Blaise Matuidi has officially terminated his contract by mutual consent.
Matuidi spent three years in black and white after arriving from Paris Saint-Germain in August of 2017 for a €20 million transfer fee. Juve had been after him for at least a year before then, but frosty relations between Juve and PSG saw the deal fall through in the summer of 2016.
Matuidi made his debut on August 19, 2017 against Cagliari, and scored his first goal just before Christmas against Bologna. In his three years with the club he played in 133 games in all competitions. Only Paulo Dybala had more, only beating him by one. He leaves with five trophies to his name, including three scudetti, a Coppa Italia, and a Supercoppa.
He was never the most technical of players. OK, that’s being kind, he had the first touch of a cinderblock, and it could be really annoying to see him use his good positional sense to get into a dangerous place only for that touch to blow up the move. But he had an engine that never, ever quit, and he was unbelievably persistent, averaging almost 1.5 tackles across all competitions and 114 total interceptions. He was instrumental in winning the ball in midfield for most all of his three seasons until this year, when his place was gradually usurped by Adrien Rabiot as his countryman began to improve after the shutdown ended.
Matuidi had a few big moments in black and white. None was bigger than the second leg of the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, when he took advantage of a Keylor Navas howler to poke home the goal that brought Juventus all the way back from a 3-0 first leg deficit into a flat-footed aggregate tie. We all know how that game ended, but it was still incredible to even be in that position, and Matuidi was a big part of it.
There were bad times for Matuidi as well. He was racially abused repeatedly during away games at Cagliari, events that clearly distressed him and that I personally can only imagine the feeling of. But in spite of hardships and the occasional criticism from his own fans, he played hard every minue he was out on the field and gave the team his complete commitment. His time with the club has come to an end, but he was worthy of his shirt, and we at BWRAO salute him.