Del Piero and Locatelli, two firsts vs Cagliari

Del Piero and Locatelli, two firsts vs Cagliari
Del Piero and Locatelli, two firsts vs Cagliari
Del Piero and Locatelli, two firsts vs Cagliari

What a week for Manuel Locatelli!

First his contract renewal, and then Saturday on the pitch, as a protagonist against Cagliari - truly a match to remember for Loca.

Coach Max Allegri had announced the exciting news the day before:

And so it was: the victory against Cagliari was Manuel's first match wearing the Juventus captain's armband. An occasion the player himself acknowledged with great pride:


39 successful passes (the best in the team), 2 long balls played, 3 tackles won and 6 balls recovered (the best among his teammates in the last two categories as well): as captain, Locatelli had a great game, making a fundamental contribution to the team.


Going through the Juventus history books, we discover that in a Juventus-Cagliari match-up, played at the Delle Alpi Stadium at the time, was the first with the armband for the man who, even today, all the fans still call "Captain".

We are talking about none other than Alessandro Del Piero.

It was September 20, 1998, when Juve hosted Cagliari (which ended 1-0 with a goal from Filippo Inzaghi) and before the match, it was announced that Alex had been awarded the armband for the very first time.

We cite a few lines, written at the time by Fabio Vergnano in "La Stampa":

"Last night he was calm, because he had received the gift he had been waiting for for a long time, but which he would never have dared to ask for. A historic day for Alex, a date to remember in the history of Juventus. Del Piero is the new captain. Barefoot Conte, who had taken over from Peruzzi and Ferrara, ties to Alex's left arm the armband worn before him by, just to name a few, champions such as Boniperti, Scirea, Roberto Baggio and Vialli. From today he becomes the undisputed leader, even more than he already was with his behaviour on and off the pitch. A real surprise for the Juventus champion, even if there had been talk of this promotion since the days of the summer retreat in Chàtillon and he really hoped that sooner or later this moment would arrive. His teammates promoted him a few minutes before the match. During the warm-up Peruzzi, the outgoing captain, went to Alex and said: 'On behalf of myself and my teammates I ask you to be our captain from today.' Alex fell silent, then thanked him with the usual soft voice that comes out of his throat in moments of emotion and played a very special match, with a different spirit than usual. Only once did he have to speak to the referee Messina: it was better this way, a comfortable debut was needed. Lippi explained the team's choice: 'It seems to me that Alex really appreciated the gesture of his teammates. It is further testimony to the esteem and affection they have for him.' […] Alex said publicly: 'It feels great. Being captain of Juve fills me with pride, I hope to always honour this armband that my teammates have given me. The possibility of me becoming captain was in the air, but I didn't think it would all happen so quickly. I was one of the deputies, now I'm number one and I can't describe what I feel. I knew that my companions were also great men: now the whole world knows it.'

(La Stampa, 21 September 1998)

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