The last couple of years have seen off-again, on-again rumors about Stephan Lichtsteiner’s status at Juventus pretty much be narrowed down to he’s leaving at the end of his current contract. And seeing as he’s 34 years old and has seen his playing time the last two seasons take a significant step back, it pretty much seemed like a certainty.
On Saturday, we got confirmation of it from Lichtsteiner himself.
In the minutes following Juventus’ 3-1 comeback win over Bologna at Allianz Stadium, Lichtsteiner announced what we have all been expecting for months and months now — that this season will be his last one in bianconero. It’s officially official. And not only did Lichtsteiner say that he’s done at Juventus, but that his next mailing address will be outside of Italy entirely.
“These are my last 14 days at Juventus. I need new challenges and motivation.”
“I have improved in my mentality. I didn’t know what it meant to play at Juventus when I arrived, as there is pressure and obsession for the victory.
“At Lazio we had to defend in the final third, here in midfield. My future will be outside of Italy. I won’t say where yet, as I haven’t signed.”
(Source: Football Italia)
No more Juventus.
No more Serie A.
Lichtsteiner will be spending his final years as a footballer playing in a different country than the one he first came to and became one of the best at his position a decade ago.
Man, one-by-one we’re watching the core of those Antonio Conte teams leave, and now that we’re at the final handful of players left, it’s pretty crazy to look back at what this freakin’ group has done over the last seven seasons.
We’re not going to forget that it was Lichtsteiner who scored Juve’s first official goal in Serie A against Parma in the first game at Juventus Stadium. We’re not going to forget the countless runs down the right wing and the balls over the top of the opposing defense from Andrea Pirlo. We’re not going to forget the constant screaming at referees because Lichtsteiner is the kind of guy you love to have on your team yet absolutely hate to play against.
You get it by now.
Who knows how many more times over the next two weeks of the season that we will see Lichtsteiner playing. No matter what, we should cherish them. He’s been a bedrock of this club’s success for the better part of the last decade, and for that we should be thankful.