Claudio Marchisio told Juventus supporters that he is now one of them in an open letter following his release by the Italian champions after 25 years at the club. The midfielder became a free agent after making 389 appearances for Juventus across a first-team career that began in 2006-07, and he posted an emotional tribute on social media.
North America or England, Marchisio's next destination
Marchisio, who has been linked with a move to the MLS or the Premier League but is yet to make an announcement on his future, said the club's philosophy has shaped his life and pledged his support to Juventus regardless of his next destination.
"It's said that at Juventus, 'winning isn't important, it's the only thing that counts'," said the 32-year-old. "Behind this phrase, which is so loved by us fans (yes because even if it may seem impossible, I am one today), said by our President Giampiero Boniperti, lies the deepest meaning of our way of life. When you're a child with a dream, a child among many, you know that for [the Juve] shirt, you'll have to be the best. Always. I spent the last 25 years of my life imagining what I wanted to become and the dreams I wanted to achieve with Juventus, but there wasn't a single moment during which I thought I would live a moment like this."
Quando ti rendi conto che quella che per 25 anni è stata la tua vita tutto d’un tratto farà parte di ciò che è stato, c’è un solo modo per continuare a vincere ed è sapere che in ogni caso non perderò nulla di tutto questo perché sarà sempre parte di me ed io ne sarò sempre parte pic.twitter.com/YVGtUFRvCT— Claudio Marchisio (@ClaMarchisio8) August 22, 2018
A quarter of a century with Juventus
Marchisio, who joined Juventus aged seven and came up through the club's youth ranks, gave no indication over where he might spend the next stage of his career. He recalled the challenge of playing alongside Juventus greats like Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon, who he aspired to emulate as an academy player.
"Regardless of what my next steps will be professional or otherwise, it would be useless and wrong of me to hide that my heart and DNA have and will always have only two colours," he said. "You work hard in the shadows of your idols forever and give the best of yourself every day for the shirt because those jerseys, once sewn on me, equate to pride, joy and responsibility. Del Piero, [Pavel] Nedved, Buffon, [David] Trezeguet, [Mauro] Camoranesi and all the others. Because everyone knows that, to honour this shirt, you must do your bit. This doesn't just apply to us players but also for every single fan. Juventus win because they're the best on and off the field."