Siri, sum up football for me.
Moise Kean bailing out Leonardo Bonucci four days after his own captain failed to back him in the wake of racist monkey chanting.
Bonucci’s wayward pass allowed Krzysztof Piatek to put AC Milan ahead, only for goals from Paulo Dybala and Kean to turn the game on its head. Unlike against Cagliari, the 31-year-old was very keen to get involved with Kean’s emphatic celebrations.
The events of Cagliari- in which Kean hit back at monkey chants by celebrating what was just his fifth senior Serie A goal for Juventus- naturally overshadowed what would otherwise have been another clinical step forward for the striker.
The Italian national team was moments away from dying of old age. Then Kean, born in 2000, came along. The striker is now spearheading the next generation, alongside Roma’s languid 19-year-old Nicolo Zaniolo and the oldest 20-year-old in world football in Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Kean is putting up numbers that teenage strikers shouldn’t be putting up, especially not in the Land of Defending. He hasn’t looked back since becoming the first player born in the 2000s to score in one of Europe’s top five leagues.
That goal against Bologna, in his fifth league outing for The Old Lady, set the tone for what was to come. When Kean scores, Juventus and Italy win. It’s as simple as that.
Kean’s strike against Bologna was the first of three match winners, with the other two coming against Empoli in March and in Juventus’ last outing, against Milan.
The 19-year-old’s other six goals for Juventus and Italy have all come in wins, meaning Kean is yet to come away with anything other than three points in the eight games he’s scored in.
If you include Kean’s loan spell at Verona last season, in which he scored four times, a 2-2 draw with Torino is the only game in which the 19-year-old’s goals haven’t been accompanied by three points.
Kean’s goal against Milan was a typical marriage of clever, drifting movement and devastating finishing. One minute Ricardo Rodriguez had him in his sights, the next the Swiss defender was watching him bury the ball in the bottom corner.
The fact that he celebrated by pointing towards the Italian badge on Juventus’ kit spoke volumes about his class and maturity in the face of significant abuse based purely on the colour of his skin. He had every right to act with anger, but he rose above it all yet again.
Kean has now scored in five consecutive games for club and country, while also joining Paul Pogba as the only Juventus teenager to score at least five league goals for Juventus in a single season this century.
If this was exclusively a football story, Kean would be a superstar. How many other teenage strikers in world football have contributed so much towards winning efforts this season?
Unfortunately, as long as football takes such a lax attitude towards racism, players like Kean will be asked to be superhuman in maintaining their cool and carrying on with their jobs during situations that wouldn’t be tolerated in any other walks of life, outside of sport.
A second Serie A title at the age of 19 is richly deserved. When Kean scores, Italy and Juventus win while racists lose. Long may it continue.
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