Over the course of my day job — which can also be considered a night job since games actually happen at, well, night — I've heard a good share of generic quotes. It's not necessarily the person's fault, not everybody can deliver a good quote for every question you ask. Some are good with the press, some aren't. That's just how it goes.
But there are also those who really talk open and honestly when they have a microphone or tape recorder right in front of their face. It's just the way they answer your questions, it's the way the deliver those quotes. They exude confidence, they show just how classy and intelligent they are.
That's the beautiful thing about talking to players — no one player is alike.
The reason why I've posted this video — which took place during one of the pre-match press conferences leading up to the Supercoppa victory last week — is because I want you all to hear how Claudio Marchisio speaks to the press. It's one thing to read his quotes on a website, but it's another thing to actually hear him speak.
What does this have to do with anything? I'm glad you asked.
It's no secret that Claudio Marchisio is the future captain of Juventus. It's also no secret that I love me some Marchisio. Some see him as overrated (hehe!), others, like us who watch him on a game-by-game basis really know how important his play can be.
But the thing that has impressed me is how Marchisio has gone from new kid on the block to one of the leaders of the squad — both in terms of how he plays and what he says, be it on the field, in the press or almost certainly behind closed doors.
Ah ha! Now we're getting to the meat and potatoes of all this.
Some of you may be thinking "Well, Claudio has always had leadership qualities. What's the point of getting to it now?" Well, that's a fair point. There's more to it, though. Marchisio's matured (even though he was wise beyond his years when first became a regular in Claudio Ranieri's squad) as the seasons have gone on. He's become a more important player within the squad in terms of technical quality and leadership, proving that his name being on the shortlist of those that get to wear the fabelled armband is the right choice.
But what's the difference between, say, this summer and years past? Well, look at who Juventus just said goodbye to a couple of months ago. Yeah, Il Capitano himself, the man Marchisio watched from not very far away as he moved up the ranks in Juventus' youth sector. And now that Del Piero is gone, the void left is more than just one that just the goals and assists he provided in his two decades in bianconero.
On top of ADP's departure, one doesn't have to do extensive research to discover the current goings on at the club — some for reasons that they have no control over. The press conference in the video was the day after the betting scandal verdicts and Antonio Conte's suspension was handed out. You wouldn't think so by the kind of calming presence Marchisio was displaying. If he was seriously shook up by the suspension of Conte and Angelo Alessio, you wouldn't have guessed it.
That's leadership. That's a somebody you want to be guiding your team through the good times and the bad. Some players lead by example on the field and in training, others do so through words. Claudio Marchisio understands what the Juventus jerseys to not only the players who wear it, but those in the stands who sport it as well.
You don't need any fancy stats to realize that. There's need to go to WhoScored and make sure I'm not making this data any of this up. Marchisio knows better than anybody about what this jersey means to the Juventus tifosi — he grew up as one.
It's simple: Just watch the video, realize what kind of player and person Claudio Marchisio is, and then thank the calcio gods he's wearing our colors, not some other ones where we'd be forced to hate him.