90min’s Definitive A to Z of Juventus

Fun fact: The club’s late owner Giovanni Agnelli adored Juventus’ name (which is Juventus, for all you non-brianiacs out there), because the letter J is an uncommon letter in the Italian language. Therefore, the only time he would see the letter in the newspapers was when his beloved football club had hit the headlines. He quite liked that. 

See, fun.

And below is some more fun facts, opinions and everything in between about Juventus and the letters that define the club. 


A is for Alessandro Del Piero

Juventus' forward Alessandro Del Piero c

The club’s all-time record goalscorer and appearance maker, it’s pretty fair to say that Alessandro Del Piero is a – if not the – Juventus legend. 

He is the first person that you think of when someone says ‘Juventus’.


B is for Gianluigi Buffon

The best goalkeeper in the history of the club, and the history of football in general. No player has ever won more in a Juve jersey than the incomparable Buffon. 


C is for Coppa Italia

After 20-year period without winning a single Coppa Italia, Juve reasserted their dominance in the competition in recents years, taking their tally to an Italian-record 13 titles. 


D is for Dino Zoff

Dino Zoff was so good that he lifted the FIFA World Cup as Italy captain at the age of 40. That’s how good he was. 


E is for eight in a row 

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They’re currently aiming to make it nine in a row, but as it stands, Juventus hold the record of winning eight consecutive Serie A titles. From 2011 to, well, right now, La Vecchia Signora have had a stranglehold on the Scudetti – winning title after title after title after title after…you get the picture. 


F is for five in a row

The record the current Juventus team broke was in fact also held by Juventus. I Bianconeri’s astonishingly brilliant team of the early 1930s (look obviously I haven’t seen them play but they must’ve been good) won a then-record five consecutive titles between 1931 and 1935. Decent. 


G is for Giampiero Boniperti, Gaetano Scirea & Gianni Agnelli

I couldn’t pick one for this as leaving out any of these three would’ve been sacrilegious.

Put simply, Giampiero Boniperti, Gaetano Scirea and Gianni Agnelli have defined the club. 

They have defined Juventus’ past, present and future. 

Steve Archibald of Barcelona


H is for Ferenc Hirzer

‘Who?’

I’ll tell you who. 

 

Ferenc Hirzer holds the record for scoring the most league goals in a single season for Juventus – 35 in 26 games – and has held said record since 1926. Club legend. 


I is for Inter

Those who don’t really know anything about Italian football think that the derby on the peninsula is the Milan derby. 

But it’s not. 

The derby of Italy is quite literally called the Derby d’Italia, and it’s between Inter and Juventus – the two most successful clubs in Italy, bound together forever by an unwavering hate for one another. I mean, just look up the Calciopoli scandal, and you’ll see why this rivalry is so heated.  


J is for Juventus

Because of course it bloody is! 


K is for the kit

Paulo Dybala

Due to a weird fear of Americans thinking their kits looked like Foot Locker worker’s apparel, Juventus ruined their kit this year. 

Ruined it. Completely. 

However, before this season’s monstrosity, Juve kits were widely regarded as some of the nicest in Europe. Better times. 


L is for Lo Stile Juve

The much fabled Lo Stile Juve is based on three principles…apparently…and they are as follows: – Elegance. 

– Professionalism.

– Winning.

See ‘G’ for the people that have defined this. 


M is for Michel Platini

The most talented footballer to ever play for Juventus – bar none. In a three year stretch between 1983 and 1986, no footballer has ever played better for La Vecchia Signora. 

He was so good that he won three consecutive Ballons d’Or and was named (…by me…) as the eighth ?greatest footballer of all time.  


N is for Notts County

So we’ve already covered the kit in ‘K’ – and how they’ve ruined it – but what we haven’t covered is its origins.

Wayyyyy back in 1903, when Juventus acutely realised that having a bright pink home kit was a bad idea, they chanced their arms and asked England’s oldest football league club for replacement kits. And because Notts County are sound, they sent over black and white jerseys – free of charge. 

Juve appreciated the gesture so much that they invited the now lowly Notts County to play the first game at La Vecchia Signora’s new stadium back in 2011. 


O is for Stadio Olimpico

Claudio Villa Archive

Yes, we know it’s AS Roma and SS Lazio’s stadium, but it’s a stadium which holds a places in the hearts of many Juventini too. As the Stadio Olimpico was the last place Juve lifted the UEFA Champions League, way back in 1996…they’ve lost five finals since…we’ll not talk about that – lets move on. 


P is for Pavel Nedved

My personal favourite Juventus player of all time, Pavel Nedved is also the last player to win the Ballon d’Or while at the club. 

He did so in 2003, when he was – by quite a distance – the best player in the world (go away Arsenal fans, we don’t want to hear it). 

