Claudio Marchisio

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Claudio Marchisio
Claudio Marchisio BGR-ITA 2012.jpg
Marchisio with Italy in 2012
Personal information
Full name Claudio Marchisio[1]
Date of birth (1986-01-19) 19 January 1986 (age 29)
Place of birth Turin, Italy
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 8
Youth career
1993–2006 Juventus
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006– Juventus 237 (32)
2007–2008 Empoli (loan) 26 (0)
National team
2007–2008 Italy U21 14 (1)
2009– Italy 51 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 May 2015.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 November 2014

Claudio Marchisio (Italian pronunciation: [ˈklaudjo marˈkizjo]; born 19 January 1986) is an Italian footballer who plays as a midfielder for Juventus and the Italian national team. A product of the Juventus youth system, he has spent his whole career thus far at his hometown club, with the exception of a season-long loan spell at Empoli FC. He is currently the club's second vice-captain, behind Giorgio Chiellini.

Since making his breakthrough in the 2008–09 season, Marchisio has often been compared to former Juventus and Italian midfielder Marco Tardelli by the Italian press for his tenacious style of play and good reading of the game.[2][3][4] A hard-tackling, versatile midfielder, he is able to play in defensive midfield or out wide but his preferred and most effective position is in the centre.[5] Though predominantly right-footed, he is equally competent with his left, evidenced by his goals and his penchant for shooting from outside the penalty box if given the chance.[6]

At international level, Marchisio has represented Italy at the 2010 and the 2014 FIFA World Cups; he also took part at UEFA Euro 2012, winning a runners-up medal, and at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, where he won a third-place medal.

Early life[edit]

Born in Turin, Marchisio is the youngest of three children and was raised in Andezeno, a comune not far from the city, where his parents run a family business and continue to reside.[7][8] His family were Juventus fans and season ticket holders and he used to be a ball boy at the Stadio delle Alpi. As a child, he was interested in various sports and joined the youth football team at Fiat's satellite sports club Sisport, where he was later scouted by Juventus youth coaches at the age of seven.[8][9][10] A talented middle-distance runner and skier, he began vocational training as a surveyor, after the mandatory schooling age of sixteen, in case his football career did not work out but eventually dropped out to concentrate on football.[6]

Club career[edit]

Marchisio in 2005

Early Juventus career[edit]

While in the youth system, Marchisio played as a trequartista (offensive midfielder), modeling himself after his childhood hero Alessandro Del Piero,[11] until he was switched to the midfield at the age of 16. During the 2004–05 and 2005–06 seasons, he was called up to train with the first team numerous times by Fabio Capello and given a squad number. He made the bench for the game away at Cagliari but remained an unused substitute. Later that season, he captained the Primavera side to their first Campionato Primavera title in 12 years and a runner-up finish at the Viareggio Tournament in his last full season with the Primavera squad.

After being included in the preseason friendlies, Marchisio was promoted to the first team permanently following Juventus' relegation to Serie B due to the Calciopoli scandal and given the number 15 shirt. On 19 August 2006, he made his first team debut in the Coppa Italia third round, coming on as a late substitute for Matteo Paro in a 3–0 win over Martina. In September, he captained the Primavera team for the last time in the Supercoppa Primavera, thrashing old rivals Internazionale 5–1.[12] He then made his league debut on 28 October against Frosinone as a late substitute for David Trezeguet and made his first start in the following match against Brescia. As the season progressed, he established himself in Didier Deschamps' side and ended the season as first-choice central midfielder. He capped a fine season with an assist for Del Piero's match opener in the 5–1 thrashing of Arezzo,[13] a result which secured immediate promotion to Serie A mathematically.

Loan at Empoli[edit]

On 25 July 2007, Marchisio was loaned out to Empoli for the 2007–08 season with good friend and fellow youth product Sebastian Giovinco to gain first-team experience.[14][15] He made his Serie A debut on 26 August against Fiorentina and European debut the following month in the UEFA Cup against FC Zürich. Although he did not score any goals, he tallied two vital assists and was a regular starter when available for the Tuscan club. Unfortunately, Empoli were unable to avoid relegation and he was recalled to Turin by the recently appointed manager Claudio Ranieri.

