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Marchisio calls time on 25-year Juventus career

Juventus’ goalkeeper from Italy Gianluigi Buffon (C) hugs teammate Juventus’ midfielder Claudio Marchisio at the end of the Italian Serie A football match Juventus versus Verona, on May 19, 2018 at the Allianz Stadium in Turin. Italy great Gianluigi Buffon played his last game with Juventus team today after 17-year with the Serie A champions. © AFP / Marco BERTORELLO

MILAN, Italy, Aug 17 Italian international midfielder Claudio Marchisio has called time on his Juventus career after 25 years spent with the Turin giants.

The 32-year-old, nicknamed The Little Prince, joined his hometown club at the age of seven and won seven Serie A titles and four Italian Cups.

Juventus agreed to terminate the 55-times capped Italian international’s contract by “mutual consent” before Friday’s transfer deadline in Italy.

“A thousand thoughts and a thousand images accompanied me throughout the night,” wrote Marchisio in an Instagram post accompanied by a photo that showed him playing for a Juventus youth team as a child.

“I can’t stop looking at this photograph and those stripes on which I wrote my life story as a man and a player.

“I love this jersey to such a degree that, despite everything, I am convinced that what is best for the team comes first. Always. On a tough day like this, I cling tight to that principle.

“You are the most beautiful part of this marvellous story, so for that reason, in a few days we’ll be able to say goodbye in a more special way.

“After all, 8 (his jersey number) is nothing but an infinity sign looking upwards.”

Marchisio’s only time away from Juventus was a season’s loan to Empoli in 2007-2008, but he had been increasingly sidelined after a serious knee injury in 2016.

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“Having had the opportunity to accompany him on this path, to discover a homegrown champion, day by day, was quite simply a privilege and an honour. Thanks for everything Claudio,” Juventus said in a statement.

Marchisio made his first-team debut for Juventus in August 2006 and scored 37 times in 389 appearances in the black and white jersey.

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