Ciao, Jack

When Milan fans think of Giacomo Bonaventura, the emotions run high. Maybe it is because he wept tears of joy when he signed the contract for Milan, and wept tears of sorrow as he said one last goodbye to the San Siro on Saturday. But for fans, it is so much more than that. He is a player who gave Milan everything, and was 100% a class act through everything the club went through this past six years. Rarely does a player come along that is so beloved by so many fans, and that is why it is so hard to say goodbye. Ciao, Jack.

Etched in our hearts

Bonaventura was instantly endeared to the fans by his transfer story. Milan were trying to sign Biabiany from Parma, but Zaccardo refused to go the other way. That, along with a heart condition that turned up in Biabiany’s Milan medical, left Galliani desperate on the last day of the transfer market. With about three hours left, he called Atalanta’s director, who immediately called the player. Bonaventura was actually in a car from nearby Bergamo, en route to Inter to sign for them. He immediately headed to meet Galliani instead, and signed for the proper side of Milan.

How our hearts leapt every time he scored

Snatching the Atalanta player from Inter was a glorious victory, and Bonaventura could have just come in and coasted on that brilliant storyline and still been beloved by fans. But he didn’t. He poured his heart and soul into every single match, every single training, and quickly became the heart and soul of the team.

Always number one in our hearts

Jack would go on to play 184 matches in the Rossoneri, including 153 starts over six seasons. This, in spite of injuries, including the one that saw him miss almost the entire 2018-19 season. He scored 34 goals in all, celebrating each one with the same passion the fans felt for him. He left his heart on the pitch with every appearance, no matter how successful he was or was not. When he scored, his celebrations reached through your TV and straight into your heart. He has always had that ability, to reach straight into your heart.

Always loyal

His particular talent was lifting up his teammates. Every time he took the pitch, he inspired the team with his hard work and intensity. Every time he took the pitch, he inspired the fans, because we knew he would give us everything he had. He was passionate, fierce, and an absolute joy to watch. He was a fantastic teammate, and a player that everyone loved.

Beloved by all

He has also always been a player who loved the fans as much as the fans loved him. He would always take that picture, sign that jersey, or go out of the way for a special fan. He put his heart into everything he did, and was proud to represent Milan in the absolute best of ways, always.

Every fan is special to Jack

Even though fans resent players with a particular agent, no one even cared that Bonaventura was represented by Raiola. Because he was Jack. He stayed at Milan through all three changes of ownership. He had seven coaches in his six seasons at Milan. He played anywhere and everywhere he was asked, without complaining, and always with the same intensity and passion, no matter the result. He won the Supercoppa under Montella, his singular trophy for his efforts. And through it all, he was beyond loyal to the crest.

Coaches loved him, too

 Even in his goodbye, he remembered to thank everyone, a testament to who he is as a person. On social media, he posted:

“Thank you, I lived a dream. The years spent at Milan were an unforgettable experience. I want to thank all the people with whom I have shared this fantastic adventure. Presidents, managers, coaches, teammates, doctors and physios.

Thanks to all those who work behind the scenes at Milanello, they are the real engine of Milan, thanks to them, we feel at home every day, like a family. Thanks to all of the Milan fans, who have always supported us, in the best moments and the hardest ones. The roar of San Siro is something special, which I will never forget. You will always be in my heart!”

How he left Milan
How he deserved to leave Milan

It is hard to believe that he is moving on. He hasn’t given a reason, but in my heart, I believe he was doing it as much for Milan as for himself. Maybe he is giving up his spot on the team for someone younger and with fewer injuries, who knows? Sure, maybe he will get more playing time wherever he goes, too, which he also deserves. One way or another, he leaves a gaping hole in all of our hearts, and a legend that future Milan fans may not even believe. He will forever be the Jack of our hearts. Ciao, Jack.

This post inspired by the music of Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”

Ciao, Jack Ciao, Jack Reviewed by Elaine on 12:47 AM Rating: 5
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