Return to Juventus and breakthrough[edit]

Marchisio playing for Juventus in a match against Bari

After his impressive performances for Empoli, Marchisio returned to Juventus for the 2008–09 campaign and made an impressive Champions League debut, playing the full 90 minutes against Artmedia Petržalka in the Champions League third qualifying round, second leg. In November, former Milan and Fiorentina striker Stefano Borgonovo wrote about him on La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Marchisio has everything needed to play at the highest level...[He] has personality, reminds me of the great Marco Tardelli."[2] Under Ranieri, he eventually established himself as first-choice due to injuries and lackluster performances from other midfielders. He further established himself in the starting eleven after a man-of-the-match game against Milan in pouring rain that earned him rave reviews from the media.[16] He quickly became a firm favourite amongst the Bianconeri fans and they voted him as their Player of the Month for December on the club website.[17] Five days after his 23rd birthday, he scored his first Serie A goal, the match-winner against Fiorentina.[7][18] Less than a week later, he was rewarded with an improved five-year contract extension.[9][19] His season was interrupted by a series of minor injuries in April, which resulted in him being sidelined for almost a month, and he returned to the starting eleven for the penultimate matchday away at Siena, marking it with a goal and an assist for captain Alessandro Del Piero's second goal of the match in a 3–0 win[20] and then setting up Vincenzo Iaquinta's opener in a 2–0 home win against Lazio, a result that ensured a second-place finish for the Bianconieri. When the season ended, he was continuously linked with various clubs, but Director of Sport Alessio Secco ended all speculation by listing him as one of the "untouchable" players.[21] His good performances did not go unnoticed by Italian national team coach Marcello Lippi, who later handed him his senior international debut.

Post-calciopoli struggles[edit]

Marchisio in 2013

Marchisio continued to be first choice under Ciro Ferrara and later Alberto Zaccheroni mainly due to his versatility and consistency in midfield. During the beginning of the 2009–10 season, he had a good run of form, winning Man of the Match awards in four consecutive matches and being voted Player of the Month for September by registered members on the club website[22][23] but picked up a knee injury in the loss to Palermo at the beginning of October.[24] After surgery, he was sidelined for one and half months and made his comeback as a last minute substitute in the Champions League group stage tie away at Bordeaux on 25 November. On 5 December 2009, he scored the winner in a 2–1 home win over Internazionale in the Derby d'Italia, where he showed incredible composure to drag the ball with both feet before dinking it over the stranded Júlio César.[25] Three days later, he set up David Trezeguet to score the opening goal of the game in the decisive Champions League 1–4 home loss against Bayern Munich. At the end of the year, he was voted Juventus Player of the Year for 2009 by fans on the club website.[26] In the Europa League round of 16 tie against Fulham on 11 March 2010, he captained the team for the first time when David Trezeguet handed him the captain's armband after being substituted at the 62nd minute, as vice-captains Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini missed the match through injury and Del Piero remained an unused substitute.[27] He scored an equalizer against Catania on the second-last away matchday to keep Juventus in a Europa League spot and, despite Juventus' dismal season, was one of the few players to escape the mass criticism from the press.[28]

Despite a disappointing 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign, Marchisio began the season as first-choice under new manager Luigi Delneri. After a slow start to the season, he began to thrive in his role as a wide midfielder. In September, he marked his 100th appearance in a Juventus shirt with a goal against Udinese in a 4–0 win.[29] He started his first match as captain against Roma in April. On 17 May 2011, Juventus announced that Marchisio had signed an improved, five-year contract with the club.[30] His goal against Udinese in January was voted Goal of the Season by fans on fansite[31]

Return to victory[edit]

