With Euro 2012 rapidly approaching, we here at JuventiKnows are profiling the different Juventus players participating in the summer tournament. This year, seven of our Scudetto winners are going to Poland and Ukraine as part of Cesare Prandelli’s Italian national side as the coach – himself a former midfielder for the Bianconeri – called up – Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Pirlo, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli, Emanuele Giaccherini and today’s featured star, Claudio Marchisio.
Birthplace and Birthday:
Torino, 19 January, 1986
Il Principino (the little Prince) Capitano Futuro (Future Captain)
Estimated Market Value: €20 million.
Title, Year, (Club)
Viareggio Cup, 2004 & 2005 (Juventus)
Primavera Championship, 2005-06 (Juventus)
Primavera Supercup, 2006 (Juventus)
Serie B, 2006-2007 (Juventus)
Toulon Tournament, 2008 (Italy)
Serie A, 2011-2012 (Juventus)
Team Supported Growing Up:
Juventus. His entire family supports the Old Lady, he has been member of Juventus since age 6.
Level of Fame:
Nationally famous. Claudio was born in Torino, raised in the Juventus youth set up (since age 6) and successfully broke into the first side in 2008-2009. Il Principino spent one season in Serie B with Juventus before going to Empoli on loan. He returned the following season, successfully beating out Continentally famous players like Tiago and Christian Poulsen for a spot in central midfield. Since then, he’s solidified a spot as a critical member of Juve’s central midfield, the glue that holds it all together. As Juventus have missed out on the Champion’s League in recent years, he is well known in Italy yet still a rather unknown name across Europe. A good performance at the Euros ahead of a Champion’s League run could elevate his status.
Marchisio is a quiet, disciplined individual that is willing to sacrifice for the team. For a long time, he has been mature beyond his years, never lashing out at opponents or making horror tackles, indeed, since his first season as a professional in Serie B, Marchisio has never received a red card. He’s not one to seek the limelight, he prefers a quiet life out of the tabloid newspapers.
An all-around central midfielder, Marchisio possesses a wide range of skills. He’s a solid tackler of the ball, aided by his excellent tactical positioning, and a decent passer of the ball. While primarily considered a more “defensive” central midfielder when he burst on scene, his youth academy past as a striker shows in his refined dribbling and brilliant forward insertions- his finishing under pressure is exceptional for a central midfielder, which is why Marchisio was Juve’s 2nd highest league scorer this season.
Technically, the only thing truly missing from Marchisio’s repertoire is powerful shots- he rarely scores from outside of the box as he does not consistently put strong efforts on target from distance. Aside from that, Marchisio will have games where he does not impose himself on the match- his contribution can be fairly anonymous, although to say poor would ignore the tactical balance he offers to the team.
Status on Club Team:
Fundamental. Since returning from his Empoli loan, Marchisio has grown into this Juventus side and established himself as a building block for the team. His versatility has seen him play at left-mid to balance the more offensive Milos Krasic, he’s played in a 2-man midfield successfully, and despite the superb form of both Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal, the tactical balance he offers made Conte switch to a 3-man midfield rather than drop him. He is heir apparent to the captain’s armband behind Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini, and there have even been suggestions of him inheriting Del Piero’s #10 jersey.
2011-2012 Club Season:
The Delneri year was a difficult one for Marchisio. Though the former Juventus coach promised to build his team around Marchisio, between the excellent Aquilani-Melo partnership and Marchisio’s versatility, the young midfielder was shunted out on the left side, to create a tactical balance for a formation that varied between a 4-4-2 and a 4-3-3. New coach Antonio Conte stated upon arrival that “for me, Marchisio is a central midfielder” but there were worried this was also talk as without a left-winger in pre-season, Marchisio was often played on the flank.
Conte abandoned the 4-4-2 pretty early on, and the subsequent formations (4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, 3-5-2) all were able to include Vidal, Marchisio, and Pirlo in midfield. The fall primarily used a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1- the lovely interplay between Matri, Vucinic, and the midfielders allowed Marchisio to surge forward and chip in goals at a stunning rate- he couldn’t stop scoring. In a Coppa Italia home tie vs Bologna, with Juventus struggling to score, Antonio Conte sent on Marchisio to finish the job. The game went to extra time, and sure enough, a stunning goal from il Principino sealed Juve’s progress.
The spring saw a switch to the 3-5-2, which was a bit more of a defensive formation and put two strikers in the middle rather than one. This, combined with a dip in form, led to a string of subdued games from Marchisio, who didn’t reach the heights of his fall form for the rest of the season. Overall, it was still a very positive season for il Principino, who played his first full season exclusively in center midfield since his breakout year in 2008-2009.
Status in National Team:
Important cog. Marcello Lippi first brought Marchisio into the Nazionale, and Prandelli has kept him in his regime. Prandelli’s regime doesn’t particularly use destroyers in midfield, so it’s up to tactical midfielders like Marchisio to retain the ball, protect Pirlo, and prevent counter-attacks. He’s been a fixture in the national team starting XI of late, and there’s little reason to suggest Prandelli won’t start out the Euro 2012 campaign without Marchisio in his team- particularly if De Rossi is drafted in defense.
Expected Performance for National Team:
Solid. Marchisio hasn’t really found his goal-scoring form in the Nazionale, the formation depends on him to hold the midfield and thus, gives him few opportunities to make surging runs into the box. Claudio probably will not be a hero, but he will be a consistent and competent performer.
Claudio Marchisio’s wife Roberta is also from Torino- her father formerly played for Torino, so there’s a real derby environment between the two families!
YouTube Comp with Questionable Music:
In one word: