On being unveiled as a Juventus player in the summer of 2015, Mario Mandzukic said that one of the best things about joining the Bianconeri was that he wouldn’t have to play against them any longer. Nowadays, defences across Europe are wishing that they didn’t have to face off against the bruising forward anymore.
Born in Slavonski Brod, the Croatia international began his career at local outfit NK Marsonia in 2004 before joining NK Zagreb a year later. From then on, Mandzukic has known nothing but success, plundering goals aplenty and lifting a total of nine major trophies across spells with Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.
Switching Spain for Turin in 2015, Mario’s aggression, physicality and penalty box prowess made him the perfect focal point of the Bianconeri attack, as he netted a host of crucial goals in his first season in black and white.
During the last two seasons, Juve’s number 17 emerged as something of a revelation down the left flank. One moment he’s winning back possession deep in his own half; the next, he’s charging towards the box at a rate of knots.
His all-action style and unrelenting work-rate have been integral to Juventus’ recent title triumphs, whilst he also contributed heavily to Croatia’s run to the 2018 World Cup final in Russia.