Marchisio started the 2011–12 season well by scoring Juve's final goal in the opening match, a 4–1 win over Parma. Under former Juventus legend Antonio Conte, he was played alongside new signings Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo to great effect and were dubbed the "M-V-P" midfield by the press and fans. He scored a late double to break the deadlock in the 2–0 win at home against Milan, the first time he has ever scored more than one goal in a match.[32][33] On 20 November, he scored in his second consecutive league game and surpassed his personal season record of four goals by scoring the last goal to seal 3–0 win over Palermo. He scored his first Coppa Italia goal, the match winning goal against Bologna in extra time to send Juve to the quarter-finals.[34] His good form during the first half of the season earned him an Oscar del Calcio nomination for the Best Italian Player Award and a place in the Team of the Year.[35] On 18 March, he ended a three-month goal drought with a header in the 0–5 thrashing at Fiorentina and dedicated it his second son, who was born earlier that week. He scored his ninth goal of the season against Lecce in his 200th career match to take his goal tally for the season into the double figures.[36] The following match, he won his first Scudetto after Juve won 2–0 against Cagliari Calcio and runners-up Milan lost 4–2 in the Milan Derby against Inter, although Juventus were defeated in the Coppa Italia Final by Napoli. He ended the season with 10 goals in league and cup matches.

With the departure of captain and club legend Alessandro Del Piero in June 2012, it was speculated that that Marchisio would "inherit" the number 10 jersey but he declined, stating that he was a midfielder, not a striker, and had grown accustomed to his number 8.[37] He captained the team on the opening match of the season against Parma in the absence of captain Gianluigi Buffon and first vice-captain Giorgio Chiellini. In November, he scored his first ever goal in a European competition in the Champions League group stage home fixture against FC Nordsjælland. He also assisted Quagliarella's equaliser against Chelsea. He was one of four Juventus players nominated for the 2012 UEFA Team of the Year and was voted into the Serie A Team of the Year at the Oscar del Calcio awards.[38] Although he played fewer matches compared to last season due to suspension and a minor injury, he contributed crucial goals to his side, including the match winner against Siena and a brace against intercity rivals Torino as Juve won a second consecutive league title. Marchisio also scored a notable against Celtic in the Champion's League round of 16, allowing Juventus to progress on to the Quarter finals, where they were eliminated by eventual champions Bayern Munich.

During the 2013-14 season, Marchisio was mostly competing with French youngster Paul Pogba for a spot in the midfield three. He struggled with an injury and was mainly used as a substitute during the first half of the season during league games, starting in Champions League/Europa League matches instead. Partly due to Vidal's absence due to knee surgery, Marchisio started more matches in the last few months of the season – his four goals all came during the latter half of the season. In April against Bologna he reached the milestone of 200 Serie A games.[39] He scored Juve's last goal of the season on the last matchday of the season, a 3-0 win over Cagliari. Juventus were able to win their third consecutive title that season, and their 30th overall, with an Italian record of 102 points. Juventus were eliminated in the group stage of the Champion's League, however, although they managed to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League, where they were defeated by Benfica.

Marchisio scored his first goal of the 2014-15 season on 13 September, in a 2-0 home win over Udinese.[40] On 15 February 2015, he made his 200th appearance in Serie A with Juventus, scoring a goal in a 2-2 draw against Cesena.[41] On 27 March 2015 Marchisio suffered an injury during a training session with the Italian national team, prior to the team's UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Bulgaria.[42][43] Although it was initially feared that he had torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which would have ruled him out for six months, it was later confirmed that the injury was not so serious, and that he would only be out for a couple of weeks.[44] On 7 April 2015, Marchisio made an early appearance for the second leg of the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia against Fiorentina following his ACL injury, setting up Leonardo Bonucci's goal from a corner in a 3–0 win, which allowed Juventus to progress to the final of the competition.[45][46] However, his yellow card in the game meant that he would miss the final 2-1 extra time victory over Lazio.[47][48] Marchisio made his 300th appearance for Juventus in a 3-2 home win against Fiorentina on 29 April.[49]

International career[edit]

Marchisio in Italy's Euro 2012 quarter-final match against England

Marchisio was initially called up in early May to the Italy under-21 squad for the 2007 European Championships but eventually withdrew due to injury.[50][51] He made his under-21 debut in June 2007, the group opening game of the 2009 European Championship qualifying, but his debut ended rather unfortunately as he was injured in a collision barely ten minutes into the match while attempting an effort on goal, although the shot would lead to Robert Acquafresca's opener seconds later. Eventually, he became first-choice during the latter stages of the campaign. He scored a 12-yard volley at the 2008 Toulon Tournament against Turkey in a 2–1 win and was called up to the Olympics that summer but was forced to return home due to an injury. In May 2009, Pierluigi Casiraghi named him in the final squad for the 2009 Under-21 European Championship. At the tournament, he started every game and, despite missing the semi-final loss to Germany through suspension, was one of several Azzurrini stars tipped to make the senior squad.[52][53]

