Four years as a protagonist, with many beautiful and decisive goals. Mario Mandzukic was a fundamental player for Juventus, and in these past four and a half years, he contributed an enormous amount to the success of the club. As of January 2020, he will continue his career in Qatar with Al-Duhail.
The Croatian bids farewell to Juventus after massing up nine trophies: four Scudetti, three Italian Cups, and two Italian Super Cups. And in every trophy that was lifted towards the sky, his mark was on it, whether it was slotting the ball into the back of the net or jostling different opponents to create space for his comrades.
Super Mario wore the jersey with pride, charisma, and a sense of belonging in the 162 occasions he put on the black and white jersey, where he scored 44 goals: 31 in the league, two in Coppa Italia, one in the Super Cup and 10 in the UEFA Champions league. Not to mention, who can forget the fantastic goal scored in Cardiff against Real Madrid?
Beating the opposing goalkeepers was his specialty, ever since he slipped on his soccer boots for the first time. His aerial ability is one of his strongest suits, along with his calm and ruthless presence inside the box. It goes without saying that Mandzukic is a multi-faceted footballer, who at Juventus, was also invented into a wide-sided striker in order to suit the needs of the team. His versality left the supporters amazed, after initially thinking he was a man for the penalty area and nothing else.
In his first official game, he scored: on the other side of the world, in Shanghai, in the Italian Super Cup match against Lazio. Straightaway, he found himself scoring, and it would be the first in a long series of strikes. His debut season is the one in which he scored the most: 13 goals in 36 official games, while the following season (2016/17) is the one in which he played more games, taking to the field on 50 occasions (scoring 11 times). In the last two campaigns, he scored 20 goals.
Mandzukic is the Croatian player to have scored the most goals in Serie A with the Juventus jersey (31), while only Dybala (11) has scored more goals than him (10) in the last four UEFA Champions League seasons. But, above all, 16 of his 31 goals in Serie A were scored with the scoreline at 0-0. This figure alone shows how decisive Mr. No Good was during his experience in black and white.
Thanks for these four fantastic years, Marione! And good luck!