Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Juventus Greatest All-time Team

Intercontinental Cup and European Cup in 1996
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Italy All-Time Team

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Juventus has won more Serie A titles than any other Italian clubs, but they are known as the unlucky team at the European Cup/Champions League.  They won two European Cup/Champions' league titles.  They also have the misfortune of losing in the Final 6 times.  And their very first title came in 1985, a team consisted of Michel Platini and the backbone of the 1982 Italian World Cup winning team.  A decade later, they won their second title in 1996.
  
Juventus has won the most league titles in Italy

Team 
GK: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
Gianluigi Buffon is considered to be one of the greatest keeper ever.  He made his Serie A debut at the age of 17 in 1995 with Parma.  He earned his first cap when he was only 19.  He had a total of 175 caps. His biggest achievement must be winning the World Cup in 2006.  He has been named the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year a record eight time. He became the most expensive goalkeeper of all time following his transfer from Parma to Juventus in 2001.  He moved to PSG in 2019.
Gianluigi Buffon

GK: Dino Zoff (Italy)
Dino Zoff captained the World Cup winning side in 1982 at the age of 40.  He held the Serie A appearance record until 2006. He was also a part of the team that won the European Championship in 1968. He achieved great club success with Juventus, winning 6 Serie A titles, 2 Coppa Italias, and an UEFA Cup, also reaching two European Champions' Cup finals in 1972-73 and 1982-83 seasons. He also played for Udinese, Mantova and Napoli.


GK: Giampiero Combi (Italy)
Combi won the 1934 WC with Italy.  He was considered one of the best in the world during his time.  He spent his entire career with Juventus.  He played 351 games in Serie A, winning five titles – in 1926 (having conceded only 18 goals during the season), 1931, 1932, 1933 and 1934 as part of the first golden age of the club with a record of five championship victories in a row, a feat known as Il Quinquennio d'Oro (The Golden Quinquennium).

RB/CB:  Lilian Thuram (Italy)
Thuram is France's most capped player.  He played at the top flight in France, Italy and Spain for over 15 seasons, including ten in the Serie A with both Parma and Juventus. With France, Thuram won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, and was in the runner-up squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.  He scored two goals vs Croatia in the semifinal of the WC in 1998. 

CB/RB: Claudio Gentile (Italy)
He was considered one of the Azzurri's greatest defender.  He went to both 1978 and 1982 World Cup Finals.  He was best remembered for stopping Diego Maradona and Zico at the WC Finals in 1982 as Italy won their third World Cup.  His playing style was very hard. He was capped 71 times.  Gentile played over a decade with Juventus. He also played for Fiorentina and other clubs.

SW: Gaetano Scirea (Italy)
Scirea was the starting libero for Italy's World Cup winning team in Spain 1982 and Juventus throughout the 1980's.  He is considered one of the greatest defenders ever played the game.  He is one of only five players in history to have won all international trophies for football clubs.  He also played in 1978 and 1986 World Cup Finals as well as the European Championship of 1980.
Gaetano Scirea
SW: Ciro Ferrara (Italy)
He was considered one of the best defenders in the world during his prime.  However, his career with the Azzurri was limited by the same period with some of the greatest defenders in history. For club football, he played nearly a decade for Napoli during Duego Maradona's years before moving to Juvnetus.  At Juventus, he won 6 scudettis and a single Champions' League.

CB/ST: John Charles (Wales)
John Charles was equally adept at centre-forward or centre-back.  His best part of career was with Juventus. He played in Turin for five years, scoring 93 goals in 155 matches, winning the scudetto (Italian league championship) three times, and the Italian Cup twice. He was 3rd in the Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) in 1959. He was never booked in his entire career.
John Charles played both offence and defence
LB: Antonio Cabrini (Italy)
He was one of the best leftbacks in the world during his time.  He was remembered for being a part of the great defensive unit at Spain 1982.  He spent the best part of his career with Juventus, winning the European Cup in 1985. He started his career with  U.S. Cremonese. He also played for Atalanta and Bologna. He picked up 73 caps, and went to the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals.


RB/LB: Gianluca Zambrotta  (Italy)
Gianluca Zambrotta was one of the best fullbacks in his prime.  He could play both rightback and leftback. He earned 98 caps.  He was a member of the 2006 WC winning team.  He also played in 2002 and 2010 World Cup Finals.  He played mainly with Juventus. He also played with Como, Barcelona, AC Milan and Bari.

