Legend's Corner | Andrea Barzagli Unposted

Legend's Corner | Andrea Barzagli Unposted
Legend's Corner | Andrea Barzagli Unposted
Legend's Corner | Andrea Barzagli Unposted

Describing who Andrea Barzagli was is superfluous. Nine seasons, over 280 appearances, a clutch of winner’s medals and that sense of presence which made him a cornerstone of those unforgettable years.

One of the Bs of Juve’s own BBC.

So we left the floor to Andrea, who has successfully transferred his unquestionable class to the commentary booth, to tell us about his Juventus, at a delicate moment of a season like this, a most delicate season.


Semi-finals are special. I played in three of them at Juve, one in the Europa League and two in the Champions League. The weeks leading up to the matches somehow flow all by themselves due to the atmosphere and the excitement that pervades the entire environment. I remember how close the fans were to us - it's something that really matters. I think back, for example, to our semi-final in 2017 in Monaco and how strongly we felt the supporters’ presence.

Days like these are buzzing - there are so many elements that contribute to making them unique: the business end of the season, the first real warmth of spring, and then, willingly or not, you can never really switch off. What is about to happen always creeps up from the back of your mind. Maybe you try to spend some special moments with the family, but in the end your thoughts always return to the game, to those matches there.

My memories can be summed up in two weeks: my first and last in Turin. I arrived in 2011 from Germany. I already knew many of my teammates, so settling in was straight forward. The team wasn’t in a happy place at the time, but to get back to winning ways we had to go through that moment and accept perhaps sinking even further. That said, the impact was still quite emotional.

Talking about an emotional impact, it is impossible not to think about my last match at Juve. It was such a contrast of feelings.

On the one hand I was happy. I knew, together with all the people I cared for and still care for, that a unique day was approaching, which at the same time meant the end of a long journey.

When the moment for my substitution arrived - when I would leave the pitch for the last time - it was a moment of great emotion, but more because of the affection from the fans and my loved ones than for actually quitting football. I had given my all, it was the right thing to do. My farewell game was not a moment of sadness, rather it was a moment of absolute serenity.

Mister Allegri had already understood I had made my decision to quit before I even told him. He has this gift of knowing people in depth. He knew me so deeply that he had announced my intentions to the team and the press before I did! Although it was a decision I had already made, someone had to say it, so he took it into his own hands.



I know Juve and I know the coach. It's a club that puts winning ahead of playing champagne football. The results in this difficult season are now coming to light, right when there are the decisive matches because every year the aim here is to lift a trophy. And this team has the right calibre to achieve that aim.

In my view, Juve is going through a phase of rebirth and reconstruction after nine years of victories - victories that should never be taken for granted, something that the coach often reminds us - and it is an opinion I openly share.

Winning over such a long period is something extraordinary. It can happen that you win for one year, but for nine years in a row is unique. Andrea Barzagli

For this reason, seasons like these stand out. The year didn't start well, and bad luck played its part. If you think, for example, that Angel Di Maria, Federico Chiesa and Paul Pogba haven’t played together for the bulk of the campaign. 

However, there have also been some interesting discoveries. For example, in my old position there is the scorer of two huge goals in Europe, the last just a few days ago, Federico Gatti. He is a player with plenty of personality that is taking the right steps, and must now demonstrate his quality over time. His first season has been excellent, the next few years will reveal what he can achieve at this club.


These days one of my close companions on our adventure over those years has reached an incredible milestone. Leo, along with me and Giorgio, but also with Gigi in goal, was the breathing spirit of that often unsurpassable defensive line. It all started from an experiment forced upon Antonio Conte for one very simple reason - he couldn't leave any of us three out! We were playing four in defence at the time, which meant that one of us had to sit out, even if we sometimes tried Chiello as a full-back, but it wasn't his best position.

By chance, in a match against Napoli, we took to the field "mirroring" their 3-5-2 formation, and it brought the best out of our characteristics. And the curious thing was that although as individuals we were more suited to playing in a flat back-four, we created a unique alchemy. Me with my right foot, Giorgio with his left, and Leo as the defensive playmaker, who was also the most adept at reading the play, while the other two of us were more suited to man-marking.

In short, a perfect recipe, made even better by the goalkeeper who covered our backs. Our understanding was so perfect that we hardly spoke to each other on the pitch. We only spoke in the dressing room, or in the most demanding moments of the match, otherwise there was no need to warn the other to watch out because each of us knew that the other would have done the right thing.


However, I want to go back to Bonucci’s achievement, which made him a member of the same club as Chiellini and Buffon. I arrived at the level of football that counts relatively late, but I can say that when you hit numbers like the one Leo has just reached, it means that not only have you been an outstanding player from a technical perspective, but that through the strength of your personality, with your professionalism, you have written history.

It takes great men, not just great footballers to be able to write a part of the history of a club like Juventus. It is not the same here as it is at other clubs, there are millions of fans around the world, everyone is talking about you, so there is no room for fragility or fear.

You don't know what the shirt of Juventus really means until you actually wear it. Andrea Barzagli

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