Gattuso: “The win over Barcelona was a step back in terms of quality but I like the spirit of the team, André Silva…”

Gennaro Gattuso during Barcelona-Milan at Levi's Stadium on August 5, 2018. (
Gennaro Gattuso during Barcelona-Milan at Levi’s Stadium on August 5, 2018. (

Gennaro Gattuso believes Milan could’ve played better football against Barcelona, even though they picked up their first International Champions Cup win.

Milan ended their USA Tour last night as they faced Barcelona at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, and they return to Italy with a small smile on their faces as they beat La Blaugrana 1-0 with a last-second goal.

The result however, doesn’t really tell the story of the match as it was a poor performance from the Rossoneri, who despite playing many starters were dominated by Barcelona’s reserves and Barca B players.

“We struggled but we knew it could have been like this,” coach Gattuso said in the post-match press conference. “We can be pleased with the win but surely it’s a step back in terms of quality compared to the matches against Spurs and Manchester United.

André Silva, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Franck Kessié and Giacomo Bonaventura celebrating during Barcelona-Milan at Levi's Stadium on August 5, 2018. (
André Silva, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Franck Kessié and Giacomo Bonaventura celebrating during Barcelona-Milan at Levi’s Stadium on August 5, 2018. (

“I said that I wanted to see something interesting at a tactical level and at times I saw it. We were lucky not to concede but at the same time, we did well to stay in the game and we could’ve scored goals. We could have played a better quality game but since they were moving the ball around quickly and we had to try to intercept their passes we didn’t have the energy to play on the counterattack. It was a step back in terms of quality.

“The defensive performance? I’m very satisfied, but it’s for the 26 days we’ve done, the work and the kind of games we played. Barcelona were packed with kids? These kids, if I’m not mistaken, are worth €200m and they know how to play football. It was a difficult game but we prepared for it.

“We wanted to create a lot of passing lines. We were organized but when we had the ball we could’ve developed differently. The attitude of the team? Fouls are useless, but the competitive wickedness matters. You have to get to the ball first. If I’m not mistaken, Çalhanoğlu and Kessié, in the second half, lost 4-5 balls in a trivial way. I like the spirit, it must burn when you lose. I said the other days that against Tottenham we lost but I didn’t see that spirit, but today we saw it.

André Silva and Franck Kessié celebrating during Barcelona-Milan at Levi's Stadium on August 5, 2018. (
André Silva and Franck Kessié celebrating during Barcelona-Milan at Levi’s Stadium on August 5, 2018. (

“André Silva [who scored the winner for Milan]? He’s an important player. He had great difficulties last year, but he’s young and still has ample room for improvement. I cannot say that he has to work [harder] because he’s working too hard, more than he has to do. With continuity he can improve and unlock the situation. He’s a very interesting player, he does what he does very well.”

The Rossoneri will return to Italy tomorrow and the players who took part in the USA Tour will be given two days off, with training resuming at Milanello on August 8. Serie A starts on August 19.


  1. A bunch of 17 18 year olds out played a squad that’s worth idk 200m I get we are a team still trying to find an identity but this is embarrassing from Gattuso. Something has to change we are not ready for the season higuain is gonna be our saviour but I fear with the lack of pace and creativity in midfield we will struggle

    • Thanks bro fir saying the truth. I saw the laughable player ratings from a tabloid site rating kessie 7.5 and motm, barca kids,i mean kids had 405 completed passes against our 101 just in the first half, 67% possesion, donnaruma saved us yesterday. I watched the match until 88min after which i switched off my set and for the whole time, barca kids played our 200m squad like we were the kids. Omg!!!

  2. I saw highlights of the game. I didn’t recognize the Barca players but mehn those guys were good. Gattuso just confirmed it. It’s not about the win. The quality of our play has to increase tremendously. Hopefully, the new and potential signings will make it possible

  3. The difference between Barcelona and the rest of the footballing world is simple
    Barcelona have being grooming there players in the academy since they could walk to pass the ball
    I’ve read interviews from Iniesta and Zavi and they gave an insight to the difference, there trained to never give away the ball from age 5 its a crime to do so, neither of them could understand the English mentality of just kicking it up the field aimlessly and said the crowd in England would roar there approval at doing so while if they did that the crowd would kill them and there coaches
    No other academy to my knowledge preaches and trains that into there young players only Barcelona and it might of took a generation to do it but just look at the teams they keep on producing? You can’t get a kick of the ball from them regardless of age or size the rules still apply and because there so good at it they force you to foul them

    • Exactly, and La Masia and their first team are in complete harmony with each other, that’s why it’s easy for their youth players to slot into their first team – if they can maintain their place and are good enough in terms of quality is something else though, point is that they know how the basic ideas of how the first team plays even before their first training session.

