Monday, May 14th, 2012
“Thank you Milan, thank you football. Allow me to call you my own, the people of Via Turati, from Milanello to the offices to the phone operators to the warehouse workers, the physiotherapists, the doctors, the cooks, from the stadium to the changing room.” – Pippo Inzaghi.
“This was my last match at San Siro. It’s very hard to speak during a moment like this. Emotions are taking over everything.” – Gianluca Zambrotta.
“I couldn’t give any more on a footballing level, I felt empty, I didn’t feel like a warrior any more but more like a mascot.” – Rene Gattuso.
It was the end of an era at a tearful Milan on Sunday.
The facts: Gattuso arrived in Milan in 1999, played 468 games, scored 11 goals; Inzaghi arrived in 2001, played 300 games, scored 126 goals; Seedorf arrived in 2002, played 420 games scoring 61 goals; Nesta joined the Rossoneri in 2002, played 326 games and scored 10 goals.
Between them the foursome played 1514 matches, scored 208 goals, and collected two Serie A titles, two Champions League medals, two Uefa SuperCups, one Fifa Club World Cup, and one Coppa Italia.
Amid such an hostoric legacy, the San Siro witnessed a collection of tear-jerking moments in the match with Novara as the awesome-foursome turned out in the red-and-black for one last occasion.
Even before the match had started, Rene Gattuso was comforted by Clarence Seedorf as his emotions took over. Then, in the 82nd minute (just 15 minutes after coming on as sub), Super Pippo Inzaghi won the match with a chest down and finish from a Seedorf ball. It was all too much for commentator Tiziano Crudeli, who broke down in tears on Italian TV.
After the match the Milan celebrations were dominated by the foursome during a lengthy lap of honour that included a speech from Adriano Galliani.