JUVENTUS

When Zinedine Zidane transferred to Juventus in 1996 for £3.2M, the move brought a marked increase in visibility and expectations from his time in the French top flight, but Zidane proved he was up to the challenge by steering Juventus to an Italian Super Cup, a UEFA Super Cup, an Intercontinental Cup and a pair of Series A titles over the next two seasons.

Renowned for his elegance, vision and technique, Zinedine Zidane has been described as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.
Three times Fifa World player of the year, Zidane was also named the best European footballer of the past 50 years by UEFA.
In 2014, in a poll carried out by French TV channel TF1, Zidane was voted as the best player in the history of the French league ahead of other French football legends such as Michel Platini and Raymond Kopa.

After a series of consistently outstanding performances for both Bordeaux and France, Zidane had offers to join Europe's top clubs in the spring of 1996, deciding on a move to UEFA Champions League winners Juventus during the close season, following in Platini's footsteps.

'Zizou's' abilities soon shone through and he became one of the most revered players on the planet during his spell with the Bianconeri, collecting Serie A titles in 1997 and 1998, an Italian Super Cup in 1997, the UEFA Super Cup in 1996 and the Intercontinental Cup the same year.
In 2001, Zidane broke Turin's heart and joined Real Madrid for a world record fee of €75 million.

Displaying skills with an array of moves such as his signature La Roulette pirouette, step overs and close ball control Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho stated; "Zidane is one of the best footballers of all time, one of my idols. He had such elegance and grace, a wonderful touch and superb vision."
Michel Platini once said "Technically, I think he is the king of what's fundamental in the game — control and passing. I don't think anyone can match him when it comes to controlling or receiving the ball."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regardless of Michel Platini's recent woes, nothing can ever take away from the fact he will be remembered as one of the best passers of a ball in history, as well as one of the best ever penalty and free kick specialists to have played the game.
Platini's career pinnacle came following his move to Italian powerhouse Juventus in 1982.
The Turin side was already packed full of Italy internationals, fresh from winning the World Cup in Spain, which made his introduction into the side quite a difficult one.

But, despite a rocky start to his Italian adventure, Platini would go on to become one of the most decorated players in Serie A history.
During his five-year spell with the Bianconeri he won the Scudetto on two ocassions (1984 and 1986), the European Cup Winners Cup and Super Cup (1984), the European Cup and Intercontinental Cup (1985) as well as finishing the league’s top scorer for three consecutive seasons between 1982 and 1985.
His personal triumphs included three straight European Footballer of the Year, Balon d'Or awards and was twice voted World Soccer magazine’s Player of the Year.

Platini did not have incredible pace or strength, nor was he renowned for being a great dribbler but he had a superb range of passing that would make any ‘trequartista’ green with envy, coupled with the finishing prowess most strikers would give up their right arm for.
He seemingly had a sixth sense when creating goals for strikers Roberto Bettega and Paolo Rossi, who thrived on the service.

With a calmness and composure, Platini scored 68 goals in 147 domestic appearance for the Old Lady. Not such a bad haul in the days when Serie A defences were as brutal as they were efficient.
Platini's playing career is one that has few equals "I played for Nancy because it was my hometown club and the best in Lorraine, for Saint-Étienne because it was the best team in France, and for Juventus because it is the best team in the world!"

Comfortable on either flank, his tireless running and quality crossing made Angelo Di Livio an important element in the dominant Juventus starting lineup from 1993 to 1999, during one of the most successful periods in the club's history.

Nicknamed the 'little soldier' by team mate Roberto Baggio, he won three Scudetti and the Champions League title in 1996.
On leaving the bianconeri, Di Livio joined Fiorentina and showed his dedication by being the only player to stay with the team after they went bankrupt, as he played through the depths of Italian football on the climb back to Serie A in 2004.

A deep-lying playmaker for both Juventus and Italy, Andrea Pirlo is widely regarded as the leading exponent of this position due to his vision, ball control and passing ability.
After over a decade playing for Milan, Pirlo joined Juve in 2011.
An instant catalyst to Juve's domination in recent years, Pirlo was also elected as Serie A Footballer of the Year in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Given the nickname l'architetto - "the architect", because of the way in which he builds plays, Pirlo is a set piece and penalty-kick specialist and has scored the highest number of free-kicks in Serie A history.
Teamate Gianluigi Buffon remarked "Pirlo is a genius. Together with Baggio, I think he’s the greatest talent that Italian football has produced in the last 25 years."

