Flamini rejects Gattuso claim
Mathieu Flamini is flattered by comparisons with Gennaro Gattuso but insists he is a very different player to the Italian.
Last Updated: 20/02/08 9:48am
Mathieu Flamini is flattered by comparisons with Gennaro Gattuso but insists he is a very different player to the Italian, ahead of Arsenal's game with Milan on Wednesday.
A UEFA Champions League last-16 tie pits together two of Europe's premier playmakers - Cesc Fabregas and Kaka - in a match-up that has occupied the column inches in both England and Italy.
But an intriguing subplot will be the more physical battle likely to ensue between in-form Flamini and Milan's own pugnacious performer Gattuso.
Flamini's team-mates have christened him 'Gattuso' in homage to his Italian counterpart, but the 23-year-old believes they are not as similar as others believe.
"I don't think so," he told The Independent, when quizzed on whether it was a fair comparison.
"It's true they call me it and he's a great player. I don't want to sound disrespectful to the guy because he's amazing but I think I'm a different player to him. I'm more attacking.
"We try and play a little more football. And, anyway, I want to make my own name in the football world."
Flamini's rise from bit-part player at Emirates Stadium to Fabregas' partner-in-crime was been meteoric; given before this term he was very much a utility player who stepped in when others were not available.
However, such has been his importance to the club's excellent campaign to date, Arsene Wenger is desperate to tie him down to a new five-year deal.
And having usurped Gilberto as a first choice holding midfielder, Flamini is eager to concur on fresh terms.
"I worked hard for three-and-a-half seasons and gave everything but I had to wait to become a regular player.
"It's true we are talking. I'm very happy at Arsenal and hope that everything is going to be okay. I hope to stay."