Claudio Marchisio says he is determined to fire Juventus to further glory after committing his future to the club for an additional five years.
The midfielder, announcing his contract extension until 2020 this afternoon at Juventus Stadium, wants the good times in Turin to keep on rolling following last year’s domestic double and run to the Champions League final.
And his passion for the black and white stripes will be burning brighter than ever as the Bianconeri set off with two initial targets – equalling the ‘Quinquennio’ side’s achievement of five straight league titles and confirming their place in Europe’s top eight.
It seemed appropriate that the 29-year-old was joined at today’s press conference by another boyhood Juventino, Andrea Agnelli, who began with a few special words for the academy graduate.
Addressing the media, the club president said: “Claudio’s is the dream that every kid wants to have. He joined Juve at the age of seven, rose through the academy ranks, became part of the first team and has also worn the captain’s armband. Claudio’s already a legend: his shirt is in the museum and he’s up there alongside the Bianconeri greats.”
Marchisio then took to the microphone to discuss a variety of topics with journalists, from his joy at prolonging his stay with the club to the type of competition Juventus can expect this season.
Here is a summary of his thoughts:
“It’s a wonderful day, right up there with my first training session in 1993. I’ve always wanted to wear this shirt and I’m lucky enough to be able to do so for another five years. I really can’t wait to get going again and keep winning with this great team.”
“There’s not much that needs to be said to the new arrivals. Those who have come in over the past few years have settled in without any issues. Ours is a strong group and we’re prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. Khedira and Mandzukic are two important, experienced players who have won the Champions League.”
“Andrea was an important player for Juventus and someone I was always inspired by. Watching him play has made my role a lot easier.”
“You can’t predict what kind of season it’s going to be. There are teams who are bolstering their ranks, but it’s still too early to say how things will pan out. Even when the season starts you need to wait a while to work out who’s going to be up there fighting. We need to set off with the same hunger to win.”
“I’m expecting it to be difficult, as it is every year. Our last campaign saw us grow in stature with each game, having endured a few difficulties at the start, in spite of playing well. We need to aim to consolidate our position on the European scene, once again looking to finish within the top eight.”
“Thank you to everyone who has helped me since I joined the club as a seven-year-old, from directors and coaches to the medical staff and kit men. It’s down to them that I’ve become I’m the player I am today.”