stay at home so I accepted. Initially I liked the detachment from the field but then I realized that I was doing a job that is too detached from the dynamics I knew. I tried to get used to it.

“Every weekend I left to see a match, speak with the lads, and observe them in training. Sometimes I approached them, without interfering the coaches, with directions and advice. After that I created a report for sporting director Maiorino and Galliani. The problem is that last year our young players on loan didn’t play much. Of the 20-25 players, apart from Matri and Paletta who are no longer kids, there wasn’t anybody we could bring back. They all need to stay on loan and gain experience.

MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 18: Head Coach of AC Milan Filippo Inzaghi and Mauro Tassotti look at his players during the the Serie A match between AC Milan and Atalanta BC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 18, 2015 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

“Berlusconi said he wants a young-Italian Milan? If you create a young team it’s difficult to fight for the three first places. It must be a mix. But they did welcome Calabria, Donnarumma and Locatelli. Milan has a great youth sector. And also Romagnoli can play a part for the next ten years. Milan without Berlusconi? I don’t think there’s a better President, I love him. But the years have passed for everyone and it is inevitable that at some point you need to make certain choices.

“The fact that I’m going to be an assistant again and if someday I’ll be a head coach? If it’s to happen, I’ll take it into consideration. Even at a lower level. For me to coach is enough.”

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PATITO MILAN

Comment:Tanks 4 ur professionalism & dedication,gudluck to ur new chapter in life

Milan Boy

He addressed some key areas of interest.First,Berlusconi’s dream of a young Italian team will not come without a price of forfeiting the first three places in the league.Secondly,no matter how sweet an era is,it will end at some point,meaning that it is time to sell to the Chinese and only pray that they give us many more fond memories than Berlusconi.Thank you Tassoti for all you gave to milan,best of luck in your adventures.

Milan10

Thank you for everything uve done for milan tassotti. Godspeed u

naija_milan

and as usual, going to play 2nd fiddle all over again?

Phildadon1899

I hope Shevchenko does well as a coach. Maybe in 4-5 years he can be our manager. I hate not having an ex Milan player on the bench.

ck

Thank you tassotti. You are right. All good things will come to an end. Hope the chinese deal goes thru

Teki

Two true legends of milan on picture. Tassotti thank you for everything you ve done for milan!

Sheva

Shut up tassoti, really shut up! I do respect the legends of milan, i do. For the same reason i dont buy berlusconis ” im the most successful president, look what i have done” bla bla.. IT DOESNT MEAN YOU CAN DO WHAT EVER YOU WANT AND GET FORGIVEN FOR EVERYTHING. Tassoti, you was suppose to be the coach of defence under allegri and inzaghi.. you FAILED big times. And i wont forgive you just because u are a legend, same as berlusconi. I dont forgive him for all the lies and insults just beacuse he made milan. There was… Read more »

Silver

Yes! Everytime when Bonera came on even for a last minute, I trembled from fear. I never understood how he possibly got so much playing time. And din’t he even wear the captains armband sometimes??

Milan10

I perfectly understand its spoilt brats with fixation “supporters” like you who made maldini snapped and said what he said to tifosi after 04/05 ucl final. Who are you and what have you done for milan that makes you think ur entitled to see only bad things in people who literally have broken their own bones for milan and to overlook priceless things theyve contributed? I bet u were just little boy sucking on ur dad’s tits when tassotti was lifting milan’s 5th ucl trophy. And i bet if u were spain nt fan, ud say del bosque’s a hack… Read more »

Bynz

I feel you fam, hope you get through as being a coach thanks for all you did for the squad.