Gattuso: I'm a Scot born in Italy
By Lorenzo Zacchetti
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Reno Gattuso has exclusively told skysports.com he feels like a Scotsman who was accidentally born in Italy.
The Milan general spent one season bossing Rangers' midfield department in 1997/98 before moving back to Italy to join Salernitana.
The Ibrox faithful adored the tenacious star who followed in a long line of Gers hard men like Graeme Souness, Terry Hurlock and Graeme Roberts, although they were sceptical at first.
Gattuso's combative skills ensured a move to the Rossoneri where he reached the pinnacle last season by helping them lift the most coveted club prize in football, the UEFA Champions League.
Gattuso, who has a Scottish wife, recalled his time with Gers and said it was a surprising experience for both him and the fans.
"When I first arrived at Ibrox Park, people thought I was the usual Italian with no fighting spirit," the ex-Perugia star told skysports.com.
"During my time there, I realised who I am: A Scotsman accidentally born in Calabria!"
Gattuso looked back on his time in the Scottish capital while penning his autobiography, with all the funds from sales of the book going to Gattuso's Foundation to build a sports centre and a children's institute in his native south, known for being poorer than their northern counterparts.
"I had been thinking about doing something for my people for a long time now and I am happy to start from here," the Italian international added.
"Life has given me a lot and I am willing to give something in return for those who weren't as lucky as I was.
"My parents still live in Calabria and I can't forget kids living in a poor environment, with serious problems in their families."
Gattuso has already personally donated é¼20,000 to the campaign so building work can begin, while fellow Milan team-mates Christian Abbiati and Christian Brocchi are also heavily involved in the project.
Close friend Christian Vieri of city rivals Internazionale also weighed in to aid the fund by buying a t-shirt with the foundation logo on for an undisclosed fee.