Mario Mandzukic is a special breed, the kind of player that you probably only cherish when he’s playing for your favorite club. He’s a grump, he can be a hard-nosed you-know-what that can get under your skin just as often as he’s celebrating a goal he just scored against you. He’s got the work rate and pain tolerance that few players in his position can truly match — which is a huge reason as to why he’s been adored by the Juve faithful since the day he first wore bianconero.
Also true about Mandzukic: He’s going to be sticking around in Turin a little while longer.
Juventus announced early Thursday afternoon that Mandzukic, the man who’s otherwise known as Mr. No Good, has officially signed a contract extension with the club through the 2020-21 season. With the addition of another year onto his previous deal that ran until 2020, Mandzukic is now tied to Juventus until his mid-30s and only confirming that Juve will be one of the final stops in what has been a damn good career to date.
Mandzukic, signed from Atlético Madrid in the summer of 2015 following Carlos Tevez’s departure for his homeland, has been one of Max Allegri’s key players during his four years in bianconero. He’s played as a central striker, he was turned into a makeshift left winger and, no matter where he’s played in attack, has also been an unofficial defender whenever he’s seen tracking back deep to record a clearance.
This season, Mandzukic is Juve’s second-leading scorer in Serie A behind Cristiano Ronaldo, recording eight goals and six assists in 23 appearances (22 starts). But, as we know, it’s not always the goals and assists that will be the judge of how Mandzukic plays — and it will only continue to be that way as the next couple of years go by.
Regardless of all of that, though, Mandzukic is going to be sticking around — which is a pretty good thing if you like grumpy Croatian strikers who like to dish out some punishment as much as anybody out there.