Gennaro Gattuso has confirmed that he did indeed once eat a live snail to help “relieve tension” during an AC Milan training session.
The claim was first made by Andrea Pirlo, who mentioned in his autobiography that Gattuso ate a snail the day before Milan’s Champions League last-16 match against Manchester United back in 2010.
The story was reminded to Gattuso, now head coach of the Rossoneri, at his press conference ahead of Wednesday night’s Coppa Italia final clash against Juventus.
Asked it the tale was true, the 40-year-old verified it without hesitation, as if eating a snail was the most sensible thing for him to do in the situation:
I’ve done worse things than eating a snail alive. The point is, it was not about the snail anyway.
I’m saying this because my point is that in that particular moment there was need to do something to break the tension.
Given that I have no problems doing anything and we were just few hours before the Champions League [match] against Manchester United and there was a massive pressure on us.
Alas, Rino’s team-building appetiser didn’t do Milan much good, as the Italians were eventually pasted 7-2 by United across the two legs.
Maybe there’s still scope for him to team up with worm connoisseur Sean Dyche and start football’s first Entomophagy club.