EXCLUSIVE MN – Pellegatti: “In Manchester my most suffered commentary. I felt that Juve would have missed the penalties”


On the day of the 17th anniversary of the victory against Juventus in the 2003 Champions League final, the editorial team of MilanNews.it has contacted Carlo Pellegatti. With the famous singer of the Rossoneri deeds we returned to the mind on May 28, 2003, inside the Old Trafford stadium.

During your Manchester 2003 final, was your commentary the most charged with sporting suffering?

Undoubtedly yes. I remember many others, however, such as that of Naples in May 1988 (Milan beat the hosts 2-3 and made the decisive overtaking in the Scudetto fight, ed.). There was only one result and those where you just have to win always have a certain pathos. Going back to Manchester, I can say that, reviewing the penalties, all of us Milan fans have the feeling of uncertainty about the final outcome. Even today, after 17 years, you still don’t know if Sheva will score the penalty or miss it“.

What was the climate in the English city during the match days?

There was a festive atmosphere, the same as in all the Champions League finals. Surprising considering the great rivalry between the two teams. Adriano Galliani always says that the Champions League finals have one thing in common: there is the joy of being there, regardless of the final result“.

How did Milan get to that final?

It was a Milan that was not doing very well, but it was strong of the victory over Inter and the shift of turn with the nerazzurri had given morale to the team. In the same double derby in the semifinal we had shown that we were not in great shape. Despite this, however, the team felt strong, because it had managed to get out of a difficult situation even in the quarterfinals against Ajax“.

In addition to Sheva’s iconic rigor, two other significant and symbolic images of that challenge are Nesta’s incredible save on Ferrara and Gattuso’s shot at 120 ° which forces Juventus to restart with Buffon’s action.

Nesta is a bit a specialist in the decisive bailouts in the finals, because he made a sensational save also in the 2007 European Super Cup final against Sevilla, with the Spaniards already in the lead. The Gattuso of that shot is the same that we then reviewed four years later during the perfect match (Milan-Manchester Uniter 3-0, 2007 Champions League semifinal), when together with Oddo he completely canceled Cristiano Ronaldo. Gattuso perfectly represented the spirit of Milan who wanted to win the final at all costs. It was not just a team of wonderful players, but it was a concrete team with a great fighting spirit“.

You get to penalties: what is the first image that comes to your mind if you think back to that series of shots from the spot?

My esoteric predictions when they took a run after Trezeguet and Zalayeta, who then made a mistake. When I saw their run-up I thought that the long run-ups in penalties are an indication of weakness and in fact in the commentary I say ‘Bad run-up, too long’, before they shoot. They had made me hope and it went well“.

The rigor of Shevchenko, which displaces Buffon and gives Milan his sixth Champions League: if he closes his eyes and thinks back to that moment of 17 years, what comes to mind?

It was a liberation, because penalties you never know how they can end. It was an extraordinary moment and it seemed almost impossible. Penalty wins always have a particular taste. The surviving teams often go on penalties. In that case we had Roque Junior who was ironed and we played in the final in ten, there had been Conte’s stake. We were attached to hope and often the teams that have the upper hand in penalties“.



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