Claudio Marchisio

Icon: Claudio Marchisio guest editor for a special issue of the magazine dedicated to sport

Marchisio: “When I think back at that goal, I don’t remember the moment the ball crossed the line, but I always remember the embrace of my teammates”

Icon, the Mondadori Group’s male fashion and lifestyle magazine is on newsstands from tomorrow with a collectors’ issue dedicated to sport, with Claudio Marchisio, former champion of the Italian national team, for the first time in the extraordinary role of guest editor.

Together with the editorial team led by editor Andrea Tenerani and editor-at-large Federico Sarica, Marchisio has created a special issue of Icon to celebrate the symbolic values of the world of sport, that remain relevant even in these difficult days: commitment, sharing, belonging, and excitement.

This is illustrated by the exclusive stories of the talented protagonists featured on the cover, authentic contemporary icons, alongside Claudio Marchisio, the footballers Matthijs de Ligt and Pierluigi Gollini.

At the heart of the issue, sport, ranging across the pages of the magazine, from interviews with great champions, to fashion, beauty and lifestyle features, and all related to the passions of today’s man, lifestyles and trends through the global approach that characterises the brand’s successful formula.

“In these difficult times, I often find myself retracing the happy moments of my life,” Claudio Marchisio begins in the letter to the Icon community that opens the new issue. “All these memories are always accompanied by a common, perhaps even banal, gesture, but one which we certainly take too much for granted: a hug. Strangely, looking back on one of my goals, I never remember the moment when the ball crossed the goal line, but I always remember the embrace of my teammates. I hope that my wife won’t read this, but even of my marriage I don’t remember the moment when we said: “I do”, but I remember very well the beauty of our embrace immediately after.” Now a commentator on the matches of the Italian national team, the new Marchisio talks about his plans for the future in a conversation with Icon: “I have always lived with the motto of my favourite team, which is Juventus obviously, in my head: ‘Winning is all that matters.’” But often victory lies in the path you take to get there. Unexpected things that happen to you, how you train, how you change and mature as you pursue your goals. Whether you reach them or not. In life, for me, this is what winning means.”

Matthijs de Ligt, who appears exclusively on the cover of this month’s Icon, is set to become one of the greats of his sport: at 18 he was already captain of a legendary club like Ajax, at 21 he is consistently one of the best in the world in his role, a staple of the Juventus team after just a year in Turin. “I think the Ajax style can be summed up in two words: courage and discipline. There they expect you to learn to play the ball, without fear, that you learn to prove who you really are, as a player and as a man. And you always work for that. It’s something that stays with you, a mentality that is also helping me a lot at Juventus. Juve will only call you if you are good enough and really deserve it. We young players who have recently arrived, understand this. Obviously, we are here to grow and become like our teammates with more experience: we all want to be the next Chiellini, Bonucci or Buffon. In the end, what we do is work hard every day and push each other to improve. This is the beauty of having a young but aware group of players. We are trying to get to know each other better, even off the pitch: we want to grow together and together raise the level, both individually and as a team.”

At 25, Pierluigi Gollini, who features on the third cover of November’s Icon, has become one of the best goalkeepers in Italy: he has already won his place in the national team and with Atalanta, which is looking to qualify, for the second year in a row, for the Champions League. “We feel the responsibility of being the pride of Bergamo: there is so much warmth here, I really like the city and the spirit of the people. When we are around, we notice the great enthusiasm that surrounds us:” Gollini not afraid to be open about his passions, from rap to fashion and video games, which he often talks about on his social profiles. “I’m not afraid of being judged, indeed, it would be nice if I could be a spur for cultural change.” This awareness comes from the years he spent at Manchester United’s Youth Academy, where he went at the age of 16. “In England I found much more openness than in Italy. There the players make music, or are designers, it’s another world. My goal now is to start a record label,” continues Gollini, the first Italian footballer to have recorded a rap song, and for whom music is more than a passion, “to push some guy from out of nowhere. For now, I am working on some things, there is a project for a new song with my rapper friend,” he reveals in the interview in the issue of Icon on newsstands.