Juventus FC Profile
|Major Honours||Serie A (36), Coppa Italia (13), Supercoppa Italiana (8), UEFA Champions League (2), UEFA Cup (3), European Cup Winners' Cup (1), European Super Cup (2)|
Juventus are a powerhouse both in Italy and in Europe with the club going through a golden patch in their history. Dominating Serie A year after year, the Champions League is now their biggest target.
Based in Turin, Juventus are the most successful club domestically in the history of Italian soccer. The Bianconeri have won 36 Serie A titles excluding the two which they were stripped of as a result of the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal.
Juventus, known as The Old Lady, The Bianconeri or simply Juve, won the European Cup in 1984/85 and 1985/86.
Juventus have been represented by many of the world's greatest footballers. Stars in recent years have included Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo, Giorgio Chiellini, Gianluigi Buffon, Dani Alves, Pavel Nedved, Patrice Evra and Zinedine Zidane.
The early history of Juve
Juventus were founded in 1897 by a group of Torinese students under the name of Sport-Club Juventus. Juve were rebranded as Foot-Ball Club Juventus two years after and joined the Italian championship in 1900.
Businessman Marco Ajmone-Marsan was a crucial figure in the club's early history as he enabled Juventus to move into a position of financial competitiveness. Having donned pink and black jerseys for some time, the Bianconeri were inspired to switch to black and white by English side Notts County.
In 1905, Juventus won their first league championship. However, the following year, there was a split in the club. Some staff considered moving Juventus out of Turin, which led to the departure of president Alfred Dick, along with some key players, to found FBC Torino. To this day, Juventus and Torino compete in the Derby della Mole.
Rebuilding after the split was no small task for Juventus. However, in the 1920s and 1930s, Juve ascended and laid the foundation for the mega-club they would become.
FIAT owner Edoardo Agnelli took control of the club in 1923 and built a new stadium. In the 1925/26 season, Juventus won their second Scudetto.
Juve won five league titles in a row between 1930/31 and 1934/35. The 1930s saw the Bianconeri grow their support outside of Turin.
Part of the reasoning behind this was that Juve were one of the first clubs in Italy to go fully professional and the club grew ever-more successful. The 1930s also saw Juventus compete in the European Cup for the first time and, while they were unable to win it in their early years in the competition, they did make four semi-final appearances.
Juve lost their iron grip on the Italian league title in the late 1930s and the 1940s, but they won it again in 1949/50 following the appointment of English head coach Jesse Carver. They were champions again in 1951/52 under Gyorgy Sarosi and in 1957/58 under Ljubisa Brocic.
The 1958 title was Juve's 10th in Italy's top flight, which allowed them the distinction of wearing a single star on their shirt. In the present day, with more than 30 titles to their name Juve emblazon three stars above their club crest.
The British connection was maintained on the pitch as Welshman John Charles was a crucial striker for Juventus in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Juventus, Cestmir Vycpalek and Giovanni Trapattoni
In the 1970s, Cestmir Vycpalek kickstarted a tremendous era of success for Juventus. The Czech manager led them to back-to-back Serie A titles in 1971/72 and 1972/73.
Carlo Parola guided them to the title in 1974/75 after taking over from Vycpalek. Giovanni Trapattoni picked up from there in 1976, putting his faith in a relatively young team after Italy had used a significant portion of Juventus players in their squad to win their third World Cup.
Under Trapattoni's guidance, Juventus won an astonishing six Serie A titles in 10 years, alongside two Coppa Italia titles domestically. Italian teams were previously only allowed to have one foreign player in their squad, but this quota was increased to two players, paving the way for a further foreigner to join the club. With that, a club legend arrived - French star Michel Platini.
Platini would go on to spend five years at Juve and score more than 100 goals in that time, playing a significant part in Juve's success in the 1980s. Individually, Platini won the Ballon d'Or (European Footballer of the Year award) in three consecutive years while at Juventus.
Alongside four Serie A titles in six seasons under Trapattoni's tutelage, Juve's presence at the top table in Europe was beginning to grow stronger and stronger.
A unique 'double' came when Juventus brought home the European Super Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup in the 1983/84 season, providing a platform for what was to follow the next season - albeit in tragic circumstances.
Juve's quest on the continent led Trapattoni's side to their first European Cup title in 1984/85, beating Liverpool 1-0 in an infamous final at Heysel Stadium. That match is known for the fact that what happened on the pitch was secondary to the disaster that was unfolding off of it.
Platini scored the only goal of the match, but 39 supporters were killed in a human stampede. Most of the deceased were Juventus supporters and their relationship with Liverpool consequently remained strained in decades to follow.
After Trapattoni's departure in 1986 with 10 years as the club's manager, Juventus did not win another UEFA Champions League title in nine years. In fairness, three of those nine barren years were in Trapattoni's second stint at the club (1991-1994). With 14 major honours in two spells at the club, Trapattoni is currently the most successful manager in the history of the Old Lady.
The Marcello Lippi era
Marcello Lippi was appointed Juventus manager for the first time in 1994 and was an instant success, leading the team to the Serie A title, Coppa Italia and the newly-created Supercoppa Italiana (Italian Super Cup) in his first season in charge at the club.
Gianluca Vialli, Antonio Conte, Roberto Baggio and Alessandro Del Piero were among the big name players from Lippi's first stint.
