BLOG ITALIA
Tuesday July 11 2017
Juve's missing Euro link

Just what do Juventus need to lift the Champions League trophy? Adam Digby looks back on recent failures and seeks solutions.

Asked what winning six Scudetti and three Coppe Italia in his first seven years at the helm meant to Juventus, Andrea Agnelli quickly looked to shift the vantage point. “The true significance of what has been accomplished will be understood in many years time,” the club President told Tuttosport. “For me it is the foundation, a base on which to build for the next seven years.”

It was a response that said much about the Bianconeri and their entire focus; dedicated to winning now, but also on sustaining that success in the future. Mr Agnelli has clearly charged Beppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici with that mission, the two men building an impressive squad whilst simultaneously acquiring a plethora of talented youngsters who will hopefully be able to ensure that the team remains a dominant force as time marches on.

Yet for all those domestic victories, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Old Lady craves Champions League glory. And rightly so. Lifting that trophy would mark a major achievement given where Juve were a decade ago (in Serie B for those with short memories), but it would also raise their profile exponentially, catapulting the Turin giants into the truly elite group of clubs which in recent years has shrunk to just three sides.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are the benchmark, with the Bianconeri arguably currently stuck in a tier below that by themselves. They are better equipped to compete with that group than the likes of Borussia Dortmund or Atletico Madrid, but have seen their involvement in the Champions League ended by one of that trio in each of the last three seasons.

Back in 2015, Juve beat Real Madrid in the semi only to lose to Barcelona in the Final, while this past season Max Allegri’s men delivered a phenomenal performance to eliminate the Catalan side before capitulating in Cardiff at the hands of Cristiano Ronaldo and co. Sandwiched in between was the 2016 quarter-final loss to Bayern Munich, meaning the question of what the team needs to truly succeed in Europe remains unanswered.

The first requirement is undoubtedly stability, something which it seems they may finally have this summer. While it has been frustrating to watch each of those defeats, they have also been compounded by high profile departures as Carlos Tevez, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal left in 2015, followed by Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata 12 months ago. However, barring a ridiculous offer from Chelsea for Alex Sandro, it seems the current team will remain largely intact ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.

On top of that, Marotta appears determined to add the kind of attacking threat needed to unlock the best defences, reports over the past few days indicating that he is working to sign both Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi. Those acquisitions would be a real signal of intent, and the limitless combinations Allegri could muster with that pair as well as Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Marko Pjaca and Mario Mandzukic would undoubtedly help push Juve closer to their lofty target.

The next item on the Old Lady’s to-do-list would surely be to add steel to the midfield. Claudio Marchisio and Miralem Pjanic are highly intelligent players who can work together, but they perhaps lack the muscle needed to knock those elite teams off their stride. Blaise Matuidi is a name continually linked with a move to Turin and he could certainly help, particularly as Sami Khedira looked out of sorts playing in the two-man midfield last term.

Lastly, once all those pieces are in place, it is a question of belief. Ronaldo’s second goal in Cardiff seemed to suck all hope out of the team, and Allegri needs to ensure that does not happen when they reach that stage again. Marotta and Paratici are working to ensure every other tool will be at the disposal of the Tuscan Coach, but without the right mindset, victory will continue to elude a team that now needs to cement their legacy as history makers.

So close to glory, this is a side that cannot continue to fall short. The Old Lady needs an injection of attacking options, a powerful midfielder and the kind of mental toughness she exudes when taking on a domestic opponent. Then and only then can Juventus hope to deliver the Champions League trophy to a hungry fanbase.

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
@ putuco: Actually The problem is 0-100m because if Milan flop in Europa league and don't qualify for CL how will they meet FFP requirements? just remember, Milan has nobody that can score 20 goals and yes Juve won a scoudetto with Matri as leading scorer at 11 goals but we had Vidal-Pirlo-Pogba in the mid which will blow your midfield out of the water so if Milan is on a spending spree pony up the cash for a Bonifide # 10 and prove what this team is made of.
on the 17th July, 2017 at 2:49pm
@forzajuve

Now he will have Romagnoli, he is arguably of the best cb's in Italy, and Musacchio, who is very good but need to adapt to Serie A, and who is better than Bonucci for that?

Problem is not Milan buying at 0 or 100m, it is how Juventus will compensate his absence. Rugani? Caldara? Please give me a break, they are not even close to Leonardo
on the 14th July, 2017 at 9:25pm
It's funny because Milan fans laughed when Juve bought bonucci for 15 mill but AC Milan fans bought him at 30 yrs old for 40 million and offered him 8 mill a season ! Don't worry guys Marotta won't buy Bertolacci for 20 mill, or Bacca for 30 mill, or Gabigol for 30 mill, or Kondogbia for 40 mill......just wait until AC Milan fans realize that Bonucci no longer has Chiellini and Barzagli to cover him and make him look good :P
on the 14th July, 2017 at 8:41pm
Wow, no one saw this coming. For 2 days I thought it's a prank that Bonucci is leaving.

