It happened in the mid-noughties. Claudio Marchisio was a young midfielder who was starting to make his mark at Juve, and Fabio Capello wanted to sign him to Real Madrid.
His career could have changed, but the midfielder listened to his heart. Claudio Marchisio retired in 2019 as almost a one-club player. He only spent two seasons away from Juve, one on loan at Empoli and the other, the last of his career, after leaving Turin for Zenit. But it could have been very different.
Marchisio himself spoke about his links with Real Madrid back in 2006. “I was 21 years old and had just started playing for Juventus and Capello, who was in Madrid, loved me,” he said in an interview with Corriere della Sera.
“I said no because I wanted to play for the team of my heart, in front of my parents, in my city,” said the Turin midfielder afterwards.
He was also tempted by the Inter of Mourinho, years later, when he was already more than settled at Juventus. “There were contacts and I said no. People like Totti, De Rossi, Maldini or me we did all our careers in the same colours. Our attachment to the shirt is not negotiable,” he explained
His bet on Juve was rewarded. He left the club in 2018 after playing 389 matches, 337 of them as a starter, in 12 seasons, interrupted only by the year he spent on loan at Empoli (2007-08)