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Gattuso: I ate a snail to relieve tension

AC Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso admitted he ate a live snail before the club's 2010 Champions League last-16 clash against Manchester United to ease tension within the squad.

Gattuso's Milan are preparing for Wednesday's Coppa Italia final against Serie A champions Juventus and talk of the 40-year-old's antics during his playing days emerged.

Andrea Pirlo revealed Gattuso had eaten a snail and asked whether his former team-mate's statement was true, the Milan boss shared the bizarre story.

"I've done worse things than eating a snail alive," Gattuso told reporters on Tuesday. "The point is, it was not about the snail anyway.

"I'm saying this because my point is that in that particular moment there was need to do something to break the tension.

"Given that I have no problems doing anything and we were just few hours before the Champions League semi-final against Manchester United and there was a massive pressure on us."

Eating the snail did not help Milan's cause in 2010 as the Italian giants were routed 7-2 on aggregate against United eight years ago.