How can Juve compete in Europe now? How will this affect national team with the best CB partnership of Chiellini - Bonucci in 4 man defense, or BBC in 3 both being broken
on the 14th July, 2017 at 3:20pm
More like Juve missing Centre Back link

Bonucci is a rossonero

#ItsTimeToBeProud
on the 14th July, 2017 at 1:58pm
@Foolish Marotta, integrating youth from the club level is the way to go. Juve is waisting its time and money with established, experienced players like Alves for example. As good as "some" of them can be they all become gold diggers during their careers, running off to the next team who will give them more $. At least with youth, you can find some loyalty 3-5 year maybe until they start hearing the music from the greedy pigs like Raiola
on the 12th July, 2017 at 7:50pm
I have nothing against youngsters and I'm an optimistic person who believe every youngsters have potential. Messi n CR7 started out being youngsters, but at a very young age they were already pulling out statistics like no others. These truly exceptional players come only few in a generation and I just don't see them in the youngsters Juve are currently linked to. The bottom line is what is the objective we are aiming for next season? Is it not the champions league or are we going back 2013?
on the 12th July, 2017 at 9:54am
@Anon Unless the player have a deep attachment to the club, anybody is for sale as long as the price is right. All those players you mentioned had once said they wanted to leave. The question should be if Juve afford the cash, and I'm not telling Juve to spend outrageous money to acquire Messi or CR7. What about Rodriguez or Matuidi, established players, in their prime, n an upgrade to our midfield already. But no, people want overhyped youngsters and think they can bring us champions league.
on the 12th July, 2017 at 9:47am
UST leave a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth, hollow victories, particularly now that evidence emerged that they were guilty too, and doing a treble when you didn't have to focus on a weakened league, meaning you could work solely on champions league prep, and that your own country rivals in that competition were not the actual champions, must deep down eat away and Gcultivate the bitterness so often seen in here, you have my sympathy
on the 12th July, 2017 at 6:30am
You go on about juventus buying refs etc, where was that when they finished seventh 2 years running?? Please those who comment her, explain that, what did juventus just take 2 years off from that?? Or is it just that now juve returned to being a force excuses are needed. It must be hard that after inter fabricated phone calls to weaken their rivals and protect themselves to see them languishing in no man's land, to their credit, they made the most of that time, but winning leagues when your main
on the 12th July, 2017 at 6:26am
Operation, every year losing several key players, and trying to replace them, limited by financial fair play. Barca, Madrid, Bayern they have been constant, but the fact juve have esclipsed premiership teams with their endless pools of money deserves praise. They need time like psg and Monaco to build, to get back what to where they were pre calciopoli. They also need a league that can attract big names to stay and not players at the end of their time or looking to make there name to move on
on the 12th July, 2017 at 6:22am
The champions league is very difficult to win when teams like Madrid and Barcelona have bench warmers that could make a team better than most playing in italy. Italy can't even get through the qaulifier of late, in recent years juve have picked up a fortune as Italian teams go out so early, so until inter, Roma Napoli are reaching the semi finals etc regularly most on here should be quiet.6 years juve have been building after being destroyed by calciopoli, it was a restart, it has been a balance
on the 12th July, 2017 at 6:17am
@foolish marota. So what do you want juve to do buy cr7 or messi? How about neymar or lewandowski? Lets throw in suarez now lets also understand that these players are not for sale. @ dami. Nobody cares
on the 12th July, 2017 at 12:05am
"Watching Real Madrid obliterate Rubventus in the final in front of the world was hysterical."


Ciro - You're an after the fact simpleton. Where were you when we beat Porto, Barca and Monaco? Giving up one goal in the process...hiding thats where.
on the 11th July, 2017 at 10:30pm
THE REASON JUVE LOST THE FINAL: ALLEGRI!!!