DM: Luis Monti (Argentina/Italy)
The ruthless central midfielder led Argentina to the WC Final in 1930 where they lost to Uruguay.  Four years later, he won the World Cup with Italy. Monti started his career in 1921 with Huracán. The following year he signed with Boca Juniors but left without playing a game. He joined San Lorenzo. In 1930, he joined Juventus in Italy, where he played until 1939.
Luis Monti
DM:  Didier Deschamps (France)
Didier Deschamps was only the second player in history to captain his team to lift the three big trophies: the Champions League trophy, the World Cup trophy and the European Championship trophy.  He started his career with Nantes. The prime of his career was spent with Marseille and Juventus, where he won a Champions League for both club.  He earned 103 caps between 1989 and 2000.

DM/CM: Marco Tardelli (Italy)
He played at the 1978 World Cup Finals in Argentina and the 1980 European Football Championship at home.  He was the unsung hero of Italy's 1982 WC winning team.  He was capped 81 times.  He also won all the three major European competitions with Juventus. He also played for Pisa, Como, Inter Milan and St.Gallen of Switzerland.

AM: Michel Platini (France)
Michel Platini is one of the greatest footballers of all time.  He scored 9 of France's 14 goals as they won Euro 1984 at home.  It was probably the greatest individual performance in a tournament.  He won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1983, 1984 and 1985.  With Juventus, he won the European Cup in 1985, the first ever for the club. He started with Nancy, but better known for his career with Saint-Étienne before switching to Juventus.
Michel Platini
AM: Zinedine Zidane (France)
He was named the best European footballer of the past 50 years in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll, and has been described as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.  He won the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times.  He led France to victory at  the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000.  With Real Madrid, he also won the Champions League in 2002, where he scored one of the greatest goals in history at the Final. 
Zinedine Zidane
AM/FW: Roberto Baggio (Italy)
Baggio was the World Player of the Year, the Ballon d'Or winner and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1993.  He led Italy to reach the semifinal at Italia 1990 and then, to a second place four years later.  For club football, he started his career with Fiorentina.  He became the most expensive player in the world when he joined Juventus, right before the World Cup Finals in 1990.  He also played for AC Milan, Bologna, Inter Milan and Brescia.
Roberto Baggio
AM: Alessandro Del Piero (Italy)
Alessandro Del Piero is considered to be one of Juventus' greatest players. He played with them for 19 years (11 years as captain), and holds the club records for most goals (289) and appearances (705). For Italy, he played 91 times, despite the fact that Italy had many players fighting for his position.  He was on the 2006 World Cup winning team. He also went to the World Cup Finals of 1998 and 2002, and the European Championship of 1996, 2000 and 2004.
Alessandro Del Piero 
RW/FW: Giampiero Boniperti (Italy)
Giampiero Boniperti played his entire career with Juventus where he played from 1946 to 1961.  He was known for playing alongside John Charles and Omar Sivori. He was the highest goalscorer in Juventus' history for more than 40 years, until his record was broken by Alessandro Del Piero. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1950 and 1954.  He was capped 38 times and served as captain 24 times.  

FW/LW: Raimundo Orsi (Italy)
Orsi started his career with Indpendiente in Argentina before lured away to play for Juventus. he won 5 league titles with Juventus. Later in his career, he would play in Brazil and Chile.  He was capped by Argentina 12 times winning a silver medal at the 1928 Olympics.  He later switched to play for Italy, winning the World Cup in 1934.

LW/AM: Pavel Nedved (the Czech Republic)
Nedved was a key player as the Czech Republic finished second at Euro 1996, and reached the semi-final at Euro 2004.  For club football, he is best remembered for playing for Lazio and Juvnetus.  At Lazio, he won the Scudetti in 1999-2000, only the second league title in Lazio's history.  With Juventus, he led the team to the Final of the 2002-2003 Champions' League final, but he sat out ofthe game due to suspension.  He won the European Footballer of the that year.