      Another thing they probably teach in their youth section is diving, exaggerating and complaining to the ref 🙂

    • Thank you! People are really undermining Barcelona as an organization. The connection in style and cohesiveness of play from the very bottom level to the first team is nothing short of amazing.

    • So how did this mentally help them in 2004 or so, when we had Sheva, Kaka, and the lot?

      Nonsense. They’re successful in the last decade because they had the best squad along with one of the 2 top players in the world. Yes, you how have to know how to manage a good squad, but notice how every coach there becomes a candidate for top coach of the year?

      • Indeed. The decline of serie A further gave rise to the dominance of the Spanish sides. I am 40 yrs old & I have hated Barcelona for 24 of them, still do lol. It began with the incredibly arrogant Cruyff. Being a Milan fan, we weren’t used to arrogance. Then this guy comes & takes a pic with the UCL trophy & says Milan are nothing compared to Barca. They said they were going not to play but to collect the trophy. His team talk was “You are better than them, you’re going to win”. Nobody was expecting Milan to win, especially with Baresi, Billy, Van Basten & Lentini all out of the game but the absolute lack of class from Cruyff was shocking. The day we won was the best day of my life till the birth of my daughter, second best now lol. I have hated Barca since & always will. They were in disarray before Rijkaard took over, people praised Pep as a world beater but the foundation was Rijkaard’s. Pep was simply lucky to have good players + Messi. And their financial spending power. Needless to say, I am biased.

      • Exactly,because in reality only one team can play Barcelona’s style on the field,otherwise it would exist in the first place,this game proved that scoring and winning is ultimately more important than statistics and further indicates how the rest of the footballing world has figured out this Tik tak football played by Spain and Barcelona,which explains the recent lack of success.Its just a dam pre season,and those youngsters where trying to prove a point so they saw it as a final.People need to relax,Barcelona still have to prove what their plan as post-Messi era to earn my respect again

      • Not really nonsense. La Masia has had their way of playing, but Barcelonas A-team didn’t really play their infamous Tiki-Taka up until Pep Guardiola took over. Rijkaard played a different type of football, as did the others. It was once Guardiola took over that the youth products started shining in their first team, like Iniesta, Busquets, Pique etc. Xavi has always had talent, but why do you think he only showed his class on such permanent basis once Guardiola took over? Im aware that he became Euros best player 2008 as well, but still, he was touted to leave Barcelona many times before Pep’s entry,, in which he cemented his place as one of the best deep-lying midfielders that have ever graced the field. This was after 2004:)

        • Rijkaard’s Barca was equally strong to be honest. And Naz comment dates back to when Xavi was 5, what’s pep gotta do with anything?

          He’s comment was about barca’s so-called winning DNA. But when Xavi was 5, milan could have tought Barca a few things about winning; they were nowhere close to us.

          Now they have Messi so suddenly their football culture is superior or something. Screw them.

      • It’s not nonsense at all its an absolute fact, read any Barcelona players interviews when asked about there youth set up and they all say the same thing
        Yes they have financial strength but so did we, Milan broke the record several times buying players, why are we where we are now?? It’s because we didn’t prepare for when we could no longer do that
        Barcelona set about creating there own superstars and groomed them from a young age, I’m not saying they don’t buy players of course they do but they did create there first total football team themselves and bought nobody, they already had them much like Manchester United’s team of Beckham, Giggs ext…
        The only problem with that particular philosophy is it takes years before players are ready to step in so your forced to buy.
        A vicious circle if you will

        • Lmao yeah, screw Barca. Every club goes through cycles. Last decade belonged to Barca. When a club is winning it’s easy to focus on the good things like La Masia. Btw, Barca bought nobody during first total football team? How about Thierry Henry, Pique, Abidal, Toure, Dani Alvez, Keita, Milito, Gudjohnsen, Eto’o, Hleb? We lost our financial edge for many reasons. Serie A’s decline, our financial model is different than the big two Spanish clubs. Their revenue model is different to serie A and they own their stadium & Berlusconi wasn’t willing to invest anymore. You are right, we should have prepared for the future but everything is 20/20 in hindsight, the truth is things deteriorated far too quickly for anybody to do anything, thanks to Calciopoli. Let’s talk about La Masia again once Messi retires.

  4. Milan clearly do not know nor have the players or quality to play 4-3-3, and it was clearly evident in that game. We got completely outplayed, outpassed, outpaced, against a b side reserve Barcelona squad who were mostly little kids. That was so embarrassing to watch yesterday. Milan needs to play at least 4 midfielders for better coverage since we do not have the type of players who can pass and hold on to the ball very well, plus are squad lacks speed. 4-3-3 should only be played when you have at least 2 world class Midfilders who can pass and move the ball really well, unfortuntely Milan do not have a world class midfielder

  5. LOL I am laughing at people expecting us to have outplayed the Barça kids hahaha.

    Juve, supreme Serie A team got spanked by Madrid kids.

