Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic has revealed that ‘it’s only natural’ that he doesn’t like being substituted and insists ‘I’m not a robot’.
The Croatian reacted angrily to being substituted against Torino, but admits that it is a result of his passion for the game.
“How I started in football? It was thanks to my father,” the 30-year-old told Corriere della Sera. “He was a great stopper.
“He took me to training and I was in love with the sport. My idol was Ronaldo, the Phenomenon .
“Passion, courage and pride, are essential concepts. They represent what I strive for and I want to feel: in football but also in my private life.
“Am I judged by goals scored? I put in all the energy I have – which is so much – to help Juventus win. The most important thing is that my teammates and the Coach know this.
“Sometimes I have the impression that the fans understand this better than so many experts. But it is better to win than to count your own goals.
“Last year I got hurt by a billboard against Udinese the first day of the season. I do not like whining because it depresses me even more and I never want to look for excuses.
“I prefer to fight against the pain, but I admit that I had three or four complicated months. The wound became infected and had to take antibiotics. Any contact in training bothered me.
“Being benched is not a true rage in itself. Everything stems from my visceral love for football. It’s a disappointment, like when a small child, playing in the yard and they are called to come inside.
I cannot hide my emotions, I’m not a robot . I am very passionate and it is normal that I don’t like being substituted. But it’s nothing that serious.”