After seven straight Serie A championships, four Coppa Italia medals and two Champions League finals, Claudio Marchisio announced that he will step away from football at the age of 33.

The former Bianconeri midfielder transformed the dream of a young boy from Turin into a reality, having wore the famous Black and White stripes for over a decade.

An illustrious career saw Marchisio become one of the best midfielders across Europe despite his role being changed a number of times by different coaches.

Marchisio’s culmination towards his peak was ignited when Antonio Conte took over, playing him in a number 10 role while under Massimiliano Allegri, the 33-year-old affirmed himself as an outstanding number 8.

Nonetheless, Marchisio does not forget his roots as he recalls back his early experiences at Juventus, in Serie B during the 2006-07 season, and his one-year loan spell at Empoli the following year where he was joined by his former team-mate Sebastian Giovinco.

“They were two different years for me,” Marchisio told the Sunday Times of Malta at a news conference organised by the Juventus Club Malta Cuore Bianconero.

“In my first year at Juventus, I was just 18 and at that age you are already regarded as an adult in the football world therefore I had the world’s eyes on me.

“On the other hand, at Empoli I was playing at a serious and professional club with huge tradition.”

In fact, Marchisio pointed out that the Empoli experience was fundamental because the club hails from Tuscany, a region which is renowned for nurturing top players and coaches and feels that the peaceful environment of the Azzurri was key for his growth.

Video: Chris Sant Fournier

Marchisio looks further back and gives special mention to his former tutors Beppe Furino and Roberto Bettega who taught him the Juventus way.

“Having been part of the Juventus youth ranks, I feel very lucky because those are years where you start to form yourself both as a player and individual,” he pointed out.

Asked about his decision to hang up his boots so early in his career, Marchisio explained that there is no particular age where one has to retire.

“It’s not an issue of age, because one can retire at 33 or at 40,” the Juventus legend underlined.

“I had other offers that I did not take into consideration because for me football is about enjoying it, and that could mean playing with my friends in a park.”

Malta pride

On his arrival to Malta, Marchisio was delighted to be surrounded by so many Juventus fans having learnt of the huge following the Bianconeri enjoy on our islands.

“I will forever be fond of the warm welcome I got here. Even during the flight to Malta, I met numerous Juventus supporters,” Marchisio said.

“During my playing career at Juventus, I had the opportunity to forge new friendships in particular with some Maltese fans, and therefore that was one of the reasons why I chose Malta as my first destination post-retirement.”

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us