Laudrup told The Sun: “If you had told me 10 years ago Rino Gattuso would be the heartbeat of AC Milan, I’d have laughed at you.
“He was a grumpy kid. He couldn’t speak English at first but just moaned in Italian.
“And in training or games he was like the Tasmanian Devil.
“Gazza had to give him a few slaps to calm him down. Mind you, Gazza did that to everybody.
“But for all the faults and rough edges, I was glad Gattuso was on my team.”
Laudrup added: “Gattuso is a warrior. He is not the most technical player but has a workrate and commitment you admire.
“It is very difficult to find a better player in his position in the world now.
“For the sake of football I hope Milan beat Liverpool. I want to see Milan on top again.”