On 12 August 2009, Marchisio made his senior debut, starting in the friendly against Switzerland that ended goalless[54][55] and was praised by Marcello Lippi during the post-match interview.[56] Lippi later revealed that he had intended to call Marchisio up earlier but agreed to leave the youngster to Casiraghi's U-21 squad until to the end of the European Championships. Marchisio played his first competitive match for the Azzurri in the World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria in his home stadium and became a first-choice pick for Lippi's squad.[57] He was forced to withdraw, however, from the remaining qualifying matches against the Republic of Ireland and Cyprus after being diagnosed with a knee meniscus injury that required surgery.[58] He was named in the 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup but had a relatively uneventful tournament due to Lippi's preference for playing him in an unfamiliar playmaker role.[59]

Marchisio scored his first ever international goal in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Serbia on 7 October 2011, barely a minute after kick-off. It was the 250th goal scored by a Juventus player for the Italian national team.[60]

After a good 2011–12 season with Juventus, and a successful qualifying campaign with Italy, Marchisio was named in the final squad for UEFA Euro 2012 by Cesare Prandelli, and he started every match in Italy's surprise run to the tournament finals, where they were defeated 4–0 by reigning European and world champions Spain. He has since been an established member of the Italy national team, having been named in the final squads for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, in which Italy finished third. Marchisio assisted Sebastian Giovinco's match winning goal in Italy's second group match against Japan, which allowed Italy to advance to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup for the first time in their history. After becoming a regular during Italy qualifying matches, Marchisio was later also selected to be a member of the Italy squad that would take part at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. On May 30, 2014, he captained the senior team for the first time during the pre-World Cup friendly against the Republic of Ireland after Riccardo Montolivo, captain for the match, was carried off the pitch due to a fractured leg.

At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Marchisio scored his first international goal at a major UEFA/FIFA tournament and Italy's first goal of the World Cup, a 25-yard shot against England during the Group D second opening match.[61] He appeared in Italy's next two group matches, which both ended in 1-0 defeats to group winners Costa Rica and runner's up Uruguay. In the final group match against Uruguay, he was controversially given a straight red card in the 59th minute, his first red card as an international.[62][63] The referee's failure to send Luis Suárez off for biting Giorgio Chiellini and the fact that Uruguay went on to win 1-0 further added to the controversy. Italy finished third in their group and were eliminated from the World Cup in the group stage for the second time a row.

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Italy's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 7 October 2011 Stadion Crvena Zvezda, Belgrade  Serbia 1–0 1–1 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
2. 11 June 2013 Estadio Sao Januario, Rio de Janeiro  Haiti 2–0 2–2 Friendly
3. 4 June 2014 Renato Curi, Perugia  Luxembourg 1–0 1–1 Friendly
4. 14 June 2014 Arena Amazonia, Manaus  England 1–0 2–1 2014 FIFA World Cup

Style of play[edit]

Claudio Marchisio taking a picture with a fan in Toronto in 2011.

Marchisio is known for his versatility and ability to play anywhere in midfield, as seen in various formations and positions he has been played in by his coaches. He has been used out wide in a three- or four-man midfield or as a defensive midfielder, but his preferred and most effective position is that of a central midfielder, where he is given the license to freely switch between defensive and attacking positions, instead of concentrating on a single role.[5] He is sometimes classified as an attacking central midfielder, due to his penchant for scoring goals, rather than as a traditional deep-lying "creative" central midfielder) in the mold of Andrea Pirlo[64] In the English-speaking world he has been described as a "box-to-box midfielder" as he is neither a pure defensive nor an attacking midfielder, although he is able to play in both positions when necessary. He has also occupied more of a playmaking role on occasion.[64] Marchisio's strength, pace, tactical awareness and stamina have allowed him to excel in this box-to-box midfield role, and he is regarded by pundits as one of the top midfielders in Italy.[65]

