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Gennaro Gattuso to Goal: US soccer improving, Italian game declining

Mar 17, 2014, 5:10 PM EST

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Gennaro Gattuso is no stranger to strong words. He’s chastised the involvement of women in soccer, and responded to allegations of match-fixing by saying he’d commit suicide if proven guilty.

So take that into consideration when Gattuso used an interview with Goal.com to tell the world that American soccer is on its way up while Italian soccer is in decline.

And Gattuso’s comments point to something soccer fans witness every week in France, England and Spain; having a great reputation is going to help a club or league up its game, but having a ton of money is going to help it happen faster.

“The problem is that we think we know everything about soccer and are the best at it, but the reality is that today we’re no longer the best,” Gattuso said. “Germany has surpassed us in terms of attendance, in terms of quality of soccer; as for England, it’s already been some time since they’ve surpassed as well, Spain too. So today we have to be more careful, because there’s a lot of movement.”

He added: “Even in MLS you see a lot of change, with the players that are coming here and a lot of money is being invested in the game, so things are really moving here too. Already you see it with the U.S. national team that already plays very well.”

Goal caught up with Gattuso in Montreal, where he was “helping conduct training sessions and coaching seminars for the Genova International School of Soccer, a private Italy-based academy that’s helped over 90 young players to professional contracts worldwide.”

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