Football legend Gennaro Gattuso and family face rising threat from Calabrian mafia over rejected protection scheme
Throughout his footballing career, Gennaro Gattuso was known as a formidable opponent. The central midfielder prided himself on a style of play that was rough and aggressive, a reputation that often placed him squarely in the crosshairs of opposing teams.
Irrespective of Gattuso's intimidating reputation on the pitch, Italian gangsters seem unfazed. The retired AC Milan star currently has an adverse issue with the 'Ndrangheta', one of Italy's dominant mafia organizations, primarily based in Calabria. This syndicate, known for ruining many lives, now have their eyes set on the 46-year-old Gattuso's family.
The Italian newspaper "Il Messaggero" reports that this ordeal began when Francesco Gattuso, Gennaro's father, decided to venture into the photovoltaic industry. The proposed venture was meant to be a family business, with Gattuso's sister, Ida, also playing a role. Gangsters seemingly wasted no time and proposed their “protection” services, ultimately demanding a fee of 3,000 Euros (approx. $3,394).
When the gangsters' proposal was rejected, the family's nightmare took a turn for the worse. On October 17, an unknown person set fire to Ida's car. Just two months later, another one of Ida's cars was burnt. This series of frightening incidents left the whole family stricken with fear, apprehensive about further acts from the mafia.
To enhance their security, Francesco Gattuso hired professionals, although this failed to resolve the situation. Ida eventually took the matter to the police. During the proceedings, it was revealed that Gennaro had also been coerced into getting involved. He conceded to the mafia's demands by paying the 3,000 Euros (approx. $3,394) through a friend on January 10.
Recently, there has been a significant development in the case. The police successfully apprehended the individual responsible for setting Ida's cars ablaze, as well as the person who had orchestrated the act. However, these are just two operatives in a vast criminal network that could potentially continue victimizing the Gattuso family.
Post-retirement, Gennaro Gattuso transitioned into coaching. His portfolio includes stints at football clubs like AC Milan, SSC Napoli, and Valencia CF. At present, he is managing the French side Olympique Marseille.