Football

Simone Padoin is the master of going under the radar

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Every office has that one particular guy, the quiet guy who arrives to work 20 minutes early in order to mentally prepare for the shift and who will then leave 20 minutes late to make sure he does not leave any pending work.

He works in the marketing department, but when someone from customer care takes a day off work, management will ask him to cover for that person. He will never ask for a promotion and he will never be offered one, he will never be asked to lead a task force but he will always be asked to join the team. In short he is the one guy that you do not notice at work but when he takes a day off his loss is instantly felt.

Simone Padoin is that guy for Juventus.

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Padoin, who was greatly wanted by then Juventus manager Antonio Conte, joined from Atalanta on January 31 2012, for the fee of five million Euros. His signing was met with very little enthusiasm by both fans and the media as he was perceived as a signing who would be spending most of his time on the bench and would see very little action on the pitch.

However Antonio Conte, who had previously managed Padoin during his brief stint with Atalanta had different plans. Conte knew that Padoin had a priceless ability in football, his adaptability.

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During the last four seasons initially under Conte and later under current manager Massimiliano Allegri, Padoin has played virtually everywhere in midfield and on occasions he was utilized in defensive roles on both sides of the pitch.

Padoin has seen his appearances for the Old Lady increase during every season. During the 2014-2015 campaign, he has managed to collect a respectable 35 appearances in all competitions. It is a very impressive figure when compared to the 26 appearances he made during the 2012-2013 campaign, his first full season with Juventus.

It is very unlikely to see Padoin receive a player of the match award, yet it is even more unlikely to see him voted as one of the worst players on the pitch. 

Padoin does not intercept balls like Vidal, he does not deliver passes like Pirlo, he does not dribble like Pogba and he certainly does not shoot like Marchisio because as he himself admits, he does not have the ability to do those things.

What Padoin does possess is intelligence, he knows his strengths and his weaknesses, which is why he will always choose the simple option and he will execute it perfectly.

This characteristic has turned Padoin into a cult figure of Italian football and perhaps one of the most beloved players by the Bianconeri fans as well as every manager's dream.

One day, hopefully in the very distant future, Padoin will hang up his boots and will look back fondly on his career and on his achievements.

However he will probably smile, when he will tell his children that whenever he walked onto the pitch, 40,000 fans would cheer loudly "Che ci frega di Ronaldo, noi abbiamo Padoin" which translates to "Who cares about Ronaldo, when we have Padoin."

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