Since arriving at Juventus from Atletico Madrid in 2015 Mario Mandzukic has become something of a fan favourite and the feelings are reciprocated, as the Croatian himself has developed a love for the club and fans.
Mandzukic has featured on 132 occasions for Juve and has played in several positions under Massimiliano Allegri, which is something that has endeared him to supporters.
“When Mario arrived in Turin, he was certainly proud to wear that shirt, but he just thought it was another a step in his career,” Ivan Ivan Cvjetkovic said to Calciomercato.com.
“Over the last three years, he has fallen in love with Juventus, the club and their fans.
“Maybe only at Bayern [Munich] was he so loved and comfortable, but here at Juventus, there’s something more.”
Cvjetkovic added that the player’s relationship with Allegri is part of the reason for his happiness in Turin, and that the Juve coach deserves credit for Croatia reaching the World Cup final this past summer.
“His relationship with Allegri really strong,” he continued. “I’ll give you a bit of background: if Croatia reached the World Cup Final, it’s partly thanks to the Juventus Coach.
“Before Mario left for Russia, Allegri called him and told him: ‘Don’t listen to any of the rumours, the board consulted me and I said that you were indispensable for me.
“That show of trust galvanised him and he was undoubtedly motivated in Russia.”