Posted on May 12
Gennaro Gattuso says playing one final season at former club Rangers would be the ideal way to cap a career spent primarily with AC Milan.
The combative midfielder will bring down the curtain on his 13-year relationship with Milan during Sunday's San Siro clash with Novara.
And despite his many achievements with the rossoneri, the 34-year-old still holds a candle for the Scottish giants, who are currently fighting for their survival after entering administration.
Key to any move back to Ibrox could be his wife Monica Romano, a Scot of Italian descent.
"I have to speak with my wife, she's the one who decides, but if I have a say my dream is to return to Rangers," said Gattuso.
"But the club are in a deep crisis, they're in controlled administration.
"I went there when I was unknown and they improved me. I'd like to go back there for a year."
Gattuso started his career at Perugia in 1995 before moving to Rangers for a year in 1997.
He was very popular with the Rangers faithful and his game seemed ideally suited to the rough and tumble of British football, but after just one season and the arrival of Dutchman Dick Advocaat he was sold to Salernitana.
After one year at the newly-promoted Serie A side he caught Milan's eye and went on to play a part in one of the club's most successful eras, winning two Champions Leagues and two league titles.
"Those were fantastic years, it was a dream, 13 years are not insignificant," he added.
"When you wear the jersey you dreamed of wearing since you were a child... but life goes on.
"I hope my eyes will be fine, I still want to fight on, I'm not finished as a footballer."
Gattuso has made only five appearances this season, in large part due to a debilitating eye problem he developed.
Although it has largely cleared up, even since his return he has been unable to earn a starting berth in the team.
And it is that more than anything that has convinced him the time has come to move on.
"The time had come to go, I decided to take a another path but after that, we'll see. Now I'll see where I go to play," he said.
Gattuso's departure comes at a time when Alessandro Nesta and Filippo Inzaghi have also announced the end of their Milan careers.
Clarence Seedorf and another veteran Gianluca Zambrotta are also expected to leave, meaning only club captain Massimo Ambrossini will remain from the group of players who reached three Champions League finals between 2003 and 2007.
"A cycle has come to its end, just like those of the Dutchmen (Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard) or (Paolo) Maldini and (Alessandro) Costacurta.
"Our time has come now but I hope the tradition continues, that they won't lose the respect there is in the dressing room.
"I don't want to be a deadweight for anyone, even though the club wanted to keep me, I felt the need to go.
"It's not easy but you have to make tough decisions in life and I think I've made the right one.
"I couldn't give any more on a footballing level, I felt empty, I didn't feel like a warrior any more but more like a mascot, a pennant.
"I didn't expect to have a fixed place (in the team), the only one of those is death.
"It's normal that no-one likes to sit on the bench but I've always respected my coaches."