As we can easily figure out, Mario Mandzukic is not a direct replacement for Carlos Tévez simply because of what kind of strikers each of them are. However, there's no denying that the 29-year-old Mandzukic will be looked upon to be one of the main goal-scoring threats in a couple of months and the next few years going forward just in the same way Tévez was the past two seasons.
Juventus continued its week of introductory press conferences on Thursday afternoon. #DybalaDay has transitioned nicely into #KhediraDay, and now, amidst rumors of one of Juve's best signings in recent memory heading out the door, we got to enjoy #MandzukicDay. (I personally feel like Rubinho was robbed of one a few years ago, by the way.)
And, of course, there was yet another jersey number to reveal, with Mandzukic being the first summer signee going with a number a lot of people actually thought he would pick when he first signed with Juve a few weeks back. Ah, Mario, you've become predictable already!
A Juventus prima punta wearing the No. 17 once again. Excuse me while I have some feelings here, people. (And no, it's not because that jersey number was worn by Paulo De Ceglie, Eljero Elia and Armand Traore in recent years. Just stop thinking that right now.)
Yes, Mandzukic is the best player — by a considerable margin, too — to wear the No. 17 jersey since the days of David Trezeguet celebrating goals in the arms of Alessandro Del Piero. (FEELINGS!) There was no way he was going to get the No. 9 he wore last season in Spain due to a certain Álvaro Morata being around, so Mandzukic went went the next best thing — the same number he wears with the Croatia national team.
Mandzukic said his affinity for Juventus has grown over the years and that the decision to sign with the four-time defending Serie A champions. And, whether it was for a laugh on top of the seriousness, Mandzukic added that not having to play against Juventus also factored in his decision to trade in the red and white stripes of Atlético Madrid for those lovely black and white ones our beloved Old Lady features.
.@MarioMandzukic9: "Juventus are used to winning and lifting trophies. I hope I'm able to do my bit to help maintain this tradition."— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) July 16, 2015
Amen, Mario. We're hoping that tradition continues, too.