No Juve without Claudio Marchisio
A club to love, Juventus has a rich history with symbolic men who have grown attached to the jersey. From the likes of Giampiero Boniperti to the more recent captain, Alessandro Del Piero, idolised players who have given their all for the shirt are integral for the club's ethos and for the fans. With the departure of Del Piero, there is no better 'youngster' to idolise then the current Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio.
A Turin boy who was both born and bred in the city, he joined the Juventus youth ranks as a child and developed into a world class midfielder for the first team. Whether it be his determined performances, insatiable appetite for success, excellent reading of the game or perfect runs, Marchisio and his versatile ways have kept the Juventus engine running.
Having donned a Juventus shirt since the age of seven, Marchisio was always unsure of what sport he truly wanted to grow up playing. However, in football it seemed he was truly gifted. Growing up in a household of Juventus fans, the skilled child who originally played as a striker or a number 10 was eventually converted into a midfielder.
Stefano Marchisio, the player's father, was determined to make the boy a success and taught his son to play with both feet, working with him to develop his skills. Meanwhile, his mother, who Stefano calls 'the Ultra in the family' in an interview with Massimiliano Nerozzi of La Stampa was utterly proud of the son who displayed unimaginable skill and once was given a standing ovation by the Fiorentina fans at the age of 13 in Viareggio.
The player who has consistently repeated the desire to be the team's 'bandiera' and the will to retire at Juventus is now finding himself in an odd situation. Despite pledging eternal love for the club and in addition to fine performances all season long, it seems the midfielder's future is in doubt.
"I will have to talk to Juventus. I want to see if I'm still important for them," said Marchisio in an interview conducted whilst on national team duty in Brazil. "If not, then it is only normal for me to look at other teams. It has been said that my intentions are decisive, but it takes two to tango."
Under Antonio Conte, Marchisio has become more integral to the side that many believe have one of, if not the best, midfields in Europe - just ask Edgar Davids. Combining ferocious defensive skills with wonderful vision, Marchisio's style of play and ability to perform on big occasions has seen him command attention from Europe's greatest clubs.
Versatile enough to play in most formations, he can be pushed forward to link the midfield and attack or asked to drop deeper to help carry the ball forward and offer defensive aid. In the last few years he has played behind the striker in a 3-5-1-1 formation, as a left-winger and as central midfielder.
Under Conte, Il Principino has helped to create an attacking Juventus side that play with options. Choosing the right moments to break forward and exploit space or drop deep to allow team-mates the opportunity to attack, few can offer their side such understanding of the game.
Impressive performances aside, Marchisio is one of the few remaining players at Juventus who understand the philosophy and the ambitions of the club. A loyal player who has repeatedly given his all, he has earned his right to play for Italy's biggest club side and is destined to one day be captain.
A midfielder who was there when Juventus were in Serie B, who trained alongside Bianconeri legends including Del Piero and who grew up and knows "the people of this marvellous city", Turin's Marchisio is Juventus' Prince. It's time the club's hierarchy tango with the midfielder as few can imagine the team without its future captain.