As a writer, The Players’ Tribune’s existence has always been a fascinating one for a variety of reasons. When it was first launched in Oct. 2014, the jokes were that it’s not like you’re going to see some of its big-name backers — most notably the site’s creator, former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter — sitting there at 11 p.m. at night after a game with red pens editing the hell out of copy or anything like that. But as the site has grown, so has the scope of what it covers. You have players revealing a different side of who they are, where they’ve come from, how they got to be some of the best in their respective sports.
It doesn’t matter if it’s baseball, basketball, football or the other football, The Player’s Tribune is one of the more unique sports websites there is going right now.
And we can officially say that TPT has hit Juventus.
It wasn’t one of Juve’s players penning something about the past and future. Rather, it was manager Max Allegri showing off his English skills and talking about what has happened to the club recently (a little thing called the Champions League final) and where his team is going (the upcoming season).
You can read the full article here.
But since we can’t just copy and paste everything from The Player’s Tribune on here, here are just a few of the most notable things Mad Mex said in his incredibly well done piece.
I left Cardiff with the team and returned to Italy. The next evening, when I got home, I had to ask myself a very hard question: Is this the end of the road? Is this as far as I can take this team?
I wondered if I should write the final chapter to my story at Juventus. Part of me was thinking about walking in on Monday and respectfully resigning.
Then I thought about why I became a manager in the first place.
That is one hell of a way to get you interested in a first-person account of something. Bravo, Max. I never knew you had it in you!
The image of Allegri walking past the Champions League trophy after receiving his second place medal, the one you see right next to this text, is something that I probably will have etched in my mind for the rest of time. You just don’t see that kind of disappointment clearly very often with the prized possession in which his team was just playing for sitting only a few feet away from where he was standing.
It’s one thing to be upset about a loss like we all were after that June night in Cardiff. That’s part of the reason why being fans of a team isn’t easy. It’s another thing, like Allegri said, to consider resigning because of it. Losing a massive game like the Champions League final was never going to be easy to swallow and a lot of things have been said in the aftermath of Juve’s loss to Real Madrid.
But while Dani Alves continues to chirp about how Juventus didn’t understand him, it’s sort of refreshing in a way to read how crushed Allegri was because of the loss.
When I think of the most important moment of my career, it did not have anything to do with the scudetto or the Champions League.
It was the day I walked into the offices at A.C. Milan and I was fired. It was not a surprise by any means. I knew I was going to be sacked. They were respectful. They told me face-to-face that I would no longer be the manager. But that didn’t take away from the disappointment. You know in your head that being fired is just part of life as a manager, but it doesn’t stop you from feeling, in your heart, that you failed.
When I left Milan, I saw it as a failure of my work.
Many viewed Allegri’s sacking at Milan as a long time coming. Others were kind of enough to not put the club’s failures solely on him, nothing how the roster had taken huge steps back as his tenure went on.
Milan may be in a better place now with all of their new money, but so is Allegri. You want to see somebody take disappointment and turn it into a positive. Allegri would never do it, but I’ll say it instead: He’s got three Scudetti to rub in Milan’s face to show that he does know what he’s doing.
For me, I look at Paulo Dybala and Gigi Buffon. In a way, they are the symbol of this team.
I see Dybala, like a bright boy about to start his first year in school. Buffon, with a World Cup, is about to get his Masters degree. One with his career ahead of him, and one near the end. One who wants to show that he can be one of the greats in Europe. One who is already a great, but wants to end his legacy on top.
It’s easy to see why Allegri spotlighted these two. They’re obviously on different sides of their careers these days — Buffon in what is almost certainly his final go-around as Juventus’ starting goalkeeper while Dybala having just taken over as the new owner of the No. 10 jersey. One is 38 years old, the other is a baby-faced 23-year-old star striker that everybody is absolutely going gaga over right now.
But they are two of Juve’s most important players in two very different kinds of ways.
I know we can shed the scabs from Cardiff. I know we can have a great season. I know we can have a great Champions League campaign.
I know what tomorrow morning will be. And the next morning. And the morning after that.
So now we just continue to work. We’ll try to make it to opening night at La Scala once again. The good thing about the opera is that there’s a new show every year.
That, folks, is what we like to call in the business a very good kicker.
This is what we’re all waiting to find out, too. We know that Juventus can get the job done in Serie A because they’re six-time defending champions for a reason. But one of the biggest things we’re waiting to see is how Juve rebound on the European stage.