Gennaro Gattuso was left beaming with pride after his Napoli side beat Juventus on penalties to be crowned Coppa Italia champions on Wednesday evening.
Had it not been for Gianluigi Buffon the Partenopei would surely have gotten their hands on the trophy at the end of the 90 minutes, but there was little the veteran could do about any of the four spot kicks Napoli converted.
Gattuso has faced a troubled time of late though, far beyond Napoli’s Serie A and Coppa Italia preparations, having lost his sister, Francesca, earlier this month.
“It [the win] means a lot,” Gattuso said at his post-match press conference.
“I feel this victory inside. I know the difficulties we’ve had from where we started and I think we deserve this.
“I have to thank the president and all of the people who gave me the opportunity to coach this team.”
“We have to know who we’ll have next season, but I think 70 percent of the players will stay,” he added.
“Now we have to play every three days and we’ll give chances to everyone.
“It’s not possible to play with just 13 or 14 players.
“I’ve already told everyone that they’ll have chances in the next few games.”
After a long week, Gattuso will finally be able to sleep peacefully after overcoming his own inner demons.
“I woke up a few times last night thinking that I had already lost a couple of these finals,” he said.
“I feel alive – we’ve achieved an important goal.
“I’m happy for my staff and for the players.”