Juventus
    19.01.2016 00:30 - in: Events S

    Many happy returns, Claudio!

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    Juventus' very own Little Prince celebrates his 30th birthday today

    I've been part of the Juventus setup since I was seven years old. At the beginning, I played as a striker, but after a friendly in the youth team I found my calling in midfield. I learnt the basics from my father, who started telling me at the age of three that I should learn to kick with both feet. It is thanks to him that I fell in love with football, which, for me, is undoubtedly the greatest game on the planet. Team sports have something special about them just like the bonds that are forged in the dressing room. And when you are lucky enough to celebrate a goal with your friends and team-mates, you feel at that moment as if you are at the centre of the universe.

    Claudio Marchisio

    That quotation, retrieved from the April 2005 edition of Hurra Juventus magazine tells you everything you need to know about the then 19-year-old Claudio Marchisio, fresh from leading his youth-team colleagues to the famed Viareggio Cup. 

    Just over a year later, at approximately ten minutes past ten on 19 August 2006, Marchisio arose from the bench at Bari's Stadio San Nicola to make his first senior appearance for the club he had dreamed of representing as a boy.

    Juventus fans would have to wait just a few months more to see their homegrown hero start a match for the first time, lining up alongside the likes of Pavel Nedved, David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero in a 2-0 victory over Brescia. In fact, the 20-year-old would be the first to embrace Del Piero following his goal.

    Alessandro would eventually return the favour, providing the assist for Marchisio to fire into the Fiorentina net for his maiden Bianconeri goal on 24 January 2009, the latest step in the realisation of the Turin-born player's dreams. 

    The opportunity to don the captain's armband followed and destiny would have it that il Principino's moment came in Europe (a place, in his words, "that belongs to Juventus") in a 3-1 Europa League defeat of Fulham before giving way in the 62nd minute to Trezeguet, a legend substituting a legend in the making.

    From that point, there was no looking back as the midfielder's Juve scrapbook soon found its pages overflowing with unforgettable memories, a 100th appearance crowned with a goal against Udinese, that goal against Inter in 2009, superb doubles over Milan and Torino and a place in the illustrious 300-club in the J-Museum to name but a few. 

    Casting a glance towards the trophy cabinet, currently counting four league titles, three Italian Super Cups and one Coppa Italia, in the words of the man himself there is always room for more: "every club must decide which competitions to focus on and set their objectives for the new season. For me, there are no compromises, I play every game to win." 

    So as he enters his fourth decade as a Bianconero, it is with great pleasure that all associated with Juventus Football Club wish Claudio the happiest of 30th birthdays and thank him for the many wonderful memories shared together and for those still yet to be created.

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