Last May, after his last appearance in the Juventus Stadium against Lazio (2-2), the Argentinian was inconsolable, crying all the tears in his body on the lawn in front of tifosi bidding farewell to the N.10 bianconero.
In seven years at Juve, the « Joya » (the « Jewel » in Spanish, his nickname) has accumulated goals (115 in 293 games) and titles (5 scudetti, 4 Italian Cups) and until the end he hoped to be able to stay at the foot of the Alps.
But after long months of procrastination, Juve filed for divorce at the end of the current contract until June. She preferred to bet on rising star Dusan Vlahovic to revive a declining team after a season without a title, a first for eleven years.
« I thought we would have been together for more years, but fate put us on different paths, » the 28-year-old Argentine wrote before packing his bags.
Three months later, the tifosi bianconeri icon is already back. But this time it will be with the opposing team, with the Wolf crest on the chest and the N.21 on the back, the one he also wore at Juve during his first seasons (2015-2017). ), having declined Roma’s proposal to take over Francesco Totti’s heavy N.10.
« A little time «
Long promised to Inter Milan after the break with Juve, Dybala has chosen to bounce back far from the Champions League spotlight but with a coach who for a year has given new ambition to the capital club, José Mourinho.
« The first thing I asked the coach was what are we going to try to win? I like to win, and so does he… », smiled as he landed at the foot of the Coliseum Paulo Dybala, big fan of the movie « Gladiator » – he most often celebrates his goals by mimicking a gladiator mask.
In Rome, it was immediately adopted by tifosi who were several thousand to attend its « Hollywood » presentation at the end of July in the Eur district.
His first outings at the Stadio Olimpico, in a friendly against Shakhtar Donetsk (5-0) then in the league against Cremonese (1-0), also allowed him to taste the fervor of supporters hoping to see Roma play the leading roles again. (6th last season). And this thanks to the flashes and goals of Dybala, eagerly awaited after two seasons disrupted by injuries.
« He is not yet in top physical condition. At the end of each action, he has his hands on his hips, he still needs a little time but he has great qualities », estimated Thursday in the daily Il Messaggero Zbigniew Boniek, former Juventus striker but Roman at heart (he has lived there for 37 years).
For Dybala’s first goal in giallorosso, the Juventus Stadium seems ideal: the Argentinian is the one who has most often shaken the nets of the stadium inaugurated in 2011, with 68 goals, in all competitions, according to the Italian League. But if he scores one day against Juve, he already warned a few weeks ago, he will « obviously not » celebrate this goal for the taste of revenge.