At the tender age of 34 years old, Andrea Barzagli doesn't have many years left in his career simply because the number earlier in this sentence tells him so. He's not young, not exactly had the best injury history over the last couple of years. But even with that, he's been able to be one of Juventus' best and most consistent players no matter what has kept him off the field and for how long.
And even though his mid-30s are already here, it seems as though both the player and the Juventus management are more than happy to keep this quality partnership going.
One of the soon-to-be out-of-contract decisions Juve have to make is reportedly out of the way, with Barzagli ready to sign a two-year contract extension through the end of the 2017-18 season, according to Sunday's Gazzetta dello Sport (via Twitter). It could very well mean Barzagli, who arrived from Wolfsburg in January 2010 for a couple of bags of balls and some extra boots, will retire in a Juventus jersey considering he will be 37 years old when the second year of his new deal would expire.
Despite his age, Barzagli is still an important piece to the Juventus puzzle. We all know about how well drilled and in-tune the Barzagli-Bonucci-Chiellini combination is. It's just as vital to Juve's success as it has ever been. Whether it's Max Allegri switching between a four- and three-man backline en route to the Champions League final last season or now being part o the 2015-16 resurgence as Allegri has gone with the 3-5-2 formation full time, Barzagli's importance can't be denied.
Keeping him right where he is, age not withstanding, is another sign of that. Who knows what Barzagli's role within the squad will be come the beginning of the 2017-18 season, but his leadership and mentoring of players like Daniele Rugani will be valuable if he's playing in five games in the first half of the season or starting 35 straight matches.
So, yeah, you're damn right Barzagli sticking around is a good thing. It's a damn good thing. Why would we ever want him to leave if we had a choice?