Gennaro Gattuso has dismissed comparisons between himself and newly-retired former Italy teammate Andrea Pirlo.
Pirlo announced his retirement from football earlier this week after leaving New York City FC.
The midfielder enjoyed a remarkable career, winning 16 trophies for three different clubs.
His most successful spell arguably came at AC Milan, where he spent ten seasons dominating midfields across the country.
Former Milan and Italy teammate Gattuso was asked whether he had helped Pirlo’s career by freeing him up to concentrate on being a bit good, to which he scoffed.
“Don’t talk nonsense, let’s not confuse Nutella with sh*t,” the Milan Primavera boss replied.
“When I saw him play it made me think I had to change profession. Nobody knows that better than me, because I started playing with him at Italy Under-15 level and then all the youth teams after that.
“It wasn’t only about his quality, but he was an animal covering 1000 metres, he had this athletic quality which is why he played until this age.
“He was someone who ran so much.
“I played with him for about 20 years when you consider the national youth teams, in difficult moments I just gave it to him, I always felt assured when I was next to him.
“I understood what I had to do, and he was taking care of the rest. He helped me much more in my career than I did him.
“In the dressing room? He’s a big son of a… with all due respect to his mother! He teased me for months, he was very funny. I punched him more times than Bud Spencer did Terrence Hill!”