Connect with us


Every word as Weston McKennie opened up about his rollercoaster experience at Juventus




Weston McKennie opened up about his rollercoaster experience at Juventus in a recent interview with The Athletic.

McKennie described his initial move to the Italian giants as a reminder of the challenges American players face in Europe. However, he thrives under pressure, using it to fuel his focus and effort.

“It wasn’t scary or exciting (as a challenge, ed.), but it reminded me of the experience of being an American playing football for a top club in Europe. It’s something I feel we all have to face when we go to Europe,” he said.

“But I feel happy when I have to challenge myself again, because then it makes me even more honest with myself in terms of effort and focus. Something just clicks. It’s like a recipe. I know the ingredients to make it and then I just… ‘boom’. Without measuring anything, I can just throw it in. I know it’s going to taste good.”


His return to Juventus after a loan spell at Leeds was met with unexpected difficulties. He lacked basic amenities like a locker and faced a cold shoulder from the club despite his established presence. This treatment only motivated McKennie to prove himself on the pitch.

“I knew it was going to be tough but I didn’t know it was going to be like this; I didn’t have my locker anymore, I didn’t have a room in the hotel, I didn’t have a parking space. I changed in the locker room with the youth team players, even though there were players in the main locker room who had never played for Juve because they were always on loan,” he said.

“And I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I’ve only been gone for six months. I come back and they treat me like this.’ I couldn’t even get my shirt number (14), even though no one else had taken it. I thought, ‘OK, guys, you want to treat me like this? I’ll just show you on the pitch.’

“I’m not a troublemaker. I don’t like to cause problems. I don’t like awkward situations. I don’t like drama. I just try to let my football, my actions and my work ethic show everything about me, because that’s when I feel my best.”


He credited manager Allegri for believing in him and pushing him to earn his place back in the team. McKennie sees his struggles as a source of growth, highlighting his rise from a doubted newcomer to a key player with over 100 appearances for Juventus.

“He put me back in contention. My job was to make that decision much harder for them. He grounded me… The moment I feel most comfortable and most honest is when I put my head down and work. That’s where I’ve had my greatest success,” McKennie said.

“I left Schalke and went to Juventus and nobody knew me. Everyone doubted me. It’s too big a club. I’ll never play. But look at me now. Three and a half years later, over 100 games with Juventus and I’m one of the most played players. I grow when my back is against the wall and everyone doubts me. That’s how I became the player I am.”

The loan spell at Leeds, however, proved to be a low point. McKennie acknowledged a period of comfort at Juventus and admitted the move to Leeds was intended to experience the Premier League. Despite his enthusiasm, the constant managerial changes and overall poor performance of the team left him disappointed.


“My time at Leeds was probably one of the lowest points, if not the lowest point, of my professional career. I always look on the bright side because I was at Juventus, playing week in and week out, and maybe I had developed a bit of comfort or complacency, knowing that I would play on the weekend,” he said.

“Going to Leeds and having the performance I had there and the way it went in general – four managers in five months (Marsch was replaced by interim manager Michael Skubala, then Javi Gracia and Sam Allardyce came in, ed.), just nothing went as I had imagined.”

While acknowledging the passionate Leeds fanbase, McKennie expressed his preference for Champions League football. He viewed the loan as a way to showcase himself in the Premier League, a strategy that ultimately did not pay off.

“With all due respect to Leeds and their fans, I love Champions League football. I love playing at the highest level. Leeds was more of a place where I wanted to go to experience something new, the Premier League. But there’s no better place to be seen by Premier League teams than playing in the Premier League,” he said.


Finally, McKennie discussed the emotional toll of criticism. Although he considers himself resilient, facing negativity on social media takes its toll. He desires a connection with fans and feels the unforgiving nature of football doesn’t always consider the pressure players put on themselves to succeed.

The relegation with Leeds was a particularly emotional moment, marking the first time besides the World Cup exit that he broke down in tears. The crushing loss highlighted his deep aversion to losing and the burden of unmet expectations.

“I like to think I’m a tough person. When you get little comments here and there, it’s easy enough to ignore them. But then when you open your phone and the first thing you see on social media is always something negative, it’s hard to ignore,” he said.

“I guess it’s hard for me because I like it when people can relate to me and I feel like I’m always a happy person. Football is a world that can be unforgiving at times. People obviously don’t know what football players go through and the stress that football players put on themselves to perform, because it’s not that we want to play badly.


“It’s not that we want to lose games. It’s just that sometimes you have ups and downs, so it hurts. It was probably the first time, other than the World Cup exit, that I cried, after the last game of the season at Leeds, when we were officially relegated. I hate losing and I felt like I had really let down the expectations that people had for me.”



Mercato1 hour ago

Atalanta issues bold transfer statement to Juventus regarding Teun Koopmeiners

Atalanta CEO Luca Percassi has made it clear that midfielder Teun Koopmeiners is not for sale, sending a strong message...

Mercato2 hours ago

Premier League club makes concrete approach for Federico Chiesa

Tottenham Hotspur appears to be leading the race for Juventus winger Federico Chiesa, according to TEAMtalk via EPL Index. With...

Mercato2 hours ago

Adrien Rabiot leaves Juventus after contract talks fail

French midfielder Adrien Rabiot’s time at Juventus has come to an end after he rejected a contract extension offer from...

Analysis13 hours ago

Juan Cabal profile and performance in the 2023/24 Serie A season

Juan David Cabal Murillo is a name that has rapidly ascended the ranks of European football, particularly after his impressive...

