When Stephan Lichtsteiner arrived from Lazio three and a half years ago, he brought something Juventus lacked for many years prior — stability at the fullback position and a whole lot of grinta. It didn't take him long to prove that to be true, and ever since then he's been one of Juventus' most important players.
As Lichtsteiner entered his fourth season, though, there were some doubts as to whether he would sign a new contract with the clubs as Juve look to tie up many of their key players with new contracts. Maybe he would stay, maybe he wouldn't. Sometimes the two parties were close to a deal, sometimes they were far apart in terms of what Lichtsteiner would be paid over the course of the contract.
I can say this now, guys: Doubts over. Steiner isn't going anywhere.
What the Italian media reported just about a month ago came to fruition on Tuesday, as the soon-to-be 31-year-old Swiss fullback — who previous deal was set to expire at the end of the current season — has agreed to a brand new contract through the 2016-17 season with an option for a third year under makings of the new deal. Below is the official statement, courtesy of Juventus website:
Juventus Football Club is delighted to announce that Stephan Lichtsteiner has committed his future to the club by signing a two-year contract extension with the option of a further 12 months.
The full-back, who joined from fellow Serie A outfit Lazio in 2011, scored the first-ever league goal at Juventus Stadium when he was on target in a 4-1 home victory over Parma.
During his three-and-a-half seasons in Turin, Lichtsteiner has been an integral part of a side who have won three Serie A titles and two Super Cups. He is also a firm fan favourite for his marauding runs up and down the right flank.
Since Lichtsteiner signed with Juventus in 2011, he has been one of the better fullbacks in Europe. He's probably run more miles than we can count up and down the right flank, yelled at plenty of referees and opposing players, and just been one heck of a player along the way.
He's also developed quite a kinship with bearded maestro Andrea Pirlo.
So here's to another two years — and maybe a third — with you, Mr. Lichtsteiner. May you continue to be a badass, may you continue to be a player nobody outside of those people with black and white glasses likes all that much. And most importantly, may you continue to be a very good player. That's not much to ask for, right? I think he'd be okay with that.
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