The world has been taken over by coronavirus.
There are no superlatives I could add here that would augment what has already been written, or that would explicate in a satisfactory fashion the absolute otherworldliness of life as we know it coming to an abrupt halt. So I won’t try.
Instead, with my glass of rosé in the mid-afternoon of our — more or less — sixth day of quarantine, I shall plow ahead with the topic I have chosen.
(Quick sidebar, though: I am genuinely curious what you are doing with your quarantine time, or what exactly that looks like. Tell me in the comments what you’re up to. Danny gave us a little taste about what Juventus players are doing. Here’s what I’m up to: my wife and I are in a tiny apartment [about 650 square feet; we’re anticipating buying a house somewhat soon so this is kind of a stopgap dwelling] and both working from home, a luxury to which I’m not ignorant as I know there are many who can’t work from home. I feel like the last two days have been better. We’ve developed a routine and have each found a working spot. Our dog, an 8-year-old yellow labrador, is fairly entertaining. Fortunately, we live right on a trail, so I’m able to take a run each morning and then walk the dog and also stay a healthy distance away from anyone I might encounter. We’re drinking too much wine, which is good. We’re cooking. We’re watching the final two seasons of The Americans right now and trying to think about what to watch next. I’m also a big reader, so I’ve been plowing through a few different books at the moment. Tell me what you’re doing!)
Here is my topic: Based on my extremely intimate and personal knowledge of every Juventus player, who would I most want to be quarantined with? I took the squad that Juve brought to the Derby d’Italia and have them ranked below. That is a full 22 players, and I decided to only write little blurbs for the top 10.
So here we go: Juventus players I’d like to be quarantined with, ranked.
22. Cristiano Ronaldo
21. Douglas Costa
20. Mattia De Sciglio
18. Adrien Rabiot
17. Daniele Rugani
16. Miralem Pjanic
15. Matthijs de Ligt
14. Rodrigo Bentancur
13. Juan Cuadrado
12. Sami Khedira
11. Gonzalo Higuain
10. Alex Sandro
This top-10 placing for Juve’s Brazilian left back may be surprising, but here’s the thing: he seems so chill, I feel like he would be good to be quarantined with. Like, you don’t want someone who’s super high-strung to be with you. You want someone dependable, who won’t get fazed, etc. etc. I would be proud to be in lockdown with Alex Sandro.
9. Carlo Pinsoglio
Man, as you probably expected and as you’ll see on the rest of the list, there’s truth to the age-old saying that goalkeepers are by far the best guys on the team. (I made that up because I was goalie in high school, and I got second-team all-district! Ha!) But seriously, we all know that Pinsoglio would be so much fun to hang out with. He’s always smiling, always cracking jokes, always hugging his teammates. The ultimate positive influence.
8. Aaron Ramsey
Here are two things I love about Aaron Ramsey: he’s married with kids, which automatically means there’s at least some level of maturity there, and he made the very ballsy decision to leave a comfortable career in the Premier League to come to Juventus. I find that super cool, and I also love that he’s stuck around and fought for his spot on this side. I just think he’d be another solid presence in the quarantine situation.
7. Leonardo Bonucci
The prodigal son returns! Bonucci has reclaimed his spot in the squad and majorly stepped up after his partner in crime went down with a torn ACL. I have immense respect for Bonucci and think his intensity and experience as a father and family man would be great to be around.
6. Wojciech Szczęsny
Woj was apparently caught multiple times smoking a cigarette in the showers — how does that work? — in his time at Arsenal. What else do you need to know? There’s something very, very hilarious about Juve’s Polish keeper, and I want to know more.
5. Federico Bernardeschi
Besides the obvious — that you’d get to hang out with his bulldogs, Spike and Wendy — Bernardeschi seems like a man of many interests and passions, from playing the guitar to his insanely awesome tattoos to his ever-changing hair. He was one of the first Juventus players to respond aggressively charitably during the COVID-19 outbreak. He may not be my choice for trequartista, but he’s a top-five pick for quarantine buddy!
4. Blaise Matuidi
Joy. Matuidi seems like he’s always smiling. Sign me up for a quarantine partner who isn’t a whiner. The Frenchman also seems like he would be dependable in a number of situations, and is also a family man. There are so many interesting things about him. He won the World Cup! Can you believe that Matuidi carved a starting role out for himself on such a loaded nation? Man, I think he would be awesome to be around.
3. Gianluigi Buffon
Another player who’s always smiling, Buffon is an obvious top-three pick. Some will perhaps grow angry for not choosing San Gigi, Il Capitano, as my No. 1 choice, but whatever. He would obviously be amazing to hang out with. He seems like such a genuine, authentic dude, such a joyful guy even though he’s gone through some dark periods of his life. I feel like Gigi would be someone I could talk to for a long, long time and not get bored with.
2. Paulo Dybala
Dybala seems nice as hell. I don’t mean that in a boring way, like, “Oh, he’s a nice guy,” but like he seems somehow not stuck up at all. His faith and loyalty to the club are absurd, certainly more intense than the faith and loyalty the club has showed him. He’s my second-favorite player, but I also think he would be a bomb to hang out with.
1. Giorgio Chiellini
Oh, man. Chiellini is everything. He’s full of joy, full of experience, full of thought. He’s hardworking and dependable, not a complainer and not a self-aggrandizer. He is the ultimate Juventus player in so many ways, and there’s nobody on this squad that I would rather be stuck with in a global pandemic that is swiftly wreaking utter chaos on every facet of live than Giorgio Chiellini.