Daniele Rugani turns 22 today, but his assured performances and composed personality continue to bely the fact that he remains one of the youngest members of Massimiliano Allegri’s side.
Having starred for Empoli in the 2014/15 season, the defender seized his opportunity of first-team football last term to quickly develop from an understudy to terrific Italian international trio Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini to a far more regular performer within Juve’s formidable backline.
Rugani’s increased impact towards the end of the club’s history-making 2015/16 campaign is plain to see from the fact that he featured for the full 90 minutes in all six vital March and April victories over Sassuolo, Torino, Empoli – arguably his finest performance in a Juventus shirt so far – Milan, Palermo and Lazio, demonstrating just what a dependable and classy footballer the Bianconeri boast in what has long been the strongest rearguard in Italy and one of the most feared across Europe.
The Tuscan’s unquestioned maturity has seen him play an integral part as one of the senior members of the squad in the Juventus Jeep Tour 2016, especially in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
Upon celebrating his 22nd birthday as the club arrive in Hong Kong for the final stage of the pre-season tour, Rugani will turn his attentions to ending the experience in style on Saturday against South China before plotting another memorable campaign with the rest of his team-mates during 2016/17.
Everyone associated with Juventus wishes Daniele a happy birthday and successful second season in the black and white.