The story as told by Carlo Ancelotti:
The Good ol’ Days
Rino Gattuso was losing his mind, and it was all Kakha Kaladze’s fault. Rino’s birthday is on January 9.
A few days before his birthday, at the beginning of a training session, Kakha made us all stop what we were doing. He asked if he could speak. “Coach, sorry, I have something to say. It’s very important.”
“Be my guest, Kakha.”
“It’s three days to Rino Gattuso’s birthday.”
Maybe his gears were starting to slip, but we decided to act as if nothing had happened. That night, at dinner, the same thing: “Excuse me, guys, I have something to tell you all.”
“Go ahead, Kakha.”
“It’s two days and fourteen hours till Rino Gattuso’s birthday.”
Our doctors gave us worried looks; they wanted to intervene. They were standing by with a straitjacket, cleaned and pressed, but we told them to hold off.
The following morning, the same thing again. He raised his hand, and I let him go ahead: “Go ahead, Kakha.”
“It’s two days until Rino Gattuso’s birthday.”
Poor Kaladze, Alzheimer’s is a terrible thing. And in such a young man, too.
The team members started laughing, and Rino started to lose his temper. He felt he was a target of ridicule.
The countdown went on – and on, and on. Until the night of January 8: “Guys, it’s just three hours until Rino Gattuso’s birthday.”
Rino Gattuso was having a hard time controlling himself at this point. He would have gladly beaten Kaladze within an inch of his life.
Finally, it was the 9th: nothing. Zero. No one said a thing. The silence of the darkest days. So I finally spoke up: “Kakha, you don’t by any chance have something to tell us?”
“No, coach, what on earth would I have to tell you?”
“You’re sure you’re not forgetting anything?”
“I don’t think so.”
I looked at Rino out of the corner of my eye; he was ticking like a time bomb, ready to go off at any second. He kept control of himself and believed he had emerged the winner.
On January 10, at lunch at training camp, Kakha came over to me with a very sad expression on his face. It seemed like something terrible had happened, so I walked over to him with a show of concern, and asked him, “Is there something wrong?”
“Yes, coach, it’s three hundred and sixty-four days till Rino Gattuso’s birthday.”
Explosion in the cafeteria; we were clearly in the presence of a genius. Kakha was immediately chased down by Rino and pummeled furiously.I think that this is when Kakha began to feel the first creakings in his knee.
Oh Rino And Ancelotti’s Milan :’)