Yesterday, Italian media outlets RAI and Gazzetta dello Sport dropped a “bomba” in the dying days of the summer transfer window. The news outlets reported Milan’s interest in Juve’s veteran midfielder Claudio Marchisio, who, according to them, was open to the idea thanks to an alleged phone call by Bonucci and because he is unhappy of Allegri’s treatment as of late.
Shock and awe among juventini ensued on social media: from threats to quit watching football all together, to questions regarding management’s sanity, to premature tearful adieus, to bargaining, to coping; a collective grieving process had already commenced.
This outpour of feeling is due to what Marchisio represents for Juventus.
Versatile midfielder. Mezz’ala. Regista. Interno. His tactical placement, his vision, his passing, his shooting, runs into the box, game winning goals, are all statistics that only do violence to what he means to juventini and to Juventus. To Juventus and its fans, Marchisio cannot be reduced to statistics.
Marchisio is… a Juventus youth product. Began his career with Juventus youth system in 1993, at barely 7 years old, and saw his rise all the way to the starting line up.
Marchiso is… coterminous with Juventus’ rise from calciopoli’s ashes. From his first team debut in Juventus’ most humbling season in Serie B, in 2006-2007, a one year stint at Empoli the following year where his promising talent grew, and then back with Madama‘s senior team.
Marchiso is… tempered by winless seasons at Juventus in 2008-09 through 2010-11. Watching Inter lift trophy after trophy while toiling in Serie B, Europa League, being ousted with impunity by Fulham, and by Bayern in Champions League.
Marchisio is… a rhyming couplet with Juventus’ six consecutive scudetti. His opening goal versus Parma at Juventus’ first Serie A match in (then) Juventus Stadium was a opening statement of what was to be the season that would consacrate him at Juventus. That season and the five that followed saw him assert himself as a fixture on Juve’s starting line up.
Marchiso is… living out every sports fan’s dream: to play the sport they love, on the team they love.
Marchiso is… an example of professionalism. Seldom ever expelled, and never for character outbursts (violent conduct, protests), never made news for bravado, extra-footballing shenanigans, or any kind of disciplinary misconduct.
Marchiso is… a leader among leaders for club and country. Among veterans for the Italian national team alongside Bonucci and De Rossi, along with Juventus teammates Buffon, Chiellini and Barzagli, he provides on and off field leadership to new and seasoned players influencing the next generation of leaders.
Marchiso is, in so many words, an incarnation of Juventus to the club’s fans, and should (in their eyes) be among the few players in recent history to begin and end their careers with one jersey.
It is for this reason that in the wake of what turned out to be just a rumour, bianconeri fans faced the unthinkable, an unbearable terror: his untimely departure.