Claudio Marchisio and Steven Gerrard could be kindred spirits at heart.
Both defined an era at two famous old clubs, growing from boys to men to legends at Liverpool and Juventus before earning an eternal place in the hall of fame.
And it's easy to forget that before Marchisio dropped deeper and deeper to become the metronome ticking at the heart of Juventus’ midfield, he was a box-to-box enforcer compared relentlessly with the man who so frequently dragged Liverpool single-handedly from the precipice.
Marchisio certainly saw a lot to admire in Gerrard, a midfielder who was equal parts world-leading technique and British bulldog ferocity.
“I would like to swap shirts with Gerrard at the end of the match,” Marchisio told Football Italia before a Euro 2012 quarter-final between Italy and England, a game the Juve playmaker would eventually dominate.
And, when Gerrard announced his retirement from the game four years later, Marchisio took to Facebook to write a glowing eulogy to one of the greatest players of the 21st century.
“I watched you on the TV as a child. For me one of the strongest and most complete midfielder players that I have ever seen and ever met on the pitch. A legend and an emblem of your club. An example both as a person and a player! Good luck with everything,” he wrote.
So, at 33 and without a club, Marchisio must surely be tempted to seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join forces his idol. According to RMC, Rangers are in talks to sign Marchisio on a free transfer after an ill-fated spell at Zenit St Petersburg.
Monaco are interested too but the pull of Gerrard could be too much to ignore.
Have something to tell us about this article?