As reported by Football Italia, Juventus and Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic has felt compelled to state ‘it’s only natural’ he doesn’t like being substituted (fair play) and further insists ‘I’m not a robot’ (again, fair play).
Being substituted against Torino on December 11 clearly disagreed with super Mario, but he insists any outbursts are simply a result of his passion for the game.
Speaking to Corriere della Sera, Mandzukic gave a far-ranging interview, where he discussed not only the pain of being brought off the field, but also his childhood and a certain Brazilian he looked up to when he was a youngster.
“How I started in football? It was thanks to my father,” the 30-year-old told Corriere della Sera.
“He was a great stopper. He took me to training and I was in love with the sport. My idol was Ronaldo, the Phenomenon.
“Passion, courage and pride, are essential concepts. They represent what I strive for and I want to feel: in football but also in my private life.”
“Am I judged by goals scored? I put in all the energy I have – which is so much – to help Juventus win. The most important thing is that my teammates and the coach know this.
“Sometimes I have the impression that the fans understand this better than so many experts. But it is better to win than to count your own goals.
“Being benched is not a true rage in itself. Everything stems from my visceral love for football. It’s a disappointment, like when a small child, playing in the yard and they are called to come inside.
”I cannot hide my emotions, I’m not a robot . I am very passionate and it is normal that I don’t like being substituted. But it’s nothing that serious.”