Claudio Marchisio reveals he turned down offers from AC Milan twice as he would ‘never have gone to another Italian club.’
The former Juventus midfielder spent 25 years at the club before being forced out of Juventus last summer.
“My adventure was at the finish line, but the transfer market was closing and I thought I would stay,” he told Gazzetta Dello Sport.
“The club decided to terminate my contract. For me it wasn’t easy, but I wanted to change clubs.
“In hindsight I could say that there have been so many injuries in midfield, so maybe I would’ve found space.
“However, it would’ve been wrong to stay. I wouldn’t have been able to go through another year like the last one.
“After the bad knee injury I picked up in 2016, I had no other physical problems. I was hoping for a few more opportunities, but I always put the group in front of the individual.
“I gave so much, but Juve gave me so much in return. I have no regrets. In football, like in work and love, there are so many ways to end stories.
“Ultimately I consider myself lucky for the cards I was dealt. I lost two Champions League Finals and one European Championship Final, but I’m happy to have won seven Scudetti.
“I remember when I signed my first contract with Andrea Agnelli. It was during the years when we kept finishing seventh.
“I told him: ‘I hope you don’t want to be one of the few Presidents who won nothing, just as I don’t want to be one of the few juventini to have won nothing.’
“I rejected Milan twice. I’ve received so many offers during my career, both from abroad and Italy.
“For me the most important team besides Juve have always been Milan, but I would never have gone to another Italian club.”
“Dybala? Paulo has an innate gift and I’m sorry to see him so far from goal.
“Juve would benefit from him being closer to goal. I remember his first game for Juve: the Supercoppa against Lazio.
“He came on and I said to him: ‘Stay close to the box, you’ll score.’ He scored. He finds shooting incredibly easy.
“Ronaldo? He works a lot, he takes care of every aspect of his preparation. He’s an example,” added the 33-year-old.
“He has an unusual physique for a footballer. He looks more like a sprinter!
“Pirlo, Vidal and Pogba? Facing Barcelona was a great challenge. We had flair, stamina and physicality.
“It was an honour to play with them: Andrea’s genius, my experience, Vidal’s exuberance and Paul’s youthful carefreeness.
“They all left me something. Deschamps gave me lots of advice and I started scoring a lot under Prandelli.
“I thank Conte, not only for what he taught me about the runs to make but also for his character. With his determination, he was a leader.”