The ‘Czech Fury’, after spending nine years playing for the club, following them down to Serie B and refusing an offer from Inter a few seasons later, is now the vice-chairman of the club’s board of directors. 


Q is for Fabio Quagliarella

Let’s be honest, ‘Q’ was pretty slim pickings. But, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve convinced myself that Fabio Quagliarella is actually deserving of being on this list. 

Quags signed for the club at a pretty dark time – when Luigi Delneri was head coach – and provided Juventini with some much needed hope for the future. Yes, that hope would subside when his knee broke into a million tiny pieces…but he returned to full fitness just in time to win three Scudetti at the club. 


R is for Roberto Baggio

While Platini is the ‘most talented footballer to ever play for Juventus’, Baggio is probably quite a close second. 

Il Divin Codino signed for Juve from Fiorentina in 1990 – a move that caused literal riots in Florence – and went on to star for the club for five years, even winning the Ballon d’Or in 1993. 


S is for Scudetto

Alessandro Del Piero

Juventus have won 37 Scudetti. 

YES 37. NOT 35. GET A GRIP. 


T is for Giovanni Trapattoni 

The most successful manager in the club’s history, following the Milan clubs’ dominance in the 60s, ?Trapattoni made Juve winners again in the 70s. 

In two stints at the club – between 1976 and 1986, and 1991 and 1994 – Trap won literally everything. Six Scudetti, two Coppa Italia, one European Cup, two UEFA Cups and the Intercontinental Cup. 


U is for Udinese (5 May 2002 title) 

Ask an over-25 Juventus fan what their favourite win ever was.

‘No.’

Pls. 

‘Ok…………they said 5th May 2002 win over Udinese.’ 

That’s the right answer.

‘Why?’

This win – coming courtesy of goals from David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero – was enough to snatch the Serie A title away from Inter on the very last day of the season. Juve had to win; Inter had to drop points – both happened and Juve fans rejoiced. 


V is for Villar Perosa

Leonardo Bonucci

Every year since 1955, it has been tradition for Juventus to play against their own Primavera team in Villar Perosa. And that’s because the Villar Perosa, a tiny town southwest of Turin, is the home of the Agnelli family estate. 

Imagine having an ‘estate’? Minted. 


W is for ‘winning isn’t important, it’s the only thing that matters’ 

So I’ve written about it in length ?here before, but no matter what I say nothing is going to change; ‘Winning isn’t important, it’s the only thing that matters’ is the club motto – and by Christ do they stick to it. 


X is for Juventus x Palace

Federico Bernardeschi

The slimmest of slim pickings. 

Also, controversial opinion, but this ‘collaboration’ was bloody awful. Rancid kit. Next…


Y is for Youth Sector

It’s actually called the ‘Primavera’ but, you know by now, slim pickings for some of these. 

Here’s a list of some of the best players to ever come through the Juve youth system: 

– Claudio Marchisio.

– Ciro Immobile.

– Paolo Rossi.

– Sebastian Giovinco.

– Raffale Palladino (or the ‘new Marco van Basten’…his official title).


Z is for Zinedine Zidane

Claudio Villa Archive

Perhaps better remembered for his exploits in Les Bleus of the French national team and Los Blancos of Real Madrid, Ziziou was actually pretty fantastic in I bianconeri of Juventus too. 

In fact, Zidane’s ‘peak’ – 1998-2000 for those wondering – was spent at Juve. 


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6 Times Players Have Clashed With Fans in the Stands

?Following Tottenham’s FA Cup penalty shoot-out defeat to Norwich, Eric Dier reacted to abuse directed at himself and his brother by taking things into his own hands.

The Spurs defender – who had successfully converted his spot kick – leapt over the advertising hoardings and clambered over seat after seat (which was a pretty impressive feat in itself given Dier had just played 120 minutes of football, and his sheer athleticism is not getting the credit it deserves) to ?confront the supporter.

Players can have a turbulent relationship with their own fans and opposition supporters, and altercations are not uncommon. Who was Dier inspired by before he embarked on his assent up the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium stand?


Eric Cantona (1995)

Manchester United faced Crystal Palace in January 1995, and King Eric did not take too kindly to Palace fan Matthew Simmons running down to the front of the stand and shouting: “f*** off back to France you French motherf*****” – a phrase which incidentally was one of the rejected slogans for the Vote Leave campaign.

In response, Cantona iconically kung fu kicked Simmons, and landed himself a nine month ban, 120 hours of community service and a £20,000 fine. 

The French forward won seven league titles across an illustrious career. His personal career highlight? 

“I have a lot of good moments but the one I prefer is when I kicked the hooligan.”


Patrice Evra (2017)

After being insulted by Marseille fans while warming up before the Ligue 1 outfit’s Europa League clash with Vitoria, Evra reacted by kicking out at a supporter.

