Andrea Agnelli hailed the contributions of stalwarts Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini during this lunchtime’s press conference to announce their contract extensions until 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The club president believes the unwavering loyalty and professionalism demonstrated over the years make both players examples for all concerned and is backing the duo to continue their glittering association with the club by inspiring the team to further triumphs.
Addressing the media in Vinovo, Agnelli began: “It’s an important day for Juventus. Gigi has extended his contract with us until 2017, while Giorgio has signed until 2018. The captain is in his fourteenth season with the club and has made more than 500 appearances, won seven Scudetto titles and a World Cup. Giorgio is in his tenth season here and has more than 300 appearances to his name as well as four Scudetto titles.
“I believe these figures alone are enough to summarise what two champions like Gigi and Giorgio mean to Juventus. These are two people who were in heaven and experienced hell before taking Juventus back to heaven.
“They embody the values that set Juventus apart: work ethic, determination to never give in and the awareness that only one result counts – victory. I don’t just share the same goals with these two, we also share the same dreams.
“As far as Gigi’s concerned, I can only repeat what I said when we announced his previous contract renewal together on 23 January 2013. He is an honest, loyal and decent man. Giorgio is an example for every youngster who wants to enjoy success in life. He’s the proof that application, work, effort and sweat always pay off.”
“The praise from the club makes me proud of the choices I made 14 years ago. My relationship with Juventus and the Agnelli family over the years is something that’s made me who I am today, both as a player and person.
“I’m very happy to be sharing a day like this with Giorgio: he is a great example for young people. Hard work, sweat, sacrifice, desire, professionalism and discipline have made Giorgio the great player he is.
“As both parties wished to continue, it was the natural choice to extend my contract for another two years. The fact that it could very well be my last contract was a factor, but I’m not worried about that: I feel energised. I want to continue performing to a high level, so that I can be an asset and a point of reference for the club.”
“It’s an emotional day for me and I’m really proud to be here. I’d like to thank Gigi and the president for their wonderful words. Today I’m looking back and thinking about all the people over the past ten years who have helped me grow and feel at home here. I’ve become a man at this club and in this city. Leaving Tuscany and being far away from my family was traumatic to begin with, but everyone here made me feel increasingly at ease.
“I think the president would be the first to admit that all those who have been with us in recent years and are still here to this day have enabled us to reach historic achievements. I can assure you that there’s a big family that works on a daily basis to help us players reach the levels we aspire to.
“It makes me proud to know that, in years to come, when people talk about Gigi and Giorgio, they’ll think of Juventus.”
When asked about future goals, Agnelli concluded by discussing the club’s desire to cement their spot in Europe’s top eight, with the Champions League the ultimate aim.
He added: “Juventus aim to win every competition, it’s in our DNA. We know we’re not the only ones with this desire, but we’re taking important steps to make the Champions League a realistic objective.
“It’s worth bearing in mind that Real Madrid had been gunning for their tenth title since 2004 and only managed to win it last year. This shows how tough it is. Having said that, I also believe that this team has the potential to be among Europe’s top eight.
“From that moment on it’s a competition where anything can be decided by a one-off moment. Speaking on behalf of the entire club, backroom staff and fans, the Champions League is our dream.”