Tip-toeing. This is how Andrea Barzagli leaves the field. One of the strongest defenders in the history of Italian football has decided to hang up his boots, and his goodbye not only moves those of the Bianconeri fans, but all lovers of a sport interpreted with increasingly precious values: passion, dedication, attachment, and education.
During the winter of the 2010/11 season, when his appointment was announced, the Juventus fans weren’t even aware that they would be welcoming a legend. Yet it was one of the heroes of the 2006 World Cup - already a U21 European Champion in 2004, and a winner of an absolutely historic Bundesliga campaign with Wolfsburg in 2008/09 – who crossed through the gates of Vinovo.
But, perhaps, not even Andrea was fully aware of what was about to happen to him.
Finally, even in Italy, he could perform in in a team worthy a World Cup winner, it would be a meeting that would change his life forever, not only on the field, and he himself admitted it a few years later: “The summer in which we won the first title, whilst on holiday I only thought about winning the second. I had a hunger in me that was never there before. Before, I had a mediocre mentality and therefore I was a mediocre player. Not sure what happened at Juventus, but my mentality transformed. I am not sure how, but nobody will ever change it again.”
Sharing a unique environment and with unrepeatable companions certainly contributed to Barzagli's winning transformation. Amongst this, a defensive line that was deserving of an acronym: the iconic BBC, Barzagli-Bonucci-Chiellini, where there was, of course, another B alongside them: Gianluigi Buffon.
It’s a department that has filled the history of the Club with pages of unforgettable moments. In addition, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini, are the only players to win eight Scudetti in a row. For them, it has been record after record, and one that has always had the best defence in the league.
The Bianconeri republic took very little time to become attached to the champion as much as the man; a true, silent and precious leader of a dressing room overflowing with personality.