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OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Juventus, Mario Mandzukic agree to contract extension through 2020

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

Mr. No Good has a reason to smile. I know it doesn’t happen often because he’s such a tough guy, but seriously, he’s been smiling quite a bit these days — and for good reason.

Juventus announced that striker-turned-winger and unofficial part-time fullback Mario Mandzukic has agreed to a contract extension until 2020 on Thursday afternoon. The new deal adds on another year to the deal that the 31-year-old Croatian signed when he arrived from Atletico Madrid two summers ago when Juve’s roster — especially the striker position — went through a serious overhaul.

From Juventus’ official website:

Juventus Football Club is delighted to announce that Mario Mandzukic has renewed his contract until 30 June 2020, extending a journey that began in July 2015.

Power, perseverance and a penchant for decisive goals in the big moments have seen the imposing Croatian become an indispensable member of a Juventus side that has lifted consecutive domestic doubles and an Italian Super Cup since he arrived in Turin.

It was Mario’s trademark back-post finish against Monaco in the Champions League semi-finals that put Juve’s place in Cardiff beyond doubt last month, and with the number 17’s black and white adventure set to continue for at least another three seasons, the best is yet to come in the immediate and the long term for both parties.

What say you, Mario?

Yes you have, Mario. Yes you have, indeed.

It has obviously been two very different seasons personally for Mandzukic. He was the guy leading the line for Juventus a good portion of the time during his first season in Turin, teaming with Alvaro Morata to compliment what we now know is one hell of a signing in the form of Paulo Dybala. With Gonzalo Higuain’s arrival for a club-record transfer fee this past summer, there was no doubting who Juve’s new prima punta was. Mandzukic was still playing, but not as much as he was. Then came Max Allegri’s switch to the 4-2-3-1 formation, and Mandzukic’s new role as a makeshift left winger. The goals haven’t been nearly as fruitful as they were a season ago, but his role within the starting lineup is just as important — maybe even more so — than it was during his first season with Juventus.

And yes, he’s still battling his tail off. We like that part of Mr. No Good’s game a lot.

Based on his work ethic alone, Mandzukic’s contract extension is most certainly deserved. We always used to talk about how Arturo Vidal was the walking — and running -- definition of the famed Juventus grinta. Well, the same can be said for Mandzukic. And that’s why we love the guy. No matter what position he plays, no matter how much blood he has rolling down his face from his forehead, it’s all about fighting for Juventus and Juventus alone.