Carlo Ancelotti today leapt to the defence of Gennaro Gattuso following the AC Milan midfielder's headbutt on Tottenham coach Joe Jordan.
Gattuso faces disciplinary action from UEFA, which could result in a lengthy ban, for his altercation with Jordan at the end of Milan's 1-0 Champions League defeat to Spurs on Tuesday night.
Ancelotti, who managed Gattuso for eight years at the San Siro during which time the club won two European Cups, acknowledged his fellow Italian had made a mistake.
But the Chelsea manager also insisted the attack on Jordan was completely out of character.
"I was obviously not happy because Gattuso is a very generous player, is a very good man," Ancelotti said.
"He made a mistake. I'm very disappointed with this.
"Also, he was very disappointed after the game. He said sorry and full stop.
"He's played 100 games in the Champions League and he never had problems.
"I have seen him always correct.
"He made a mistake, he said sorry and now UEFA obviously will take a decision.
"To judge Gattuso as a man because he made a mistake is not good.
"I can say it because I know him very well."
UEFA's control and disciplinary body will discuss the case against 33-year-old Gattuso on Monday.