TURIN. In the recovery recovery, the latest arrival rearranges Juve’s odds and at this point it’s not even the goal that comes from the ranks because Federico Gatti is a key man of Juve, of this Juve, certainly the player to whom, in the last few times, the team owes more.
He scores, again he who in Europe had signed the first goal against Sporting and dedicated the first fruit to his grandfather. Two years ago he was a bricklayer and a player on promotion between frozen fields and mud and holes. For this he often posts thanks to all those who believed in him and also to those who got distracted and didn’t consider him. Born in 1998, born in Rivoli, at home in Turin, a young man who was immediately interesting and then wandered after dreams in which few were ready to invest. Such a story, like so many if we weren’t in 2023, of hyper-specialized training centres, of skills exalted only if behind striking physicists, of scouting that continuously lowers the age of observation and if you don’t shine immediately then you risk being confused between crowd, chorus dancer even if you have the numbers for the solo. But Gatti comes out of the background, caught by Frosinone di Grosso which led him to attend the B, professionalism instead of the after-work club which allows him to show his value and get to Juve. Allegri keeps an eye on him, considers him, watches him improve, gives him the first opportunities and pats on the back and games as a starter and those in which to be seen and the matches in which to score, even if he is a central defender by trade . Even finding the role took him time. He traveled between categories and positions in training, withdrawn from midfield due to needs and then happy to stay there, until Frosinone gave him the nickname The Wall, like the most beautiful Samuel of Inter. Not the nickname you bring to the Juventus home, but the one you introduce yourself with, yes.
Thanks to him Juve can resist the Spanish curse: last year they were eliminated from Europe by Villarreal in the round of 16, first the Champions League finals lost against Barcelona and Real Madrid, a school suffered enough to suffer against Sevilla who travel further in La Liga the tenth place, which feels at home in the Europa League and which at Allianz won one of the Cups in series and at one point seemed sure it could not be reached. Instead, Gatti isn’t sure of anything and grinds his teeth after the goal and celebrates a bit Bonucci-style, only that he swipes his finger around his ear instead of around his mouth and takes his moment of glory with power, detaches it from a game destined to end badly and actually already expired, more than once. Once the regulation time has expired, the extra time has expired, only that the away fans throw objects and Rabiot gets hurt and there is discussion about the intervention of the Var and the minutes dilate enough to leave room for the last minute player to surrender: «A goal of enormous significance. Even bigger if it will take us to the final».
Gatti is 25 years old, but he was so far from football that matters that the long run-up made him wise and above all independent. He doesn’t follow the mood of others, not even that of a stadium that is a little too indifferent to a Europa League semi-final. Gatti was told many times that there was no more time to believe he could become a real footballer, he didn’t listen and now he doesn’t even look at his watch anymore. —