It wasn't quite the full-on return for one of Italy's best defenders that was reported by the Italian media earlier this week, but it's getting close. Progress, people, progress.
Andrea Barzagli's 75-minute outing with the Juventus primavera is the reason why there's a video above. Barzagli, who has missed oh-so-many months because of his lingering heel injury, was finally back on the field Thursday afternoon. Sure, it was with Juve's top youth team, but it's Barzagli being as close to returning to the senior squad as he's been in a number of months.
And watching that video, you see Barzagli doing Barzagli things we became so accustomed to seeing before his injury knocked him out for an extended period of time. Those slide tackles are as classic as ever as he makes a smooth transition from defense to offense. I know it's against kids who are nearly half his age and not even close to his skill level, but to see him be out there once again brought a smile to my face. Call me a Barzagli fanboy all you want because you're not going to be wrong.
It also provided us with the opportunity to see Marco Storari, who has been known to go crazy celebrating a goal or two in recent memory,
That is fantastic. How can you not love this team and how much they root for one another? These aren't just teammates coming out to support one another. This was a gang of friends coming out to watch a guy take a huge step in finally shaking nearly a years worth of injury time. It's family, not just guys being formed into a football club.
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