Massimo Donati opens up on falling out with Gordon Strachan at Celtic

By David Walton

February 11, 2019

Massimo Donati has opened up on his falling out with ex-Celtic manager Gordon Strachan back in 2007.

Donati was a big-name signing coming from AC Milan in the summer of ’07. But, despite having decent pedigree and a lot expected of him, the Italian never really showed much at Parkhead.

Indeed, Donati made just over 50 appearances for the Hoops before departing for Italy. But not before a disagreement with Strachan over an interview the midfielder gave after overcoming AC Milan 2-1 in the Champions League.

Massimo Donati played in plenty of big games for Celtic (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Speaking on the BBC’s Sportsound Podcast, Donati opened up on just what went wrong between him and the three-in-a-row winning manager.

“I had a problem with him at the end of the first season. It was after the AC Milan game where Scott (McDonald) scored to make it 2-1 in the last minute.

“A journalist asked the difference between Scottish football and Italian football and I just said the difference. But the paper said how ‘you have to change things in Scottish football’ and that’s not what I said.

“The journalist didn’t print what I told him and it basically came out that I was trying to put Scottish football down. And Strachan wasn’t happy with me, I tried to explain to him but it was different after that.”

A player that showed flashes of quality

Donati was certainly a talent that had something about him. His winner against Shakhtar Donetsk back in 2007 will be ranked up there with the best moments ever for certain supporters.

But outside of that goal against Donetsk, Donati was largely a disappointment.

Donati was coming into some good pre-season form under Tony Mowbray, but then left for Bari (Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Despite making 54 appearances at Parkhead, Donati only scored five goals. He wasn’t the greatest attacking threat, but his passing range could be tremendous as he proved he had terrific technique.

His departure back in the summer of 2009 ironically came on the back of some good form under Tony Mowbray in pre-season. Regardless of that, however, no Celtic fan would’ve shed a tear at his departure.

But for supporters wondering just what happened between Donati and Strachan? A bad interview taken the wrong way seems to be the gist of it.