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OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Juventus defender Daniele Rugani extends contract through 2021

Juventus FC v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The day he stepped up to the podium for his introductory press conference last summer, the smile on Daniele Rugani’s face could not be knocked off even if you slugged him with a 20-pound dumbbell. Even though he was part of Juve’s primavera squad for a season, it was Rugani’s day to tell everybody in the Italian press why he was so happy to be a part the best club Serie A has to offer.

And now, to the surprise of nobody, he’s going to be sticking around much, much longer.

As the clock struck noon in Italy on Wednesday, Juventus announced that they have agreed to a contract extension through the 2020-21 season with the 22-year-old Rugani. Pencilled as both a future star for club and country, Rugani has been rumored to be signing a contract extension for weeks now, with the Italian press reporting that the only thing to be done with the deal is an official announcement from Juventus themselves at some point in the near future.

Well, that official announcement has arrived. Let there be much celebrating.

Ah, yes. The rumors were true — and that’s a very good thing.

Rugani, whose contract was bought in full two years ago after a period of co-ownership with Empoli, has long been thought of as the future of the Juventus defense. His playing time over the past season and a half has not always been the most plentiful at times, but he has certainly shown what he’s capable of pretty much every time he’s called into the lineup by Juventus manager Max Allegri.

Along with Rolando Mandragora, Marko Pjaca and Miralem Pjanic, Rugani joins a small group of players who have their contracts expiring after the 2020-21 season. Whenever Paulo Dybala signs his anticipated contract extension, you’d expect him to join that group that’s locked up for the next five years.

But if you wanted another sign that the Juventus management team think quite highly of Rugani and the future he has at the club, this here contract extension is the latest example. Good work, Juventus. And keep up the good work, Daniele, because you’re good at what you do.