Claudio Marchisio showed great footwork to control the ball, avoid Inter’s Walter Samuel then lift the ball over Julio Cesar in a stunning display of his skills. The significance of this goal transcends beyond Juve’s 2-1 victory over Inter as the midfielder’s goal reopened the title race with the Nerazzurri now four points ahead of Milan and five points ahead of the Bianconeri.
Marchisio was sidelined for several weeks due to injury which required surgery and despite the fact he is still not 100% fit, he showed how much the Bianconeri have missed his presence. Prior to suffering from the injury, the emerging player who can operate in multiple midfield positions, was having the best season in his young career as his consistent performances earned him recognition from Marcello Lippi who called him up to play for the Azzurri.
The Old Lady definitely missed his presence as fellow players struggled in his absence due to injuries suffered by key team members such as David Trezeguet, Alessandro Del Piero and Vincenzo Iaquinta. Unfortunately for Juventus both Marchisio and Iaquinta were injured when they were performing at their best. The return of Marchisio will offer Juventus hope as the midfield area has caused concern for Coach Ciro Ferrara despite the abundance of talent such as Mauro Camoranesi, Felipo Melo, Diego, Momo Sissoko, and Sebastian Giovinco (as well as two unpopular players amongst the Old Lady’s supporters- Portuguese Tiago and Danish Christian Poulsen). Marchisio had excelled in a number of big clashes (against Milan this season) and the goal against Inter only shows his strong mental approach to the game which will come in handy when combined with his skills.
Marchisio will offer la Nazionale a major lift if he continues to perform at this level since many of Italy’s midfielders, particularly from Germany 2006, have struggled this season. Gennaro Gattuso can barely feature in a game for Milan while his fellow Rossoneri player Andrea Pirlo has been extremely inconsistent and is on a decline. The Juve midfielder will offer Azzurri Coach Lippi more options and will form a solid partnership with Roma’s Daniele De Rossi. If Pirlo can string in a few decent performances during South Africa 2010 then the Italian midfield can be quite effective and dangerous.
One goal does not create a star but the performances of Marchisio over the course of the season with Juventus will determine to a certain degree how far the club goes since he has shown the will and desire to come on top in the big clashes. He will crucial for Lippi as well and if he can transform his club displays to the national team then there is no reason why the Italians cannot go far in South Africa 2010.
One player does not make a team yet he can certainly influence the progress of a match with his contributions. Look for Marchisio to prove how valuable he can be for club and country. Coach Ciro Ferrara substituted Marchisio with an eye to the Bayern Munich clash in the Champions League as the midfielder has just returned from injury and is not yet in the best physical condition.
In the meantime, the tifosi can start hoping for a more competitive season as the Nerazzurri are likely to be challenged by city rivals Milan and bitter enemies the Bianconeri in the course of the season. It will be interesting to see which of the three emerge this week in Europe to make it to the round of 16. The clubs which continue in Europe will face issues with fitness and congestion in fixtures but at the same time they will receive a considerable morale boost. If one or more of the three teams gets eliminated, then they can turn their full attention and focus on winning the league title.