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Thursday May 25 2017
The Best Juventus Side Ever?

Some are calling this the best Juventus side in history, but Giancarlo Rinaldi gives them at best a bronze medal.

We live in times which are long on opinion and short on memory. In the breakneck rush for absolutes, detailed analysis is thrown out the window like a spent cigarette. Everything current has to be the best - at least until tomorrow when we fire out another disposable deliberation. Balance, consideration and perspective are as hard to find as truffles hidden on a Tuscan hillside.

It's tempting to think that six-in-a-row Scudetti for this Juventus side must automatically make it the best Bianconero team there has ever been. Nobody has ever achieved the feat, making it a strong fact in their favour. But there are other elements to the jigsaw that we have to piece together before we come to a serious conclusion. The Twitter generation may not have time for that.

First of all, we need to ask who their serious rivals are for such a prestigious accolade. Even in the trophy-heavy history of this club, there are few who could stand comparison with the lofty achievements reached under Antonio Conte first and now Massimiliano Allegri. In fact, there might be only three - the five-in-a-row side of the 1930s, Giovanni Trapattoni’s team of the late 1970s and early 1980s and Marcello Lippi’s gang from the 1990s and early 2000s. An honourable mention, too, for the Omar Sivori and John Charles inspired squad of the 1950s.

The pre-war outfit represents, probably, a stretch too far and even I am not old enough to have seen them play. Those were pioneering days of Calcio when honours and players are hard to stack up against their modern counterparts. A bit like Real Madrid’s early dominance of the European Cup, the feat is still remarkable, but I would not feel comfortable or qualified to call them the best ever.

Which gives us a straight three-way fight between Trap, Lippi and the current crop. And what a tussle that is. Even simply in silverware terms, they are a trio of incredible teams. Each side - if we take the bold Marcello’s two spells - delivered about a dozen major trophies to the already fit-to-burst cabinet back in Turin. It is only fair to point out, however, that there was no Italian Super Cup back in the 1970s and that particular Juve side would surely have won a few of those.

In terms of win percentages, there is a clear edge to Conte and Allegri’s men - their ratio of victories is the highest by some margin. It is a mark in their credit box but also, surely, a comment on the quality of the opposition. Italian football, in general, has been in much ruder health in times gone by than it is at present. That is not meant as criticism of this team, they can only beat what is in front of them, but it has to be taken into account when weighing up their achievements.

Player for player, it feels like comparing three of the finest dishes ever served and is largely a matter of taste. Trap produced one of the greatest defences the global game has ever seen, starting at a time when no foreign imports were allowed in Italy before adding superstars like Zibi Boniek and Michel Platini.

Lippi’s team might have been one of the most hard-working, never-say-die outfits to have graced the turf with the sprinkle of skills provided by Alex Del Piero and Zinedine Zidane. Today’s side boasts similar grinta and robust defensive qualities allied with Paulo Dybala’s delightful dancing feet. How blessed La Vecchia Signora’s fans have been.

All this to say that you could put the three teams on the podium in any order, depending on your personal preferences. But the European dimension still leaves me thinking that, for the time being, Allegri’s men are only in bronze medal position.

Lippi’s team were Champions League Final regulars, winning one and taking a European Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup. Across his decade, Trapattoni won all three continental crowns, plus a Super Cup and Intercontinental trophy.

You might well disagree and prefer them already but, in my view, only with a win over Real Madrid next month could you convincingly argue that Juventini have never had it so good.

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Have your say...
I think it's not an argument worth making, but let's assume we had to.
Winning trophies counts for more than having competition, the latter is always going to be an excuse and nothing more. What this side needs is just to lift big ears and they'd be the best ever. They've shown their superiority in all competitions they were in, no other team managed to do that (even Pep's Barca side of 2009)

All our competitors need is prove their worth outside Serie A, otherwise they get ignored and ridiculed
on the 29th May, 2017 at 11:26am
No competition, juve are having to get higher points tallies than previous years to win the league, Napoli, Roma push them every year, all leagues work this way, Scotland, Spain, France, Germany, only a few teams can win it, and look at England over last 20 years, many, Chelsea and arsenal share most wins really. It takes a great side to concentrate and beat those difficult average sides that play out of their skin against the big boys
on the 28th May, 2017 at 11:01am
Started watching Juventus in 1991, so can't really speak of the Juve team of the 80's and earlier.

