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What set Gattuso off? Details of last night's headbutting incident emerge

We attempt to get to the bottom of the Gattuso-Jordan spat.

Image: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

WHEN AC MILAN midfielder Gennaro Gattuso woke up this morning, it wasn’t just a hangover from last night’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur that would have caused his head to hurt.

As the sides left the San Siro pitch last night following the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Last 16 tie, the Italian was involved in an incident in which he headbutted Spurs first-team coach Joe Jordan.

The incident was merely the final act of a niggly spat between the pair which ran throughout the game’s second half. Earlier in the evening, Gattuso had squared up to Jordan and pushed the Scot in the face.

Speaking last night, the midfielder appeared to accept that he had been out of line and that he would accept whatever punishment the UEFA disciplinary committee handed down.

I lost my head, I did things I should not have done and I take responsibility for that. Jordan busted my balls for the whole second half, but I should not have reacted like this.

I apologise, and if a ban arrives I will accept it.


Though the manner in which Jordan was allegedly “busting Gattuso’s balls” was not caught by the cameras last night, some details have started to emerge this morning. The Guardian’s website carries comments from the Italian’s agent, Claudio Pasqualin, who gave his client’s side of the story on Napoli’s Radio Kiss Kiss this morning.

What seems evident to me is that my client was strongly provoked by Joe Jordan.

Jordan, after having continuously heckled him, insulted him with truly low phrase, saying ‘Fucking Italian bastard’. For one like Rino, who has a strong sense of his Italian identity, I think this is the most disgusting and unjustifiable of insults.

Jordan has yet to make any comment on the incident, although Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has given his version of events, claiming that he thought Gattuso was coming over to apologise when the headbutt occured.

Speaking to the Keys and Gray show on Talksport this morning, Redknapp described his colleague as “one of the quietest men in the world” but someone who “you definitely wouldn’t want to pick a fight with.”

He’s one of the nicest people you could ever meet and I don’t know what happened with Gattuso.

He just lost his head over something and when he walked across at the end of the game I thought he was coming over to apologise to Joe. I shook hands with him and thought ‘well he’s ok, he realises he’s made a mistake’ and he’s gone and nutted Joe.

Not that it had much effect on Joe … he’s got a hard head after heading all those balls over the years.

Listen to Redknapp’s Talksport interview here.

A statement from UEFA this morning confirmed that the body has opened disciplinary proceedings against Gattuso following last night’s “incidents.”

The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body will meet on Monday 21 February to discuss the case and consider the official reports of the referee and match delegate.

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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