    This is Barça strength, possession of the ball. Anyone expecting milan to have controlled the ball ahead of barca is just being emotional.

    That said, we could have done better on the counter which was our chance. Barça had maybe 3 or 4 shots inside the 18 yard, we also had a lot of chances.

    Locatelli kind of collapsed and to me that was the weakest link. He wasn’t strong and didn’t impose himself.

    But I’m not disappointed. Overall, we create chances and thats my hope. If we have quality at the top, it should count.

  6. We were playing the top team in one of the most financially lop-sided leagues in the world, so it’s understandable we’d need to mount a defensive display.
    But managers like Jose Mourinho at Inter and Jupp Heynkes at Bayern have already proven there is more than 1 way to win a match.

  7. In terms of honesty and winning spirit, i like you sir Rino. But in terms of tactical, i don’t. Never ever play using the same formation against the maestro (Barca). You will get humiliated, sir. Do you remember UCL final in 1994 against Barca, sir? Milan won 4-0 with pragmatic performance using 4-4-2 coupled with extra continuing pressures to Barca’s duo : Stoichkov & Romario. That is how to play against Barca, sir. Please be humble and ask Capello for some tips.

  8. Um.
    I think many of you guys are not realising that it was BARCA who had kids on the pitch worth 200mil, not Milan.

    Cillessen – 18mil
    Semedo – 27mil
    Marlon – 9mil
    Lenglet – 32.4mil
    Miranda – 900k
    Roberto – 49.5mil
    Rafinha – 25.2mil
    Arthur – 27mil
    Malcom – 40.5mil
    Alcacer – 13.5mil
    Murir – 10.8mil

    That is 252.9mil current market value in the starting lineup without the subs like Stegan.

    • It’s a practice match, means nothing. Last year we beat the “grown-ups” of Bayren and it didn’t indicate anything about the season to come.

    • Lol people, as usual, are overreacting. But being fans, they have the right to. So, to each their own. Friendlies are friendlies for a reason though. It doesn’t matter.

  9. We should rap up this Lazio Sagej , and if we can get Depay that will be amazing Mercato. We need good players. Wondering y we haven’t been able to selll Kallinic and other dead woods.

  10. I watched this game from beginning to end. Same way I watched all last season’s games and all preseason games so far. Tactically, we’re and we’ve always been terrible under Gattuso and trust me I have so much respect and love for Rino. But if we’re honest about fighting for a UCL place in Serie A we need conte or any other complete coach or else it’s gonna be same as last season. Say whatever you want about how prepared the Barca kids were but this was our starting eleven being outplayed like they’re nothing. Rino does very well in defense coaching but poor with build ups. Maybe he should be our defensive coordinator. The team looked horrible Thru out their preseason games and as a fellow coach, I’m still not convinced about Rino coaching abilities on every level of the game. Sorry.

    • I kind of disagree. I’d hardly call this our starting line up. No Caldara, Biglia, RicRod’s first game back, Higuain. That’s 4 important players. We have only been training less than a month, so lack of urgency & tired legs is to be expected. I thought our defensive shape was pretty good & there were more than enough chances of counter that would have been more threatening if we had more match fitness. There were 2 pretty good build ups towards Barca’s goal besides the last second winner & that must be seen as a promising thing for the future. I for one choose to back Rino. I do believe he will leave by himself if/when he feels like he is the wrong person for Milan.

    • You have said it all! All those who gave you thumbs down know nothing! Gattuso is the missing link in the team as he is sooooo tactically inept it’s frightening! Every time is grinta, grinta! To what end I ask?!

      Unless Elliot and Leo want their efforts to come to. naught we need to sack this man pronto! If not by September it will be too late and we be 6th or 8th mark my words!

  11. The only thing i can say is many milan fans are never satisfied even aftr spending 200m they where never satisfied,criticzing milan simply b/cos barca used their second eleven was unfiar never forget all those second eleven don’t have first team chance but in other club they will surely have it.lets be fair we have improved alot just only one thing missing in the midfield thats all for the rest we are good.a good milan don’t bash nor bash.

  12. You have said it all! All those who gave you thumbs down know nothing! Gattuso is the missing link in the team as he is sooooo tactically inept it’s frightening! Every time is grinta, grinta! To what end I ask?!

    Unless Elliot and Leo want their efforts to come to. naught we need to sack this man pronto! If not by September it will be too late and we be 6th or 8th mark my words!



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