Gennaro Gattuso has revealed regrets about missing out on the Tottenham job and said the fierce backlash he received over some of his past comments “hurts more than any defeat or dismissal”.
Gattuso emerged as a contender for the Spurs job but the club ended talks with him amid a backlash from supporters over the proposed appointment of the Italian, who has a history of backward comments about women in football, same-sex marriage and racism.
The hashtag #NoToGattuso was trending on Twitter in the UK last as fans rallied in opposition to reports that Tottenham were discussing a two-year deal with the 43-year-old.
Spurs looked elsewhere before appointing Nuno Espirito Santo.
“It was a huge disappointment, but I wasn’t described for the way I am and there was nothing I could do,” Gattuso told Il Messaggero in Italy.
“I am sorry I could not defend myself and explain that I am not the person they were talking about in England.
“I had to accept a story that hurts more than any defeat or dismissal, in a moment when we don’t want to understand how dangerous the web can be.
“Certain malice comes from Facebook or Twitter, where it is possible to give strength to any falsehood.
“I don’t have social media profiles and I don’t want them, neither [my wife] Monica has.
“Why should I let them insult me for anything? I don’t even have Instagram. I don’t understand, if I drink a bottle of wine, what’s the point of taking a picture to let others know.
“It’s my business, my children Gabriela and Francesco know it.”