SS/FW:  Omar Sivori (Argentina/Italy)
Omar Sivori is remembered one of the greatest ever player from Argentina. He won the Ballon d'Or in 1961. After Argentina won the Copa America in 1957, he joined Juventus where he enjoyed 8 successful years.  He was credited with the resurgence of the club.  With John Charles and Giampiero Boniperti, he formed "the Magical Trio" with the club.  In Argentina, he played for River Plate.
Omar Sivori
FW/RW/LW: Zbigniew Boniek (Poland)
He is one of the greatest Polish players in the history of the game.  He earned 80 caps with 24 goals.  He played at three consecutive World Cups. After the WC Finals in 1982, he moved to Italy and played for Juventus, where he won the Champions' League in 1985. Boniek also for Polish clubs Zawisza Bydgoszcz and later at Widzew Łódź, and Roma.

FW: Roberto Bettega (Italy)
Nicknamed "White Feather", Roberto Bettega spent most of his career with Juventus. He won 7 Serie A titles there.  He went to the 1978 World Cup Finals in Argentina, where he was voted into the Team of the tournament.  He missed the following World Cup Finals held in Spain because of an injury, where Italy won their third title. 
Roberto Bettega
FW: Gianluca Vialli (Italy)
He first made his name with Sampdoria, helping them to win the Cup Winners' Cup in 1990.  In 1992, he made a world record breaking transfer to Juventus.  In 1996, he helped Juventus to win their first ever Champions' League.  He went to Euro 1988, where he was named in the team of tournament.  However, at Italia 1990, he lost his starting spot. After the WC Finals, he forced him out of the national team.

ST:  Silvio Piola (Italy)
Silvio Piola was the all-time leading scorer in the Italian league.  He was third all-time leading scorer for the Azzurri even through his career was cut short by the World War II.  Piola won the 1938 FIFA World Cup with Italy, scoring two goals in the final, ending the tournament as the second best player and the second highest scorer.

ST: Paolo Rossi (Italy)
Rossi was the hero of Italy's WC winning team in 1982, notably for scoring a hattrick against Brazil in Spain, and went on to win the Golden boot. He was also the European player of the Year in 1982 because of his performance at the WC Finals. His club career was associated with Juventus.  He was a part of the great Juventus team of the 1980's.  He won the 1985 European Cup as Juventus' second top scorer.  He also went to the 1978 World Cup Finals.
Paulo Rossi
Honorable Mention
Andreas Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Fabio Capello, Giuseppe Furino, Pietro Rava, Virginio Rosetta, Sergio Brio, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Pessotto, Giorgio Chiellini, Paolo Montero,  Jurgen Kohler, Sandro Salvadore, Edgar Davids, Franco Causio, David Trezeguet, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Antonello Cuccureddu, Antonio Conte, Angelo Peruzzi, Stefano Tacconi.




Squad Explantion
-- Andreas Pirlo was still great when he joined the club. However, he is still known as an AC Milan player.  Besides, Juventus is full of all-time greats.  I only put him on honorable mention.
-- I also honour Claudio Marchisio. I put him on the honorable mention list. He was an unsung hero of the club.
-- I preferred a younger backline.  Pietro Rava and Virginio Rosetta were dropped.  While Kohler was great, I selected the ones with stronger connection with the club. Cannavaro only spent two seasons with Juventus.  The other defenders have served longer times. John Charles was too great for the club to be ignored.
-- Giorgio Chiellini might become a part of the team.  Right now, it is difficult to select him over some of the biggest legends in the history of the game.
-- Omar Sivori, John Charles and Giampiero Boniperti formed "the Magical Trio" with the club.
-- The decision was between Zambrotta and Pessotto.  Zambrotta played less games at Juventus than Pessotto, but I rated him better.
-- Vialli did not stay long, but he brought home the 1996 Champions' League.  
-- Zidane played 4 seasons and took the team to two Champions' league finals. 
--  Baggio played well for at least 4 seasons.  
--  Boniek contributed to the 1985 European Cup. Fabrizio Ravanelli also contributed to the 1996 Cup, but Boniek had a better international reputation.  Rossi also earned his place largely with a better international reputation.
-- Piola only played two seasons with Juventus, but I still selected him.  I have ruled out other players who had played more for the club.

Formation
The team was the 1980's added Buffon, Del Piero, Monti, Charles, Sivori and Thuram.  Zidane or Baggio might be better than Del Piero, but Del Piero is a Juventus' icon.  I reunited John Charles with Omar Sivori.  I could also play John Charles at the back. Boniperti would become the starting centre forward.



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