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Monday April 17 2017
The rise of Alex Sandro

The defender has developed into an integral member of Juventus’ backline and has quite rightly earned the plaudits this season, writes Nick Valerio.

When Juventus secured the latest star from the Porto talent conveyor belt in August 2015, they knew they were acquiring the services of the archetypal Brazilian full-back: an athletic presence who placed great emphasis on attack.

In his debut season, the marauding left-footer found himself sharing the starting berth with veteran Patrice Evra, and the rotation understandably affected Alex Sandro’s match rhythm and confidence. Evra, the wily old head who had experienced it all, featured in 26 league matches while the new addition from the Primeira Liga made a total of 22 appearances. The new acquisition was very much second choice and was overlooked for the big matches.

Fast forward to the end of his second full year in Turin and the player has made the position his own. This coincided with the departure of the Frenchman, who was granted his wish to move to Olympique Marseille in January, even though his employers were fighting on three fronts. For Alex Sandro, this would have been quite the compliment and he has repaid the Champions with a playing standard which has visibly risen this year. The 26-year-old has grown in stature, and there remains no doubt who is the undisputed number one in the role.

Of course, the Catanduva native’s front foot inclinations are well documented, but under the tutelage of Max Allegri, is now equally adept at playing in an orthodox back four or as a wing-back. For this, player and Coach both deserve a great deal of credit for the improvement in his game. Alex Sandro is no longer just a buccaneering defender, but a model of consistency who has honed the ability to defend and attack in equal measure without it hampering his forward-thinking instincts.

The Bianconeri first-teamer now offers balance, a skill which goes unnoticed in a typical Brazilian full-back and from an international perspective, he can consider himself hard done by, with Marcelo and Filipe Luís ahead in the pecking order. But, if Alex Sandro can continue in his current vein of form, his upward trajectory cannot be overlooked and the 2018 World Cup should be his target.

On the club scene, the Brazilian’s reputation continues to soar and the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea have registered an interest, so the Scudetto holders must be mindful that their talented defender’s list of suitors will only grow further.

The Vecchia Signora undoubtedly have someone who is dedicated to their profession and goes about his business in consummate fashion. With Alex Sandro’s best years ahead of him, both team and player can look forward to an exciting future together. 

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
Way better than Filipe Luis. If not for the best fullback in the world, he'd be an obvious starter.
on the 18th April, 2017 at 4:40pm
Great player and I really like how humble he is.
However I think he has to improve defensively as his positioning in the box is not always perfect (high balls, crosses). If he can do that he can become the No1 in his position.
on the 18th April, 2017 at 8:16am
His biggest test will be on Wednesday. He will be key to starting our counterattacks
on the 17th April, 2017 at 10:45pm
Certainly the most consistent and the most underrated. At least by the media.

I admir how hardworking he is, and how he never goes for the theatrics.
He gets kicked around plenty but gets right back up.

I would love to see a stat of how many goals he contributed and how many interception he made. Many I'm sure.
on the 17th April, 2017 at 9:07pm
NVD - Internazionale China have been sniffing around Conti since January. We have Pol lirola who's our long term RB on loan at Sassuolo. Very talented young Spaniard who is a life long Juventus fan. He's got so much potential, and already has european experience playing in the Europa league. Nedved and company are very very high on this youngster who is very gifted technically, and has been in Italy for two years now, and has adapted and learned the language. I am very excited to see him play.
on the 17th April, 2017 at 7:58pm
As one who balked at the transfer fee, I have been all to happy to be proven wrong. Alex Sandro has proven himself to be elite in his positon and at his age he may yet improve further.

Next up, we need a long-term RB solution, Andrea Conti looks quite the player to have bombing ahead opposite Alex Sandro.
on the 17th April, 2017 at 6:10pm
Agree with everything below. His poise on the ball and temperament are solid for youngsters to look up to, he's our future. I'd like to see his leadership potential exploited to the full - the quiet Juventus strength. Btw, Interello I like your comments. Never thought I'd see an objective assessment of the Old Lady by an Interista.
on the 17th April, 2017 at 5:44pm
He's our most consistent player game in and game out. He's world class and has shown it over the last 12 months.
on the 17th April, 2017 at 2:32pm
and to think we had molinaro a few years ago.
in my humble opinion, alex sandro is a much better defender than marcelo, and a much better attacker than filipe luis.
on the 17th April, 2017 at 11:15am
Excellent player, I can't think of a better all around left back in the world... maybe Marcelo... Juventus has certainly have an great transfer strategy and integrated the players well into the first team... Inter need to do better in both these regards, with Suning it looks like the buying the right players is there, but the integration is ashambles... Gabigol a prime example (I like Biabiany but ahead of Gabigol?!) and Andrea Pinamonti is excellent and can't get even catch a break!
on the 17th April, 2017 at 10:48am
best buy after Dybala in last 5 years.
on the 17th April, 2017 at 9:07am

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