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The Donnarumma Cycle



Wash, rinse, repeat. Rumor, abuse, repeat. The media, Mirabelli, and Raiola created a vicious cycle two years ago that still has immediate emotional impact on fans. In fact, many fans still believe that Gigio Donnarumma is a mercenary, a traitor, and worse. None of which is true, of course. Fans who have any brain cells realize that he has proven his loyalty to the crest over and over these past two years, and even well before that. However the rotten seeds were planted, and all anyone has to do on social media is say “Donnarumma” as we head into a transfer market, and people go insane with all kinds of misinformation… again. You may as well call it “The Donnarumma Cycle.”

"Not this nightmare again"

Every vicious cycle has its origin story, and one need look no further than Mino Raiola to get to the rotten core of this one. Over two years ago, as the winds started to howl around Gigio’s contract renewal, I wrote about Raiola and his interests in “Big Fat Paycheck.” Then he proved me right every step of the way throughout Gigio’s actual contract renewal. And while Gigio’s family had to intervene to make the renewal happen at all, Raiola got his client a big fat paycheck of his own, which would turn out to be like a shackle on Gigio’s future at Milan. The bigger his wages, the more likely he would be sold. That, not coincidentally, is where Raiola makes his best money… by moving his players around. Raiola knew exactly what he was doing.

Fassone and especially Mirabelli were also massive in creating this dark cloud around a player that should only be worrying about keeping clean sheets and breaking records at this point. Mirabelli was the Cardi B to Raiola’s Nicki Minaj, only Gigio was caught in the middle of their girlfight and his image was dragged through the mud as he and his family received death threats on social media. Mirabelli was so bad at his job that at first, Gigio turned down the contract renewal that the so-called sporting director was trying to push through for his own purposes. Fassone and Mirabelli are long gone, although Fassone didn’t leave without a fight and €4m compensation. That is ironically two thirds of Gigio’s annual salary, a salary heavily inflated by the two charlatans themselves. The damage to Gigio's career and image, however, will live well beyond their tenure or even the big fat payoff.

Pure evil

This cycle is also impacted by a traitor who has raided Milan’s best players before. Of course, I am talking about Leonardo. Not being willing to be a team player, he left Milan… again, and went back to a team where he could have a blank check and no one to stop him from buying all of the players. He is a man without loyalty or scruples. So obviously, the press immediately linked him to taking Gigio to PSG, just like he took Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic.

Between all of these horrible people impacting the life and career of one of the most brilliant young goalkeepers ever also comes the FFP issues left by Berlusconi and Galliani and Yonghong Li. The latest rumors have intensified because June 30th marks the end of Milan's fiscal year. If they could generate enough revenue from player sales before midnight on Sunday, Milan stand a chance of greatly improving their bottom line for this season, which puts us in better standing with UEFA. A so-called balancing of the books. I think most fans know that this truth is the most likely scenario in which Gigio would leave. But it is unfortunate that it is a situation created by previous management and has nothing to do with what he wants or where he wants to play.

That traitorous bottom dweller had better not steal any more players from Milan

However, it must not be forgotten that at the heart of this cycle is a golden boy with a heart of gold. He has always said that his heart belongs to Milan. So will his heart win again? Will he stay at Milan and face yet another season without Champions League? Or will he succumb to the pressure, leave to balance the books, and potentially increase his ridiculous salary? Will Raiola get his big fat bonus? Will Leonardo raid the club he has spent 14 years at once again? How will the fans react to the drama this time? The only way to find out is to jump head first once again into the Donnarumma Cycle.


This post inspired by the music of OK Go’s “Here It Goes Again”