For me, the team of the 90's were the most dominant, the team of the 2000's were very solid but many times rather dull and the current team plays good football but is not as dominant as that of the 90's.

I like the cunningness of the current side, aways ready to afflict damage on even the best of teams. Also, never before has Juventus had a team with such technical quality in so many positions.
on the 27th May, 2017 at 11:58am
Because Milanese giants are crest fallen in this period of Italian football, do we have to believe there is no competition to Juve!? Last few years the 'No Competition' excuse is in circulation to deny the accolades Juventus deserve. This rhetoric is not only denying Juventus what they deserve, it inflicts as much harm & insults to both Napoli & Roma as well. It is a hard fact that they have replaced Milanese giants in the Italian football tall order.
on the 26th May, 2017 at 5:23pm
@dejan10 though I agree with you that the current team is not the greatest of all time, you sure sound a little salty there
on the 26th May, 2017 at 4:23pm
The current Juventus team obviously isn't the best of all time because there's no serious competition in the league anymore but I can't stand any of them - Allegri, Lippi, Conte, Trap... How Pirlo left Milan to join that garbage is beyond me.
on the 26th May, 2017 at 10:03am
the side that reached 3 ECL finals in a row, '96 '97 & '98 and won 1..
on the 26th May, 2017 at 10:00am
@Io Non Rubo Il Campionato: which league have you been following? You are sitting pretty at mid table lol what kind of a joke are you? LOL Fans like you deserve nothing but scudetto di cartone... cry your eyes out...
on the 26th May, 2017 at 9:44am
Luciano I have spoken to family and friends and they all agree with you about Baggio and I do remember him somewhat but this was in the twilight of his career really.... I missed out on the prime Baggio or no doubt I'd have put him in (from watching clips and hearing the Italian fans speak so highly of him)

That punishment just gave me shivers
on the 26th May, 2017 at 9:15am
2004/2005 Capello's team was the strongest in my oppinion:

Buffon - Zebina, Cannavaro, Thuram, Zambrotta - Camoranesi, Emerson, Viera, Nedved - del Piero, Trezeguet

Bench: Abiatti - Chiellini; Pessotto, Criscito, Balzaretti, Kova─Ź - Giannichedda, Blasi - Mutu, Ibrahimovich
on the 26th May, 2017 at 2:01am
Strange how some think the mid-00's team was the best.

They were dreadful in Europe(mainly down to Capello's mindless long-ball game)and had the walking disaster Zebina and a fading Emeron/Vieria midfield duo.

This current team may not have as many star names, but it has less glaring weaknesses too.

The teams during Serie A's heyday were probably the best, but you also have to admit that there are far more top rivals to compete against in the CL nowadays than back then.
on the 26th May, 2017 at 1:46am
If Juve wins the big game on June 3, then yes, the best Juve side ever when you look at the numbers.
on the 25th May, 2017 at 10:27pm
the best attack was the year of Inter's paper scudetto with Trezeguet-Del Piero - Ibra and Mutu as a backup fer sure! that team will go down as one of the best Juve teams of all-time
on the 25th May, 2017 at 9:36pm
Trap era Juve was the best. My all time XI:
Buffon; Cabrini, Scirea, Gentile, Thuram; Tardelli, Zidane, Nedved, Platini; Baggio, John Charles
on the 25th May, 2017 at 9:31pm
I think Lippi's was the best - a team in which Conte played of course.
Lombardo, Montero, Ferrara - not much glamour but plenty of grinta.
The team of the early 2000s was the very best though. Nedved was a great player as was Del Piero.
on the 25th May, 2017 at 8:14pm
I like the side of 85 - Scirea was a god, Tardelli was a titan and Platini and Boniek were masterful forwards; a front line to be truly feared. However, my favourite side was the side of the nineties with Baggio at the helm. They may not have won many leagues but with Roby in the side, they could do no wrong in my eyes! NonnoTotti - How could you fail to include Baggio? And put DelPiero in his place? Sacrilege! Go to a dark room and watch all of Liverpool's fluky European Cup wins as punishment.
on the 25th May, 2017 at 5:28pm
This is definitely not the strongest Juventus side, but rather the most successful one. They are about to become the only Juventus side to win the Treble and also winning this year's CL is a much more difficult feat to achieve than the one in 1985 or 1996.