News13 hours ago

Juventus set to close fiscal year 2024 with increased losses

Juventus is bracing for a significant increase in losses for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2024, as compared to...

Mercato14 hours ago

Juventus completes Cabal signing, beating out Inter

Juventus has reached agreements to sign Colombian defender Juan David Cabal from Hellas Verona, securing the player ahead of rivals...

News15 hours ago

Juventus still haunted by ghosts of past in plusvalenza case

The ghosts of Juventus’ past continue to haunt the club as prosecutors in Rome have requested that Andrea Agnelli, Pavel...

Mercato16 hours ago

Juventus swoops in to steal Cabal from Inter’s grasp

In a twist of events that has left Inter fuming, Juventus has snatched Hellas Verona defender Juan Cabal from their...

Mercato19 hours ago

Three clubs battling to sign Matias Soule

The future of Juventus winger Matías Soulé is edging closer to a resolution, with Premier League clubs Leicester City and...

News19 hours ago

Juventus set to hand iconic No. 10 jersey to Kenan Yildiz

The talk of the town in recent hours has been the potential assignment of the prestigious No. 10 jersey to...

Mercato20 hours ago

Round-up: Three clubs on Kostic, Nicolussi Caviglia hesitating and Szczesny’s exit imminent

There’s growing interest in Hans Nicolussi Caviglia. The latest club to inquire about the young midfielder is Lecce, looking for...

Mercato21 hours ago

Juventus scrambles for wingers after transfer setbacks

Juventus have looked for a change of wingers as Thiago Motta has come in and is looking to start his...

Mercato24 hours ago

Cristiano Giuntoli next signing revealed as personal terms already in place

Juventus are reportedly keen on making Jean-Clair Todibo their next signing following the arrivals of Douglas Luiz and Khephren Thuram....

News1 day ago

Juventus set to make decisive move for Teun Koopmeiners

Juventus and their director Cristiano Giuntoli are laser-focused on securing the signature of Teun Koopmeiners, their top midfield target for...

Mercato1 day ago

Dortmund makes decision on Karim Adeyemi amid Juventus interest

Borussia Dortmund appears to have changed its stance on the future of winger Karim Adeyemi, according to Bild. After previous...

Mercato1 day ago

Italian journalist reveals Federico Chiesa’s most likely destination

Manchester United are emerging as the frontrunners to secure the services of Federico Chiesa from Juventus. The Italian winger has...

Mercato1 day ago

Bologna digs their own grave by blocking Calafiori move to Juventus

Bologna are reportedly keen to strengthen their squad with Juventus duo Arkadiusz Milik and Daniele Rugani. However, the strained relationship...

Mercato1 day ago

Juventus interested in Albert Gudmundsson but faces tough competition

Juventus have joined the race for highly-rated Genoa forward, Albert Gudmundsson, according to transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio. The Icelandic...

News1 day ago

All you need to know about expanded FIFA Club World Cup as Juventus confirms participation

Get ready for a revamped FIFA Club World Cup, set to take the world by storm in the summer of...

Mercato2 days ago

Monza CEO Galliani reveals Giuntoli’s masterclass in signing Di Gregorio

In a press conference, Monza’s CEO Adriano Galliani provided insights into the club’s summer transfer activities, addressing speculations around high-profile...

Mercato2 days ago

West Ham player linked to Juventus in a shocking swap deal with Arthur

Juventus is eyeing West Ham United’s Konstantinos Mavropanos for surprising reasons. Despite being a key part of Julen Lopetegui’s plans...

News2 days ago

Thiago Motta first press conference with Juventus scheduled

Date: Thursday, July 18, 2024 Time: 2:00 PM CET Location: Allianz Stadium, Conference Hall What to Expect Thiago Motta will...

Mercato2 days ago

Adrien Rabiot’s potential destinations revealed

Adrien Rabiot has been a free agent, a coveted commodity in the footballing world. The French midfielder, after three years...

Mercato2 days ago

Erik ten Hag comments on Jadon Sancho future amid Juventus interest

Jadon Sancho’s future at Manchester United took an unexpected turn as manager Erik ten Hag reintegrated him into the first-team...

Analysis2 days ago

Juventus target Karim Adeyemi compared with Federico Chiesa and Matias Soule

Juventus are interested in Borussia Dortmund winger Karim Adeyemi. He is a pacey player who uses technical flair to help...

News2 days ago

Juventus unveils new home kit but set an unwanted record

Juventus has unveiled their new home kit for the 2024/25 season, marking an unexpected and unwanted record due to the...

News2 days ago

Kenan Yildiz poised to inherit Juventus’ no. 10 jersey amidst Paul Pogba’s uncertain future

Today marks the day that Kenan Yildiz could officially become Juventus’ new No. 10, following a flurry of rumors in...

News2 days ago

First official images of Juventus home kit for the 2024/25 season

Juventus will unveil their new home kit for the 2024/25 season today, marking a significant step towards the upcoming football...

Koopmeiners Juventus transfer news Koopmeiners Juventus transfer news
Mercato2 days ago

Juventus confident to sign Koopmeiners thanks to a game-changing promise

Teun Koopmeiners is a transfer target for Juventus, who are currently prioritizing selling players to raise funds for new signings...

Mercato2 days ago

Juventus eye potential Chiesa-Raspadori swap deal but faces two obstacles

Federico Chiesa’s time at Juventus appears to be drawing to a close, with reports suggesting a swap deal with Napoli...