Roberto Baggio joined Juventus from Fiorentina amongst much furore in 1990, inheriting Michel Platini's number 10 shirt.
He led his new team to glory in the 1993 UEFA Cup, and his performances earned him the European and World footballer of the year awards.
Baggio played some sublime football during his five years in Bianconeri, doing more than anyone to overcome the monopoly Italian football had become under Silvio Berlusconi’s Milan. His touch, finesse and vision were unparalleled - Baggio truly was a player blessed from above.

Baggio scored 115 goals in 200 appearances during his five seasons at Juventus, but by the time he finally won his first league title in 1995, he had become a periphery figure due to the emergence by the new golden boy of Italian football, Alessandro Del Piero, and was sold to Milan in 1995.

Much respected Italian coach Carlo Mazzone once remarked "Roberto Baggio was the best Italian fantasista; he was better than Meazza and Boniperti, and he was amongst the greatest of all time, right behind Maradona, Pelè, and maybe Cruyff. Without the injury problems and the difficulties with his knees, he would have been the very best player in history."

In 1990 Roberto Baggio moved from Fiorentina to Juventus for a world record transfer fee, sparking riots in Florence.
He adopted the number ten shirt that Michel Platini had made his own in the eighties and became an instant success for 'I bianconeri'.

Predominantly played as a second forward or as an attacking midfielder, he was a versatile player comfortable attacking on both wings as well which allowed him to play in various positions along and behind the front line throughout his career.

Baggio played some sublime football during his five years at Juve, doing more than anyone to overcome the monopoly Italian football had become under Silvio Berlusconi’s Milan. His touch, finesse and vision were unparalleled. A believer in the Buddhist faith, Roberto Baggio truly was a player blessed from above.

A technical playmaker, or fantasista, he had great dribbling ability and his one on one success with the keeper was legendary, as was his set piece ability.
Baggio is currently the 6th highest goalscorer of all time in Serie A, with 205 goals.
Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, in 1993 he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or.

It was third time lucky for Juventus in the 1976/77 Uefa cup competition and it was they, not the Spanish side Athletic Club Bilbao, who claimed a first European trophy.
Juventus travelled to Spain for the final second leg with a single-goal cushion given them by Tardelli, but when Bettega doubled the lead after just seven minutes, they were sitting pretty. Two late goals brought consolation to Bilbao, but the cup was off to Turin, as Juve embarked on a golden period in their history.

A football player who gave everything on the pitch during his spell at Juventus, Pavel Nedved was widely known for his energy on the field, his refined shooting and his goalscoring ability. A two-footed player, Nedved frequently played as a left-sided, offensive wide midfielder but his instincts to roam the pitch and dictate the play made him a force to be reckoned with. The 'Furia Ceca' led the Bianconeri to two Serie A titles and he received the Ballon d'Or in 2003.

As Carlo Ancelotti once said "He is a world-class player who needs no introductions". Alessandro Del Piero is a “l’uomo simbolo”, a symbol, of Juventus. He is the last of a dying breed of men who played their entire careers with one club. More than footballers, they embody the heart, spirit and soul of their respective cities and teams.

A player with such excellent technique and vision, Del Piero holds many records at the Turin club, including goals scored and appearances, over 300 and 770 respectively. He is in sixth place in the UEFA Champions League all-time goalscorer chart, having won the trophy in 1996.

During the Calciopoli scandals and amidst Juventus' relegation to Serie B, "Il Pinturicchio" remained loyal to the Old Lady. Big-money offers from top European clubs around the world were compounded by the walking out of a number of his teammates. Del Piero claimed that, as captain, the thought of leaving Turin didn't even cross his mind.
A king on and off the pitch: Alessandro Del Piero, a true legend of the game.

The Giovanni Trapattoni-era in the early 80's was highly successful. Around this time the club's players were attracting considerable attention; Paolo Rossi was named European Footballer of the Year in 1982 and then Frenchman Michel Platini was also awarded the title for the next three years. Juventus are the only team to have players from their club winning the award in four consecutive years.

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