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As the most decorated club in Italian soccer, Juventus are set to light up the 2019 International Champions Cup.
A bonafide juggernaut of the European game, the Bianconeri are Serie A’s undisputed kings and will have their eyes firmly on adding the International Champions Cup to their vast collection of major honours.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the Italian champions.
Juventus are enjoying an unprecedented level of dominance in the Italian game. Under coach Massimiliano Allegri, the Turin-based club have won four consecutive Serie A and Coppa Italia doubles. Before their second, in 2016, no Italian team had ever managed back-to-back league and cup doubles.
Allegri has made Juve’s place at the head of the Italian game as secure as ever, breaking the 90-point barrier in all but one of his four campaigns at the helm.
Now, boasting one of the strongest squads in world soccer, headlined by five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, Juve will be among the favourites to clinch their second International Champions Cup title, having won the Australian edition of the tournament in 2016.
As mentioned previously, Juventus are head and shoulders above their rivals when it comes to major honours. They have won 34 Scudetti, including the last seven, 13 Coppas Italia and eight Supercoppas Italiana.
The Old Lady have also won two European Cups, in 1985 and 1996, as well as three UEFA Cups and two Intercontinental Cups.
Formed in 1897, Juve won the first of their Italian Football Championships in 1905 and picked up another in 1926 before a period of sustained dominance in the 1930s, winning five in a row between 1931 and 1935.
The 1970s also brought further glory with another five league titles before adding four in the 1980s. Giovanni Trapattoni’s ten-year spell as coach between 1976 and 1986 was hugely successful. Under the legendary Italian, Juve won six Scudetti, two Coppas Italia, two UEFA Cups and the club’s first European Cup, beating Liverpool in 1985.
But they have somehow managed to surpass ‘Il Trap’s’ achievements in the modern era, securing a vice-like grip on the Italian title with seven straight triumphs, the first three coming under the management of former club captain Antonio Conte.
Some of the game’s greatest players have graced the famous black and white stripes of Juventus, too. Alessandro Del Piero holds the record for most appearances with 705 and is also the club’s all-time top scorer with an astonishing 290 goals.
Other notable players include Michel Platini, Gianluigi Buffon, Zinedine Zidane, David Trezeguet and Pavel Nedvěd.
The Allianz Stadium has been the home of Juventus since it was opened in September 2011, replacing the Stadio delle Alpi.
The new ground has proved immensely popular among fans, with the main reason being that supporters are closer to the pitch, in stark contrast to Alpi, which had an athletics track separating them from the field.
That change has been crucial. The Allianz Stadium has one of the best atmospheres in European soccer, with the noise generated by Bianconeri supporters making it seem as though it boasts more than its 41,507 capacity.
Coach – Massimiliano Allegri
After four years at AC Milan, Allegri was appointed Juventus coach in July 2014, replacing Conte.
While stepping into his predecessor’s shoes was no mean feat, Allegri has managed to enhance Juventus in almost every major department, turning them into a relentless winning machine, and boasts the highest points-per-game ratio (2.30) in the club’s history.
Overseeing four successive league and cup doubles, Allegri has emerged as one of soccer’s most astute and versatile tacticians, successfully implementing a variety of different systems to keep Juve ahead of the curve.
His win percentage of 72 per cent across over 250 games is nothing short of remarkable. No surprise, then, that Allegri has won three Serie A Coach of the Year awards during his time at Juve.
Cristiano Ronaldo – One of the greatest players to ever grace the beautiful game, Ronaldo has been a major hit with Juve since joining from Real Madrid in 2018.
The Portuguese forward is the all-time leading scorer in the UEFA Champions League, a competition he’s won five times – on four occasions at Real Madrid and once with Manchester United.
Recognised as one of the greatest to play the game, Ronaldo became Juventus’ record signing when he joined from Real Madrid last summer. The goal? Win the club’s first European trophy since 1996.
Paulo Dybala – The Argentine playmaker has been one of Juve’s biggest stars since arriving from Palermo in 2015.
La Joya is a delightful player to watch; a skilful, creative attacking midfielder with a penchant for spectacular goals.
A three-time member of the year Serie A Team of the Year, don’t be surprised if Dybala fires Juve to International Champions Cup glory this summer.
Miralem Pjanić – Behind Juventus’ stellar forward line are the players who feed them the bullets. Bosnian midfielder Pjanić is one of those and without the former AS Roma and Olympique Lyonnais midfielder the Old Lady would not tick.
Born in Tuzla in the former Yugoslavia, the 28-year-old began his senior career with French side Metz, catching the eye to earn a switch to Olympique Lyonnais in 2008.
After three years with OL, Pjanić secured a move to AS Roma where he spent five years to become one of Europe’s most sought-after midfielders with his playmaking and set-piece ability among his biggest strengths.
Ones to watch
Moise Kean – The 19-year-old Italian forward is considered Juve’s most promising prospect. Kean, who has been with the club since he was 14, made his professional debut at 16 in November 2016.
He was the first player born in the 2000s to feature in a Serie A game and UEFA Champions League match. He scored his first Juventus goal in May 2017 and spent the 2017/18 campaign on loan at Hellas Verona.
Nicolò Fagioli – Fagioli made his debut at the 2018 International Champions Cup and is looking to make another big impression at this year’s tournament.
A diminutive midfielder with excellent technique and an eye for goal, the 18-year-old is definitely one to watch out for in the months ahead.