Gennaro Gattuso has made the outlandish claim he saw the Virgin Mary after AC Milan threw away a three-goal lead against Liverpool in the 2005 Champions League final.
The tough-tackling midfielder was playing for the Italian side in the European showpiece as they went 3-0 up but succumbed to a second-half comeback from the Reds, before losing on penalties.
And Valencia manager Gattuso, speaking after his side’s 5-1 win against Getafe on Sunday in an interview reported by Marca, bizarrely insisted Milan’s collapse caused him to see the mother of Jesus.
He said: ‘I’m a bit angry. We conceded a goal, we missed some passes and Ilaix (Moriba) received a red card. We have to always play 100 minutes at our best, concentrated.
‘I lost a Champions League final when we were winning 3-0 against Liverpool and I saw the Virgin Mary in person.
‘I think that in football you have to play with respect and always be at your best. I always say that this team trains very well, with an incredible mentality. I’m happy with the way we won, yes. Now we have to work, we have to play with young players.
‘When we lose a game, we can’t focus on the criticism. We have to work together, so we can do something important… It’s incredible, the fans really push us. People like the way we play. We have to continue like this.’
Gattuso, 44, was appointed in June to the LaLiga side and has made a mixed start, winning two and losing two of his first four league games.
Goals from Toni Lato, Samuel Lino, Samu Castillejo, Nico Gonzalez and Hugo Duro saw Los Che go 5-0 up at the Mestalla before Gaston Alvarez pulled one back. Valencia’s Ilaix Moriba and Getafe’s Mauro Arambarri were sent off late on.