Tonali says he looked up to the Rossonero legend when growing up.
He told UEFA: "What impact has Gattuso had on my career? We met a few times and on each occasion he explained many things about himself, about football, he also gave me a lot of advice that will make a difference in the future.
"We have a good relationship, almost a friendship because it's not a normal relationship. He scolds me even when he has to, he can be tough because he wants the best from everyone, we all know how he is. If he has a goal, he wants to reach it at any cost, giving all he can. He is a special person, a good person, a pure person, he helps you in a thousand different ways.
"He gave everything he could, from start to finish, without ever giving up, his grit was recognised by everyone. He could run non-stop, he played even when he was injured, he could play in a thousand different ways. He was always there, he always ran, he put his heart into everything he did. I'm happy to have met such a person, I'm happy to have met my idol and I was able to talk to him often.
"I think he was a great champion and he showed it on the pitch. There's time for me to prove it, getting close to him would be incredible."