11 March 2022
A special relationship, born on the pitch and consolidated off it. A friendship that goes beyond football.
The story of Juventus Under 23’s two Argentines, Matías Soulé and Enzo Barrenechea, tells the tale of the strong bond formed since their arrival at the Bianconeri.
It is Mati and Enzo who are centre stage of the inaugural episode of “Bianconeri Next Gen”, the title of the first Juventus Original Series production, whose aim is to recount the dreams, friendships, growth, and of course, football, of Juve’s rising stars.
From the home of the Soulés to the home of Juventus Under 23s, the "Moccagatta" Stadium in Alessandria, we enter the lives of Mati (born in 2003) and Enzo (born in 2001) on a journey that led them to live two parallel stories at the end of the season 2020/2021, but linked by a single thread: a special, almost brotherly friendship born also from the strong attachment to their native Argentina.
It is no coincidence that this story starts from the origins, their childhood in South America. Despite different family dynamics, football was always at the heart of everything, capable of communicating their shared culture and traditions.
All enriched by anecdotes and personal tales from the youngsters’ parents that have followed their talented children on their adventure to Italy.
They have travelled together a lot since arriving at Juventus, especially with the Under 19.
It was in the 2020/21 season that their friendship, born on the pitch but consolidated off it, was put to the test when their paths were split after Enzo’s injury at the end of May 2021.
During the close season that summer, Enzo set off on a long path towards his rehabilitation. On the other hand, Mati was fast tracked from the Under 19 to Under 23. After scoring his first goals with coach Lamberto Zauli's team, he continued to grow, training session after training session, game after game, until he earned the call to, and a debut with, the First Team.
An extraordinary journey that has led to a call-up to Argentina’s senior squad - a massive achievement, but always with a thought for Enzo and his path to full recovery.
At the same time, in fact, Barrenechea’s plans for the immediate future were thrown out of the window. A rupture to his cruciate ligament arrived like a bolt from the blue.
Stressing the immense difficulty of this long period on the sidelines would be pointless, but Enzo took it as an incentive to return stronger than before, thanks also to the closeness of his family, and of Mati himself.
Nine months - exactly 274 days - after his injury, the emotions Enzo felt when he returned to the pitch will remain forever in his heart.