Gattuso: Deschamps' success is not surprising to me

The former Milan midfielder says he is not shocked by Les Bleus boss’ accomplishments as a coach and remembers restless nights at the thought of lining up against Zinedine Zidane

Gennaro Gattuso has said he is not surprised by how well France coach Didier Deschamps has made the transition from player to coach.

The World Cup and European Championship winner took over as Les Bleus boss from Raymond Domenech in 2012 after spells in charge of Marseille and Juventus, and former AC Milan midfielder Gattuso insists he is not shocked by Deschamps’ success as a coach.

“I had the honour to play against Didier Deschamps, he is one of my idols,” Gattuso told RMC Sport.

“What I see now [Deschamps as France coach] I'm not surprised by. He is a man of football. He succeeded because he always had a great passion for football. He was already a coach when he was on the pitch.”

The former Italy international also remembered playing against France legend Zinedine Zidane and said the thought of playing the one-time Ballon d’Or (then the European Footballer of The Year) winner gave him sleepless nights.

He added: “Every time we had to play France, it was me that had to mark Zidane. The night before a game, I did not sleep. I said prayers because I knew he was going to do magic.

“In the end, it was always me who had to look like a fool when I found myself facing Zidane.”

Gattuso left Milan in the summer and now plays for Sion in Switzerland.