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Stephy Mavididi
Gender Male
Ethnic xxxx
Job xxxx Footballer
Desc xxxx

Affiliation

Org xxxx National Team
Club as Player Juventus
  Arsenal FC
  xxxx

2020 02 07 Retrieve

[Stephy Mavididi on his remarkable road to Juventus] I still remember when my agent gave me the call. I’d just woken up and he told me Juventus wanted to buy me. I thought I was still dreaming to me honest. I felt like it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that might not come round again. We had many discussions. Me, my agent, the two clubs and, in the end, all parties thought it was the best decision for me to go

[…] Arsenal were the team I had supported since I started playing football so it was a no-brainer for me

I remember the first day I met Thierry Henry I was starstruck. As a coach he was top, but for me he was more like a mentor. You could talk to him for ages and everything he would say would just be spot on. Obviously he has been there and done it and he just gave you a different perspective on things

[When that loan spell ended with a play-off semi-final defeat to Shrewsbury, Mavididi knew he had a big decision to make] I wanted to kick on because I felt like I wasn’t getting any younger. I was weighing up my options and that’s when Juventus came calling. It was like a completely new world that I was going into. Moving from England to Italy, it’s a completely different culture and language. It was a massive step. But more and more young English boys are taking that jump and playing abroad. It was a big decision, but if you are brave enough then why not? When I first got there I did find it a bit tough. I was alone. The language, the culture, the philosophy. It was all new. It was difficult but it was a challenge and I enjoyed it

[That gave Mavididi the opportunity to work alongside his idol, a certain Cristiano Ronaldo] Even in training you can learn so much from him. You can tell why he has been at the top for many years. You can see his quality day in, day out. In and around the hotel, on the team bus, in the dressing room. Of course he has the talent, no-one can doubt that. But the main thing for me is his mentality and how he looks after himself. How much work he puts in, how well he knows his body. He just proves every day why he’s one of the best to ever play

[It was a defeat that put the Juventus championship celebrations on ice for another week] When Allegri brought me on I was so buzzing. I just wanted to score so bad. We didn’t manage to get the point we needed to win the title so we had to wait until the next week. It was amazing to be in and around it all. They are moments I will never forget and I can only thank Allegri for that

[When agreeing a loan move to French Ligue 1 side Dijon] When I was a kid I used to play on the street with older boys. You get kicked a lot because they think they can walk all over you. So I think that’s where my work ethic comes from. I’m not afraid of a challenge and after my year in Italy I was ready to play regularly in one of Europe’s top five leagues. When I first signed I didn’t really know what to expect because I didn’t really know how most of the teams played in France. So it took me a bit of time to adapt, but now I feel like I’ve discovered the type of league it is and how to get around it.

In the next few years my dream is to play in the Premier League. Being an English boy and growing up watching it, it’s my dream to play there and it’s a dream I want to achieve

2020 02 08 Retrieve

[Stephy Mavididi knows only too well the talent that can come through Arsenal’s academy] I remember when I was at Hale End, I must have been about 13 or 14 and I used to watch Bukayo [Saka] with the Under-8s. He used to just get the ball and run through the whole team and score. It was the same with Reiss [Nelson]. Now they are really taking their chance and I’m so happy for them. Arsenal has always been about producing good young talent and that’s what is happening there now. For the young players it’s just about taking your opportunity once you get it and I think the young players who are playing now are doing that. It’s good to see my friends doing so well

I loved every minute of it. I was playing for my dream team. From when I joined at 11 to when I left, I loved it all. I met some good friends and some good people. I worked with some fantastic coaches and trained with some world-class players. It was a fantastic time for me

Mikel was a top professional. He was the club’s captain at the time and you could just tell how professional he was. He was struggling with injuries, so for a period he was training with the reserves and playing matches with us and his application and the way he went about it was just so impressive. The advice that he gave to us was always spot on. He used to help the forwards and defenders a lot by telling us things from a midfielder’s perspective. When to press, when not to press, things like that. It was a good experience for all of us.

I still try to watch every Arsenal game and I think he’s doing a good job. He’s integrating a lot of the younger players which is good because I think they deserve their chance and they are taking it. You can only look to the coach when things like that happen

2020 02 23 Retrieve

[Stephy Mavididi, who like Saka progressed through Arsenal’s Hale End academy before leaving for Juventus in 2018] I must have been about 13 or 14 and I used to watch Bukayo with the Under-8s. He used to just get the ball and run through the whole team and score