In previous seasons at club level, Marchisio was paired in the centre alongside a defensive midfielder such as Felipe Melo in a 4-man midfield and was left to play more of an offensive and creative role. During the 2011–12 season at club level, he was deployed effectively alongside Pirlo and Chilean international Arturo Vidal in Juventus's 3-man midfield in their 3-5-2 formation under Conte. A large part of Juventus's success in Italy that season was due to the fact that Marchisio and Vidal were able to interchange quickly between defensive and attacking positions and compensate for Pirlo's defensive weaknesses by leaving playmaking duties to the latter; this formation allowed all three midfielders to contribute with 19 league goals, almost a third of all goals scored by the team, that season, as they went on to win the league.[66] Marchisio also plays a similar role for the national team, partnering alongside Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi to support the creative duties of his Juventus team mate Pirlo.[67]

One of Marchisio's key strengths is this ability to switch from defence to offence seamlessly,[68][69] and his stamina, tackling, work-rate, athleticism, and ability to read the game allows him to contribute on both sides of the field.[5] His tactical awareness, creativity, vision and wide range of passing enables him to contribute to the attack by spreading around the ball effectively, while avoiding opposing defenders, and to either score or set up a goal.[70][70][70][71][71] Marchisio is also gifted with flair, excellent technical ability, and good close-dribbling control.[72] These attributes, coupled by his ability to use either foot comfortably,[11] and make him a threat in the opponent's half, especially in or outside the penalty area, where he has been known to attempt a shot on goal if given the chance[6] – as exhibited by his goals against Cagliari in January 2014, Luxembourg in a May 2014 friendly and England at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Due to his attributes, and his energetic, tenacious, yet, composed style of play, he has garnered comparisons to Juventus legend and 1982 World Cup winner Marco Tardelli by the Italian press, who was arguably one of Italy's greatest "two-way" midfielders.[2][3][4][73] Earlier in his career, Marchisio developed a reputation for scoring "clutch" goals during important games. During his first Serie A season with Juventus, all three of his goals were either match-winners or the opening goal of the match. He has also scored crucial goals against all three of Juventus' derby rivals: Internazionale, Milan and Torino.

Personal life[edit]

Marchisio married Roberta Sinopoli in June 2008 and they have two sons, Davide (born on August 2009)[8][74] and Leonardo (born on March 2012).[75] His wife supported Juve's crosstown rivals Torino, as her father used to play for the Torino youth teams as well as various clubs in the Serie C2 and Serie D.[76] Marchisio has his wife's birthday tattooed on the inside of his arm and occasionally kisses it when celebrating a goal.[7]

He is affectionately known to supporters as Il Principino ("The Little Prince"), a nickname he acquired from the Juventus-supporting Premium Calcio football commentator Claudio Zuliani. Some fans and observers have also dubbed him the "De Rossi of Turin", in reference to his national teammate Daniele De Rossi of Roma, due the fact that both are local born and bred youth products and are tipped to be future captains of their respective clubs. Marchisio was featured on the Italian cover of EA Sports' FIFA 13, alongside global cover star Lionel Messi.[77]

Career statistics[edit]

Marchisio holds up the FARE t-shirt and show his support for the FARE Action Weeks 2011.
As of 23 May 2015[78]
Club Season League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Juventus 2005–06 Serie A 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2006–07 Serie B 24 0 0 0 24 0
2007–08 Serie A 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008–09 24 3 0 0 6 0 30 3
2009–10 28 3 0 0 7 0 35 3
2010–11 32 4 1 0 8 0 41 4
2011–12 36 9 3 1 39 10
2012–13 29 6 2 0 8 2 1 0 40 8
2013–14 29 4 2 0 11 0 1 0 43 4
2014-15 34 3 4 0 11 0 1 0 50 3
Total 237 32 15 1 51 2 3 0 306 35
2007–08 Serie A 26 0 1 0 2 0 29 0
Career Total 263 32 16 1 53 2 3 0 335 35

1Includes Supercoppa Italiana matches.




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