Back then, Juventus was the top team along with the Cup holder (Liverpool or Ajax). Nowadays, the Big 3 are two steps ahead of everyone. They have gathered the best players and have a revenue of half a billion.
on the 25th May, 2017 at 4:11pm
I have to agree bronze at best. Taking nothing away from them because they're a great team, but they look this good because teams in serie a aren't what they used to be. Milan inter Lazio roma 10 years ago these were power houses of italy ad Europe and now they're not a shadow of what they used to be. In any case the team that had del piero Zidane nedved canavarro etc. Is better. But the best teams I've ever seen in both Europe and league is that of milans! Shame where they are now
on the 25th May, 2017 at 3:11pm
Interesting question, in my lifetime I'd go the Nedved era side.

Best Juve 11 of players I have seen... Buffon, Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Chiellini, Thuram, Pirlo, Davids, Zidane, Nedved, Del Piero and Trezegol

Beat that if you can
on the 25th May, 2017 at 2:16pm
Personally i think the Juve with Buffon, Thuram, Cannavaro, Nedved and Del Piero was the best (in my lifetime at least). We where stronger after Zidane left. Still i do feel the current squad get nowhere near the praise they should receive. If Madrid beat Barca 3-0 we would still be hearing about it today. When Juve do it it was a thin article on the corner of the paper the next day. Notice how nobody even mentions the fact that madrid had HUGE referee help against Bayern either!
on the 25th May, 2017 at 2:00pm
is it really running down to say that this side in terms of players isn't as good as juve teams in the past. In fact is well worth remembering these teams and players for what they have given to football. It is also important not to get complacent for those who think bbc is great try remembering how good the likes of ferrara and cannavaro were if you old enough. It is good remember the likes of vialli ravenelli and del piero considering the lack of real top quality Italian forwards today.
on the 25th May, 2017 at 1:59pm
Mid 2000 were a top team, this side has achieved wonders as a juve fan I feel the success we have had is down to being a well run club & desire to win. Nap came up with us and have done great in the way they play etc its good to see Italian teams working harder to achieve better results due to Juve pushing standards up. Juve raise awareness for the league in euro and world. forza juve! Forza italia!
on the 25th May, 2017 at 1:38pm
Hahaha.. this is getting hilarious!!All this boasting about this rubentus is making me feel sick how dark the times we live in right now!!Every single match which that band of robbers had trouble winning or even drawing in Serie A this season, they were getting all the help they shouldn't have had, against roma, milan, inter, torino, napoli...and in the end they still robbed the league only 4 points ahead of roma!!keep boasting about the best robbing side ever..
on the 25th May, 2017 at 1:32pm
Is anybody else bored of this constant trying to run Juve down take away form what they have done, the excuse for why other teams don't win is that simply juve get 'help', the inability of inter fans recognising that they were simply able to escape the same fate as Juve due to timing, it has been said, seriously it is boring, juve were punished and came back stronger, that's a great team. But it is getting boring with the posts, I am interested in what people think about the article
on the 25th May, 2017 at 12:47pm
These are incredibly fine margins. European Cups are important, but surely consistency and dominance over a period of time counts for more?

Let's say the game in Cardiff is decided on penalties. Whether Juve win or lose, you'll be deciding the greatest Juve team based on whether a ball goes into the top corner or strikes the post (both in 1996 and 2017)? Best Juve team ever decided by inches, literally.
on the 25th May, 2017 at 10:38am
If we win on the 3rd it will be the best juve side ever imo. you have the best defense as proven on the European stage not just against serie A, you have 6 scudetti in a row when yes the serie a competition is not great but just last year roma got the most points they've ever gotten and still lost . you have us winning 3 coppe in a row too, and then we would have won a UCL and gotten to 2 finals in 3 years in an era of ultra a super teams barca, Bayern and real.
on the 25th May, 2017 at 10:34am
@Hypocrisy: I see that you've found your voice back with the help of a potential 7th place finish in sight lol
on the 25th May, 2017 at 10:14am
No. the referees in the 1985 and 1996 eras were much better. Come on - the 1985 CL penalty was way outside the box.
on the 25th May, 2017 at 9:02am
nah the best juve side i have seen was in the early/mid 2000s when juve had a line up of buffon zambrotta thuram cannavaro zebina emerson than one of conte montero or viera nedved camorensi treq and del piero. the team was so good in 06 the bench options were ibrahimovic and mutu. In terms of trophies this team is superior but for me this is the team which i really rated of course back than serie a was the best league in the world that can no longer be said.
on the 25th May, 2017 at 8:29am

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