Evra’s was less spectacular than Cantona’s – it was more of a sweetly struck volley than a kung-fu kick – but he was still fined £10,000, banned for seven matches and had his Marseille contract terminated.

The punishment didn’t end there for Evra, as three months later he signed a short term deal at West Ham.


Esteban Alvarado (2011)

Mexico v Costa Rica: Quarterfinals - 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado was minding his own business in between the sticks during a Dutch Cup fixture against ?Ajax, when a pitch-invading fan charged in his direction.

The fan swung at Alvarado with his leg, and the AZ keeper ?gave as good as he’d got back. The supporter fell to the floor, and Alvarado kicked him a couple of times while he was down, just for good measure.

He was sent off, but later had his red card was rescinded, while the supporter who had attempted to attack him was jailed for six months.


Craig Bellamy (2009)

Michael Owen’s last gasp goal famously won the thrilling 2009 Manchester derby for United, as the former England man popped up in the 96th minute to secure a 4-3 victory.

One United supporter, Jake Clarke, charged onto the pitch in celebration. He was quickly rugby tackled and restrained by the stewards, but that didn’t stop City’s Craig Bellamy sauntering over to ?give Clarke a quick slap around the face.

Bellamy faced no action, while the supporter was banned for three years.


Jamie Carragher (2002)

Arsenal v Liverpool X

?Arsenal versus Liverpool in the fourth round of the 2001/02 FA Cup was a feisty encounter. Dennis Bergkamp saw red after a hefty challenge on Jamie Carragher, resulting in one angry Arsenal fan throwing a £1 coin at the Liverpool defender.

Incensed, Carragher threw the coin back towards the Arsenal fans, and received a £40,000 fine and a three match ban. He later apologised for the incident.


Memphis Depay (2019)

Lyon drew 2-2 with RB Leipzig to book their place in the Champions League last 16, but this didn’t stop Lyon fans unfurling a banner at full time, branding defender Marcelo a donkey (complete with a donkey illustration) and telling him to “get lost”.

Memphis ?Depay sprinted the length of the pitch to attempt to snatch the banner away from the fan, and his teammates soon joined to back him up.


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Austria Classic XI: David Alaba and Josef Bican Headline Austrian Dream Team

Austria’s recent pedigree in international tournaments is…not great, to say the least. 

Das Team’s participation in this summer’s European Championship will mark just the third time that they have qualified for the competition. They have also taken part in seven World Cups – most recently in 1998 when they crashed out at the first hurdle.

Despite their limited success, Austria have fielded some memorable players since the national team’s inception in 1904, enjoying a golden age in the 1930s under the coaching of the nomadic ?Hugo Meisl. 

Who knows? Come the end of Euro 2020 maybe a few of the country’s current crop will have forced their way into this XI…


Goalkeepers & Defenders

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Friedrich Koncilia (GK) – Austria’s number one during the 1978 and 1982 World Cups, Koncilia also enjoyed a storied club career – winning eight Austrian Bundesliga titles. His 84 appearances qualify him as the sixth most capped Austrian player of all time.

Robert Sara – Skipper during the 1978 World Cup, Sara provided the assist for Hans Krankl to complete the Miracle of Córdoba – Austria’s first win over bitter rivals Germany for 47 years. The right-back’s 581 appearances is also the highest in Austrian league history.

Ernst Happel – Happel enjoyed a fantastic career – both as a player and a coach. The national stadium is even named after him, such was his impact on Austrian football. Happel played in the 1954 and 1958 World Cups before having a nomadic managerial career. Highlights included European Cup wins with Feyenoord and Hamburg and scooping a runners up medal with the Netherlands at the 1978 World Cup. 

Bruno Pezzey – Towering centre-back Pezzey used his height to full advantage in Austria’s game against Northern Ireland at the 1982 World Cup, rising high to nod home his side’s equaliser. Pezzey also took part in the competition four years earlier and by the time he retired he has amassed an impressive 84 caps for Das Team.

David Alaba – A national icon, Austria’s footballing resurgence in recent times has been spearheading by the incredible Alaba. He’s won about a million Bundesliga titles with ?Bayern Munich and also scooped a ?Champions League winners medal with Die Roten in 2013. He will be key to his team’s chances this summer.


Midfielders 


Karl Zischek – Part of the Wunderteam of the 1930s, Zischek played a key role in Meisl’s side as a prolific outside-right. Playing his entire club career at Admira, Zischek racked up 40 caps for Austria and scored 24 goals. 

Herbert Prohaska – A strong candidate for being the best Austrian midfielder of all time, Prohaska played at the 1978 and 1982 World Cups, retiring just before the 1990 tournament. He also had a spell as Austrian manager, leading them through qualification to France 1998 – where they failed to win any of their three group games. 

Karl Koller – Racking up over 800 appearances for First Vienna over a glittering career, Koller also helped his country secure a third place finish at the 1954 World Cup. His signature skill was his long ranged thunderbolts. Some say he had a foot built like a traction engine. 