All of those stars under Lippi's leadership would go on to lead Juventus to the UEFA Champions League title in 1995/96, as the Old Lady beat Ajax on penalties after a closely-fought final, with Fabrizio Ravenelli burying the winning spot kick.
To compound that success, Lippi's side would also win the UEFA Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup as the Bianconeri established themselves on the international stage as one of the dominant forces in the game in the 1990s.
Lippi and his side would add to their already significant talent pool by bringing several world-class talents to the club in the form of Edgar Davids, Zinedine Zidane and Filippo Inzaghi by the time the 1997/98 season came around.
The team remained incredibly successful, bringing home back-to-back Serie A titles once again and another Supercoppa Italiana, with Zidane picking up the Ballon d'Or - cementing himself as one of the greats of world soccer.
Two more consecutive Champions League finals followed in 1997 and 1998 after lifting the trophy in 1996, but Lippi's team would lose out on both occasions to Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid respectively.
Lippi left Juve in 1999 but, after a brief stint at Inter Milan, the manager returned to the club in 2001. Lippi would pick up where he left off domestically, leading Juve to two straight Serie A titles in 2001/02 and 2002/03.
The club were also busy on the transfer market, with the arrival of Gianluigi Buffon breaking the world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper at the time of around $62.5million. Lillian Thuram, Pavel Nedved and David Trezeguet were also brought to the club - with all four going on to become Juve legends.
However, Lippi and Juventus were unable to secure another UEFA Champions League title as they were beaten in the 2003 final by AC Milan, coached by Carlo Ancelott, whom Lippi had replaced as Juve manager as he returned to the club.
The 2006 scandal
In 2006, Juventus were stripped of their previous two Serie A titles (2004/05 and 2005/06) as a result of their involvement in the Calciopoli ('Footballgate') match-fixing scandal. They were also relegated to Serie B as part of their punishment.
Part of what was alleged was that Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi and chairman Antonio Giraudo detained referee Gianluca Paparesta and his two assistants in a changing room after Juve's 2-1 loss at Reggina in November 2004. This was supposedly punishment for not favouring the Bianconeri.
Moggi and Giraudo denied the allegations, but Juve's relegation was upheld and the club was relegated from the top tier of Italian football for the first time in their history. Other clubs involved in the scandal, Lazio, AC Milan and Fiorentina, had also been punished for their parts in the incidents - which had reportedly involved trying to handpick referees for their matches in the hope they would be favourable to them - escaped with points deductions in Serie A.
Key players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Patrick Vieira departed Juventus in the aftermath of the saga, but the club was able to hang onto the likes of Gigi Buffon and Alessandro del Piero, who helped them to promotion at the first attempt and the Serie B title in 2006/07 - despite starting the season with another nine-point deduction in the wake of the Calciopoli scandal.
The Old Lady's golden era
Juventus rebuilt under the guidance of former captain Antonio Conte in the early 2010s. His work was built upon by Max Allegri and then Maurizio Sarri. Between the three of them, they led Juve to nine straight Serie A titles.
Juve held a near-monopoly on domestic trophies after their return to Serie A, enjoying the kind of dominance rarely held in world football.
There were multiple double and treble-winning seasons in the 2010s to go alongside the nine consecutive Serie A titles. Juventus were able to win four straight Coppa Italia crowns and four Supercoppa Italiana trophies in the 2010s, but it was success on the European stage that Juve supporters were craving the most throughout this period.
However, neither Conte, Allegri nor Sarri was able to deliver a UEFA Champions League trophy. Allegri twice made the final, losing to Barcelona in 2015 and Real Madrid in 2017.
After a disappointing last 16 exit from the UEFA Champions League 2019/20, Maurizio Sarri was replaced as head coach by former Juve midfielder Andrea Pirlo, who had no prior senior managerial experience but had played for the club for four years during its golden period in the early 2010s, and had begun coaching the club's under-23 team a few months earlier.
Juve's biggest rivals
Juventus have several fierce rivals, as they are the envy of Italy for their unparalleled Serie A success and tremendous fan base across Italy and abroad, making the majority of their 'rivalries' skewed more towards their opponents than Juve themselves.
Locally, though, Juve's rivalry with Turin-based neighbours, Torino makes the Derby della Mole (Turin derby) a regular occurrence on the Serie A calendar - with more than 200 meetings between the teams throughout history.
The bragging rights in Turin since the 1990s have leaned heavily towards Juventus, but Torino have had previous periods of dominance in the derby.
Aside from Torino, arguably their most bitter rivalry is with Inter Milan. The Calciopoli scandal only added fuel to that fire, with the accusations of match-fixing leading Juve to be relegated to Serie B and Inter subsequently awarded the Serie A title in the 2005/06 season as a result.
Juventus and their fanbase
Juve are known for having a broadly dispersed fan base, with the Bianconeri boasting by far the largest number of fans in Italy as well as a strong supporter base internationally.
Ultras (extremist supporter groups) are part of the fabric of Italian football culture and Juve are no different. This is not without controversy, though. Juve president Andrea Agnelli was banned for a year in 2017 for his alleged involvement in tickets being sold to supporter groups with links to the Mafia.
Juve's latest annual revenue was €570million ($687.5m) in figures published in September 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly will have a lasting effect on the club's finances, but this is not totally unprecedented for them.
Juventus had to undergo a major restructuring after being relegated to Serie B but lived to fight another day, moving to their new home, the Juventus Stadium in 2011 and continuing to build their infrastructure.
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