Mauro Tassotti leaves AC Milan to join Andriy Shevchenko in Ukraine
AC Milan have paid tribute to Mauro Tassotti after the coach left the club after 36 years of service to become Andriy Shevchenko's assistant with Ukraine's national team.
Tassotti has assisted Carlo Ancelotti and Massimiliano Allegri among others at the Rossoneri. The 56-year-old is set to be joined by Andrea Maldera after Milan's match analyst also requested to have his contract terminated to form part of Shevchenko's staff.
"Milan could not and do not want to limit themselves to just a simple goodbye message for Mauro Tassotti and Andrea Maldera," read a statement on the club's official website.
"Milan and Tasso have grown great together, from the first steps with that game of the century in the Champions League on May 18, 1994, when he as captain lifted the trophy into the Athens air after a historic win over the Barcelona of the prophet Johann Cruyff.
"Tasso was a step ahead. Mauro and Milan, Milan and Mauro -- it was not always so smooth. Success and glory did not arrive immediately and with a magic wand. It started with Serie B at the start of the 80s, where the Rossoneri's existence was at risk every season. But it was Tasso who knew how to hold strong and deserve to be part of the Silvio Berlusconi era.
"Tasso gave everything and he gifted us even more: assists, Brazilian touches, but also defensive synchronism and tenacity in covering. A normal farewell game would never have been enough for him.
"Mauro was the ship which guided Leonardo and Allegri, he was with [Clarence] Seedorf and [Filippo] Inzaghi and, in his final year at the Rossoneri -- his 37th -- he followed the growth of the Rossoneri youth players on loan at other clubs in various other leagues.
"We say thank you, but not only thank you. Yes, there is also some emotion. Tasso, it was and it always will be a pleasure."
Tassotti won the coveted Viareggio youth tournament in 1999 and 2001 as coach of Milan's youth team, having pinned up his boots after 17 seasons with the club as a player. He subsequently became first-team coach together with Cesare Maldini before becoming Ancelotti's assistant for eight years.
He held the same role under Leonardo, Allegri, Seedorf and Inzaghi before overseeing the club's numerous players on loan when Sinisa Mihajlovic took over with his own backroom staff a year ago.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.