Monday October 14 2019
Marchisio: My 8 ‘in best hands’

Claudio Marchisio feels his No 8 is “in the best hands” with Aaron Ramsey at Juventus and reveals Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard were his favourites.

Marchisio wore 8 for Juve between 2009 and 2018, winning seven straight Scudetti with the number, and his shirt has since been taken in Turin by Ramsey following his arrival from Arsenal.

“[My No 8 is] in the best hands. Ramsey is a fantastic player,” the 33-year-old told The Daily Mail.

“The No 8 is such a beautiful number that it had to end up on someone’s back. My preferences were two, Ramsey or an academy player who moved up to the first team.”

The forrmer Italy international was regularly linked with Premier League moves during his career, and he confessed two of England’s most well-known stars were his role models.

“As a boy, two of my favourite players (Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard) played in England, so it was normal for me to follow the English championship,” he told The Daily Mail.”

“The rhythm and the physicality of the games have always fascinated me. As well as the concept that the fans the most important thing, they ask to see your shirt dirty with sweat, as a symbol of the battle on the field. The big plays are important, but they always come after the sweaty shirt.

“In terms of business and organisation, the Premier League and Championship are two extremely fascinating Leagues.

“Let’s say that the English experience fascinated me, but spending all my career at Juventus was my priority as a player.

“It cannot be said that I was close to any English team, but there was interest from the Manchester teams and Chelsea. But Juventus has always been my priority, so real negotiations were never started.

“When the Coach moved my position from second striker to midfielder in the Juventus youth, I began to observe the great midfielders of the football scene. Even just to try to steal secrets and understand the malice needed for the role.

“Without a doubt my favourites remain Gerrard and Lampard. They were both very strong and both undisputed symbols of their own clubs.

“I admired both their charisma, the mastery of the game, the leadership, the courage and their attachment to the shirt.

“[Being described as the new Gerrard] meant a lot. You should ask him though!

“At the 2014 World Cup when we played against England, I was impressed by Jordan Henderson.

“It was clear that the tradition of the great English midfielders would continue with him. He was really good.”

Marchisio played alongside Paul Pogba in the Old Lady’s midfield and was mentored by Patrick Vieira at one point.

“I’ll tell you an anecdote about Paul. One of the very first training sessions with us he was at a very young age.

“Andrea Pirlo and I took only 15 minutes to understand how strong Pogba was, and we also knew that he would soon take someone’s place in the team.

“Fortunately the Coach found a system that allowed us to all play together. What a beautiful midfield, even with Arturo!

“[Vieira] was a fantastic player, a leader. One of those players who increases the level of a team, on and off the field.

“It was an honour to be able to train with players of this ability. We also learned just by being in the locker room with them.”

The ex-Zenit St Petersburg man retired from professional football earlier in October, so what will he do next?

“I haven’t ruled out anything, but for the moment I have not decided what I will do.”

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