Cambiaso: “You Can’t Be Stupid and Play Well”


Juventus full-back Andrea Cambiaso spoke with La Gazzetta dello Sport about his time in Turin and shared some thoughts on his profession: “You will never meet a strong football player who isn’t also intelligent.” The 24-year-old has been one of the Bianconeri’s most consistent players this season, and speaking with Gazzetta, he talked about his season with the Old Lady, his relationship with social media, and his hopes for the national team:

“You will never meet a strong football player who isn’t also intelligent. It doesn’t matter the form of intelligence, whether it’s the polished intellect from study or familial upbringing like Socrates or the instinctive one like Garrincha’s. You can’t be stupid and play football well.”

How does a young man like you manage to escape the banalities imposed by the rituals of always the same questions, like those posed to cyclists at the end of the Giro d’Italia?

“I always try to express my thoughts, my emotions. I do it sincerely and directly. But I’m aware that football in Italy is a disease and every time you open your mouth, you risk displeasing or hurting someone. That’s why the realm of clichés is the calmest: ‘We hope to do well,’ ‘The coach tells me where to play,’ ‘The opponents are formidable.’ If you stay within that fence, you have no problems. And sometimes, I myself don’t escape this convenience.”

What’s your relationship with social media? 

“I imposed a ban on using Instagram on my phone, too addictive, like with PlayStation. Fun, but in moderate doses. I kept it on my computer because I realized that for many children, my presence is important, and I can say or do something useful. Social media can pose many risks if used too much or improperly. It’s a fascinating jungle, but without control.”

On racism in football, an endless plague, what do you think?

“That it’s absurd even to talk about it. That there exists an idea to discriminate against human beings based on the color of their skin in 2024 is pure madness.”

What idea have you formed about your future after the pitch and the future in general? What worries you the most for your generation?

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m totally focused on the present. I’m 24 years old, and the future seems very distant to me. I try to be well, serene, to enjoy this condition that I recognize as a privilege. For our time, what terrifies me the most is war. All those deaths in Ukraine, Gaza, in Israel. But it seems that humans are powerless when that machine starts running.”

Is it permissible for a Serie A footballer to get bored?

“We have a lot of free time, perhaps even too much. And, if you’re not careful, boredom is like a whirlpool, it sucks you in. I try to go out, listen to music, watch series or movies, read some books. But it’s also to avoid that emptiness that I’m thinking of enrolling in university, it would make my parents happy and give meaning to my time.”

Indeed, yours. What do they do for a living?

“I’m glad you asked about my family. There are four of us: dad Ugo, mom Ilaria, and my brother Alberto. We’re from Genoa. My father is the director of a latex glove company, my mother handles payroll for a company. I’m immensely grateful for their intelligence and respect for my passions and choices. After graduating from Italo Calvino, the technical computer science high school I attended, my father allowed me to take a gap year to focus on what would later become my job, football. They always made me understand the value of studying but, at the same time, they let me follow my passion for football fever.”

The first times I saw you play, I thought that Juventus and the National Team had finally found the new Cabrini, but then you were fielded everywhere…

“I feel like a winger, where perhaps I have unusual qualities, like the ability to move inside the field. I don’t know if I’m more right or left-footed; we’ve talked about it with the coach without concluding; it seems I do well from both sides. On the other hand, one of my two football idols is Cancelo, who plays equally well on both sides. The other is Dybala, an absolute phenomenon. As a boy, it was Milito, we’re a Genoese family. In fact, the first jersey I had, as a child, was Diego Perotti’s…”

What’s it like to arrive at Juventus, do you really feel the difference between the atmosphere at Continassa and elsewhere?

“Yes, it’s something else. Every day I arrive here with a smile on my face. This shirt carries a lot of responsibility. And it’s not a trivial statement, one of those. No, here losing is a tragic anomaly, winning is normal. I don’t know if it’s fair, but it’s always been like this, I believe. Coach Allegri was very good at making me understand this different conception, this way of being at Juventus. Our goal for this year has never changed, whatever has been said. It was to return to the Champions League, and it remains to return to the Champions League. And we will.”

Bologna these days is beside itself. You played there, until last year…

“Wonderful city and great club. It was important for me. I believe that if I hadn’t gone there, I would have arrived at Juventus less prepared. Thiago Motta is a good, innovative coach, capable of uniting a group. And in the city now, between the Virtus basketball team and Bologna, there’s a euphoric atmosphere. They deserve it, especially the fans.”

An Intelligent player, wearing the Azzurri shirt, with Spalletti who loves the brains of his players no less than their feet.

“When I went there last time, the coach impressed me a lot, precisely because of the technical and environmental care he puts into his work. I really hope to go to the Euros, but it depends only on me, on the quality of what I’ll do in black and white.”

Is there a day in his life that you would like to relive?

“The first goal in Serie A on the second matchday, Genoa-Napoli. I was 21 years old, and I scored with my whole family in the stands. While my teammates hugged me, I thought I had made it: my childhood dream had come true.”

And one to forget?

“The death of my grandmother, in 2018. I had grown up with her and loved her very much. Today, the main regret I have is not being able to tell my grandparents that I play for Juventus and the National Team. My grandfather would get excited just seeing me in Serie D…”


Serie A obsessive.