Celtic playmaker Shunsuke Nakamura has labelled AC Milan star Rino Gattuso a “fighting dog” ahead of their midfield battle in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at Parkhead.
Gattuso, a former Rangers player, flies into Glasgow this afternoon ahead of the first leg of their last-16 clash with the Bank of Scotland Premier League champions.
In an interview for Japanese television, Nakamura, who played in Italy with Reggina, said:
“They are a big club with international players in every position and they’ve won the league many times. I played against them many times when I was at Reggina and they seemed almost impossible to beat.
“They are very strong and have many intelligent players who know their football. Gattuso is like a fighting dog. Kaka is fast and tough. Dida, I think, is the best goalkeeper in the world.”
However, the Japan international, who scored a trademark free-kick in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie, believes Milan’s main threat will come from midfielder Andrea Pirlo.
He said: “I think the key to Milan is Pirlo.
“He positions himself in front of the back four and makes accurate passes – he can turn the tide with one play. They are very good at that kind of counter-attacking.
“Milan will go on if we can’t stop Pirlo.”