Matthias Sindelar – Partly responsible for revolutionising the forward position in the 1930s, Sindelar represented a more cultured and nuanced attitude to the position than the more physical approach that was prevalent at the time. His creativity and flair made the Wunderteam tick. 


Forwards 


Josef Bican – Bican’s scoring record looks like an error, a misprint, a mistake. Surely no one could have actually bagged 1468 in 918 games. Alright that particular figure is disputed but officially he scored at least 756. His story is complex and fascinating. You can read about it in detail ?here.

Toni Polster – What better way to close out the team than with Austria’s all-time top goal scorer. During his international career Polster averaged just under a goal every other game for Das Team, scooping the nation’s Footballer of the Year award on two occasions in the 80s and 90s. 


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Jose Mourinho Criticises Troy Parrott Following Forgettable FA Cup Cameo

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho has claimed teenage forward Troy Parrott has a great deal of work ahead of him to prove he has the quality to compete for a regular place in Spurs’ first-team squad.

Parrott came off the bench in extra-time of Wednesday night’s penalty shootout defeat against Norwich in the FA Cup fifth round. Though the 18-year-old’s introduction resulted in loud cheers around the ground, his impact on proceedings was limited.

He stepped up to take Tottenham’s fourth penalty in the shootout, but his effort was saved by Tim Krul, who ultimately won his side the tie after then saving Gedson Fernandes’ spot-kick.


Mourinho was quick to defend his young forward over his penalty miss. Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: “The penalty is nothing. He is a penalty taker in the Under-23s, he scores every one. He was so confident, he wanted to take one, he wanted to take the responsibility, it’s an experience in his career.”

Despite initially defending Parrott, he highlighted the lack of impact the striker made during his time on the pitch, and went on to suggest this was proof that the ?18-year-old is not yet ready to play a bigger role in the team.

“The problem is not his experience. The problem is the 30 minutes. Now people can see that he has to work a lot, so don’t think that Parrott is the second ?Harry Kane because he’s just a young kid that needs to work.”

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Mourinho has repeatedly demonstrated his reluctance to involve Parrott in the first team, despite his shortage of options up front given the long-term injuries of Kane and Son Heung-min.

The ?Spurs boss claimed his involvement last night came only because Spurs’ squad is stretched ahead of their ?Premier League game against Burnley at the weekend, and the second leg of their ?Champions League round of 16 tie against RB Leipzig.

“I have to think about what’s next and I have to speak to my club because I think some of these boys to have a chance to fight Tuesday for a Champions League position they just can’t play on Saturday,” Mourinho added.


“Particularly in forward positions, behind we’ve got options but not going forward.

“I have to say Steven Bergwijn, it’s too much for him to play so many minutes like he is doing. I prefer to call Lucas [Moura] a hero, he is playing every minute of every game in every position to help the team but he told me he had to go out or he’s going to get injured.”

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Sheffield United Eyeing Prolific Crystal Palace Loanee Alexander Sørloth

?After weeks of speculation linking Crystal Palace striker Alexander Sørloth with an unlikely move to Real Madrid, a more realistic destination has emerged. 

According to a report, Sheffield United have expressed an interest in signing the Norwegian forward, who is currently on loan at Trabzonspor in Turkey.

The 24-year-old, who has impressed since joining the Süper Lig club last summer, has attracted interest from a host of European sides. The striker has made 36 appearances this campaign, scoring an impressive 25 times already.

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As reported by ?Turkiye, the Blades are just one of the clubs who have been monitoring the progress of the young forward ahead of the summer transfer window.

Given the distinct possibility of United playing European football next campaign, Chris Wilder will undoubtedly be keen to bolster his squad. 

Despite having such an excellent season so far, there is certainly room for improvement in the final third – they have scored just 29 times in the league with 27 fixtures gone. 

Chris Wilder

However, Trabzonspor have the option to turn their loan deal for Sørloth into a permanent one for as little as €6m come the summer.

Yet, there have been suggestions they would be tempted into selling the Norway international straight away if they were able to make a healthy profit. And, ?as reported by 90min throughout the month, there are a host of clubs rumoured to be interested in securing the striker’s services. 

As well as Sørloth, ?Sheffield United have been linked with his Trabzonspor teammate Ugurcan Çakir. It was reported that the ?Premier League side made a €13m offer for the young goalkeeper last summer. 


Given current goalkeeper Dean Henderson’s impressive form throughout the season, it looks likely that he will return to parent club ?Manchester United at the end of the current campaign, leaving the Sheffield club without a recognised first-choice keeper. 

Chris Wilder’s side return to Premier League action on Saturday afternoon as they welcome bottom side ?Norwich City to Brammall Lane. 

Should results go their way, Wilder’s side could end the weekend as high as fifth position. 

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