Enough said!
on the 11th July, 2017 at 10:28pm
Foolish Marotta - Yes, I think Schick is a player who can take us to another level, along with our other signings. So what if the Czechs lost in the -21, he scored a cracker of a goal, and was good throughout the tournament. He offers more as a striker overall then Higuain. He had 11 goals last year in what would equate to 13 starts(If you add his subs, and total playing time). He will come good, so take a Xanax, sit back and enjoy the show.
on the 11th July, 2017 at 10:26pm
Juve have always been rubbish in Europe despite being the dominant force in serie a what they really lack is a courageous coach and allegri or conte aren't the answer or any other Italian coach for that matter except for ancelotti the king of Europe, allegri panics when the going gets tougher like the games against B Munich when being 2 goals and only 15 mins to go he takes his best players and try's to defend and against Real Madrid tried to defend and wait for one lucky goal on the counter
on the 11th July, 2017 at 9:52pm
I am excited to see Douglas Costa in a Juve kit, but our weakness lies in the center of the midfield, where we never replaced Vidal or Pogba properly. Its that position, and who we sign that will be the determining factor of whether we can (finallY) win a CL or not. Matuidi would be a step in the right direction....
on the 11th July, 2017 at 9:06pm
They need referees, that's what. So far they haven't been able to replicate their Serie A "success" in Europe due to the fact they can't bribe European referees.
on the 11th July, 2017 at 9:00pm
@ Ciro vice, always one fool that arrives with tired old sentiments juve buying refs, blah blah, just keep your boring tripe to yourself, reaching a champions league final slaughtering Barca and Monaco who were smashing their league was decent, 6 titles, 3 coppas etc etc,cry me a River mate, then jump in it.
on the 11th July, 2017 at 8:00pm
Bern was a star in the euros and Schick is full of potential but nobody thinks he's the one to help us win anything now. And statistically costa has the most successful take ons in the Bundesliga with limited playing time. At the end of the day what we've lacked for ages is a plethora of attacking minded players that can really cause defences trouble and now we have it.
on the 11th July, 2017 at 7:38pm
@Beppe I don't care if Schick is phenomenal or whatever is the case with Bernardeschi, is none of Juve business. All that are opinions. I only look into one thing and that's statistic. My question is, are these players going to win Juve the UCL? And if so, how so?! Schick's Czech lost in GS and wasn't even the best performer. Bernardeschi's Italy lost and he couldn't make an impact in a tournament with kids 2-4 years younger than him. If we are to win the UCL we need better players, not these.
on the 11th July, 2017 at 5:41pm
The Champions League winning Juve of 2018/2019 season (the upcoming one will probably mimic the last one with Real winning the CL triple):

Donnarumma
(Szczesny-Audero)

Cancelo-Bonucci-Rugani-Sandro
(Lirola-DeSciglio-Benatia-Caldara-Spinazzola)

Pjanic-Verratti-Goretzka
(Bentancur-Mandragora-Marchisio-Asamoah)

Bernadeschi-Schick-Dybala
(Orsolini-Kean-Mandzukic-Pjaca)
on the 11th July, 2017 at 3:53pm
What's missing? Vidal-Pogba-Verratti-Draxler and a bit more high quality choice on the bench. Oooops two ex and two targets followed without full commitment......
on the 11th July, 2017 at 3:49pm
@CiroVive - so 2 CL finals in 3 years is the proof Juventus is winning Serie A only by buying the referees...
Your comment is the undisputed proof of your stupidity.
on the 11th July, 2017 at 3:38pm
Yes, this Juventus team sucks. I mean they have only won the league 6 times, 3 coppas, and gotten to the champions league final 2 out of 3 years.(They must be buying these refs too). Anti-Juve logic.

Now that is out of the way. The squad last year was built on a 3-5-2. The formation change happened after the Jan transfer window. Now additions of Costa, Bernardeshi, and Schick plus the return of Pjaca will give Max the flexibility to rotate which is needed to win the treble.
on the 11th July, 2017 at 3:38pm
If Juve get the players, Allegri needs to integrate them and find the right formation MUCH faster then what happened last season. Took too long. He seemed hesitant to unleash the firepower at his disposal. Serie A might not be the highest level but that shouldn't matter too much. For Juve, it should just be a training ground for the CL. But Allegri needs to pick up the pace much faster. You'll know its working if you see them dominate games with 3 or 4 goals. Not scraping by 1-0 in this league
on the 11th July, 2017 at 3:25pm
FACT: Milan will win the UCL before Juve #ItsTimeToBeProud
on the 11th July, 2017 at 2:53pm
Foolish Marotta - Did you really just type that?. Schick is a phenomenal purchase, and you don't think Bernardeschi wouldn't elevate Juve?. Every one screams to give the Italian's a chance, and when we do, people still criticize. No team in Italy, and only a few teams in Europe come close to this squad in any capacity.
on the 11th July, 2017 at 2:16pm
There is no recipy for winning Champions League. You need to have competitive team who can be mong top 4-8 every season and then sooner or later you win the CL.
on the 11th July, 2017 at 1:45pm

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.