His will to cover every inch on the field and his determination to win at all costs earned Alessio Tacchinardi a place in the Walk of Fame at the Allianz Stadium, home of Juventus. Gianluca Lia spoke to the Italian midfielder during his recent visit as guest of the Juventus Club Vero Amore Malta…

Forming part of Juventus is already an achievement by itself, but playing a key role in helping the Bianconeri claim every trophy is a far bigger milestone.

At Juventus, Alessio Tacchinardi did not know nothing else beyond winning.

Joining from Atalanta prior the 1994-95 season, the Italian midfielder won the Serie A in his first year. The following season, he added a UEFA Champions League triumph to his curriculum after Juventus defeated Ajax in Rome – to date is still the Bianconeri’s last success in Europe’s premier competition.

Having been part of some of Juventus most successful squads, Tacchinardi knows what it takes to overcome all hurdles and go all way to claim the ultimate prize in every major competition, including on the European scene.

Unfortunately for him, the Italian midfielder was also part of the team that lost three Champions League finals – 1997, 1998 and 2003 – all with Juventus.

Following those three defeats, Juventus reached the final twice in three years between 2015 and 2017 but, on both occasions, they came up against Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

While they are on the cusp of a historic eighth straight Serie A title, the Bianconeri’s biggest dream is to bring back the coveted trophy to Turin.

Prior the start of this season, Juventus made their intentions clear with the signing of five-time Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo, breaking their transfer-fee record in the process.

The Portuguese star repaid their trust with a fabulous hat-trick in the return leg that helped them to overturn a first-leg 2-0 deficit to Atletico Madrid and send Juventus into the Champions League quarter-finals.

Tacchinardi believes that this Juventus team has no flaws and their only limit is themselves.

“If I have to be honest, this Juventus team is looking like a well-oiled machine,” Tacchinardi said.

“All the players that are in this team boast enormous quality that can lift Juventus even further.”

Tacchinardi was reknowned for his work-rate and ability in midfield, fundamentals on which Juventus laid their foundations in their central department.

This year’s midfield formed by Miralem Pjanic, Rodrigo Bentancur, Blaise Matuidi and Emre Can can be Juventus’ key in their European cause and Tacchinardi believes they could inject major push to their offensive prowess.

This Juventus team is looking like a well-oiled machine

“Juventus have always had great midfielders. For example in 2015, they had Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba,” Tacchinardi said.

“I think this year’s midfield is very important to the team and I feel that they could be the one that helps Juve make that leap of quality in games that matters.

For example, against Atletico Madrid, they put a commanding showing that should be their benchmark from now until the end of the season if they want to reach greatness.”

Asked about Can, Juve’ summer addition, Tacchinardi heaped praise on the German for his ability of reading and managing the game.

“Emre Can is a very physical player with a lot of quality, who has also goals in his repertoire,” the former Italy player said.

“Against Atletico Madrid, he also showed that he can play various roles given he was covering the fullback position in some instances of the game.

“Unfortunately for him, he had some injury problems that hindered him from reaching his full potential maybe this season.

“But he is closing in on reaching his peak and he will be a huge boost to Juventus. After all, he played in a Champions League final as well.”

Kean emergence

If there is a player who is currently all over the newspapers in Italy, is Juventus forward Moise Kean.

At 19 years of age, the Italian forward has now already scored for Juventus and for the Azzurri, becoming the country’s second youngest scorer of all time.

Describing him as a prodigy is an understatement but the confidence and composure shown by Kean on the field of play will definitely force Juventus to make sure they keep him in their ranks. 

Tacchinardi sees a bright future for Kean, both for the Bianconeri and for the Italian national team.

“Moise Kean reminds me of Alessandro Del Piero – when I joined Juventus, he was still 19 but Marcello Lippi used to play him a lot,” Tacchinardi said.

“Age is just a number because if he has quality, he will immediately fit on the biggest stage.

Kean has already shown that he is capable of playing for Juventus and I think he can be a wildcard for Juventus in the Champions League.

“While I do not see Juventus having any troubles against Ajax, I think together with Paolo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic, Kean can be very helpful in Europe – obviously, without leaving aside the importance of Cristiano Ronaldo.”

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