‘When I die, I want to go out on the football field’ – Napoli boss Gattuso reveals fight against autoimmune disease

The Italian head coach confirmed that he suffers from inflammation of the eye myasthenia

Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso has revealed his struggles with autoimmune disease, while claiming that “when I eventually die, I want to go where I lived, on the football field.”

Gattuso wore an eye piece on the touch line during Napoli’s 2-0 defeat to Lazio in Rome on Sunday, and also wore specialized glasses as his team drew 1-1 with Turin in the last game of 2020 on Wednesday.

The former midfielder of Milan and Italy suffers from an autoimmune disease known as eye myasthenia.

It is a condition that causes the muscles that control the eyes to weaken and the eyelids to fall, and can also lead to severe fatigue and double vision.

Still, Gattuso continued, but Napoli head coach admits the situation has taken its toll in recent weeks.

“I admit I haven’t been my own for the last 12 days,” Gattuso said at a news conference, skipping media commitments for the club’s previous exit.

“I want to appeal to all those, especially children, who look in the mirror and see something that looks unusual or not quite right: life is beautiful. Accept everything.

“And the boys suffered seeing me like that, I know that, but I’m alive. I’ve had myasthenia for 10 years, this is the third time this has flared up so much, but it will pass and my eye will pass back to normal.

“Not only does it look bad, but you feel exhausted because of this condition, plus when they see you twice 24 hours a day. Only a crazy person like me would go on.

“However, this is my life and there are worse things. I know some already assume I have a month to live, but I assure you, it’s okay. When I end up dying, I want to go where I lived, on the football field.”

Napoli enjoyed a strong start to the season, although they advanced in the final games, winning just one of the last five outings in all competitions.

The draw with Torino leaves Partenopei to take the fifth place in the Serie A standings, nine points behind the leader Milan, although with a hand on the Rossoneri.

Gattus’s men will return to action after the winter break when they embark on a trip to the Sardegna Arena and face Cagliari on January 3rd.