Pippo Inzaghi finally addresses Sir Alex Ferguson’s comment ‘he was born offside’

Pippo Inzaghi celebrates scoring for Juventus
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Pippo Inzaghi became synonymous with playing on the shoulder of the last defender during his distinguished career, so much so that Sir Alex Ferguson once famously commented "That lad [Inzaghi] must have been born offside". 

When asked by FourFourTwo what his reaction to the quip is, though, he takes it in good faith. 

"Yeah, I know about it [Ferguson’s comment], and thankfully I was born a metre onside," Inzaghi says, "otherwise I wouldn’t have scored most of my goals! 

"Joking aside, playing on the verge of offside was my typical characteristic; something I’d look to take advantage of. I tried to hide on the offside line and attack from there. It’s not easy to teach – it has to come naturally. 

"I played many times against Sir Alex’s Manchester United, though we never spoke about this in person. I’ve received many compliments as well as criticisms throughout my career. I was used to them and never let them bother me too much either way."

Inzaghi played 680 times during his career for sides such as Juventus, AC Milan and the Italian national team, scoring 313 times in total. For him, this proves the quality of he striker he was.

"If you don’t score in big games, someone will moan that you’re not a decisive striker; if your technique isn’t perfect, people will say that you aren’t skilful enough. I scored more than 300 professional goals – I knew what I could give and I’m happy with what I’ve achieved in football. 

"Critics always pushed me to be better and prove them all wrong. I was aware of my qualities and knew what I could do with the right attitude."

Among his critics was Johan Cruyff, who suggested the Italian "can't actually play football at all". The now-Reggina manager tells FFT he is confused by the suggestion, saying his goal record proves his skill.

"I know that quote as well. He was an immense footballer, but I don’t really know what he meant by the comment. I always knew I wasn’t a striker who would dribble past people in elegant I know that quote as well. 

"He was an immense footballer, but I don’t really know what he meant by the comment. 

"I always knew I wasn’t a striker who would dribble past people in elegant fashion and play backheeled passes, but I knew how to score. Everyone has their own skills, and scoring is pivotal for any striker. I prefer to remember what my former Atalanta manager, Emiliano Mondonico, said about me: 'Inzaghi is not in love with goals – it’s goals that are in love with Inzaghi.'"

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.