Sunday June 4 2017
Juve so close, yet so far

Once again, Juventus came up short in a Champions League Final, as Adam Digby recognises the gap separating them from Real Madrid.

Real Madrid deserve every accolade after a consummate performance in the Champions League Final. In the second half, Zinedine Zidane's men were spectacular, playing with the assured, confident swagger of a team who knows what it takes to win European football's biggest prize.

The Spanish giants - and Cristiano Ronaldo in particular - thrive in these moments, but Juventus once again came up short when the spotlight shone brightest. For the opening 45 minutes it seemed as if this time would be different, the Bianconeri going toe-to-toe with their opponents and arguably getting the better of them. 

But after the break it was that old familiar tale for Juve, so near and yet so far from glory. The defeat was the club's fifth consecutive loss in the Final of this competition, and sadly it had more in common with their 1997 and 2015 showings. Just like in those years when Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona took home the trophy, the Old Lady found herself out-played and out-gunned, with too many players failing to deliver.

Appearing in UEFA's showpiece event for the first time, Alex Sandro, Paulo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic will perhaps learn valuable lessons from the experience, but some of their older team-mates should have done more to help them. Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain were invisible in the second half, while Giorgio Chiellini was guilty of inexplicably leaving Ronaldo unmarked on both his goals.

Perhaps only Mario Mandzukic - whose spectacular goal offered the Bianconeri genuine hope - can reflect on a good performance, but given his thirst for victory it is unlikely that he will take any solace from his individual effort.

No, this was a collective failure, and now is not the time for mealy-mouthed discussions about how it will help the team to grow in the future. Instead it is a moment for Juventus and her fans to recognise the gap that still exists between themselves and the continent's truly elite sides. 

It is a gulf that even the €120m outlay on Higuain and Pjanic could not bridge, and the club will head into the summer knowing it must provide Max Allegri with even more quality if they are to enjoy success on this grandest of stages. 

"We know that we must do more to lift this trophy," President Andrea Agnelli said shortly after the final whistle and he is absolutely right. It did not feel like it on Saturday night in Cardiff, but Juventus are close and they must now dust themselves down and prepare to once again take on the ultimate challenge.

It will take increased effort from every player, increased investment from the club, and even increased belief from the fans who support them every week. They have made history in domestic competitions and deserve to be lauded for those accomplishments, but if this is to be considered a team for the ages, nothing but victory in the Champions League will suffice. 

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Have your say...
The problem is the lack of quality defenders these days. This defense Juve have now is the same that Spain demolished 4-0 in the Euro final. Its the same that Brazil trashed scoring 4 twice in the same year. I bet you if Cannavaro was playing they would not have conceded 4.
on the 8th June, 2017 at 5:01pm
Very sad stat: Juves 10th final & sadly they've lost 8/10 of them. Half time sadly came at the wrong time for Juve - having started well, been caught by first Real Madrid attack - then quickly equalised. Sadly, they emerged for the second half lacking momentum - which Real seized & capitalised on. Cuadrado’s ill-advised challenge, coupled with Ramos’ typical shameful behaviour, compounded a very sad evening for La Vecchia Signora – with such promising & historic expectations.
on the 8th June, 2017 at 4:05pm
Yes Real n Modric happened in the 2nd half but Juve gave the initiative away. Real were a threat on the counter in the 1st half but after the first 15 mins it looked like Juve would end up winning 4-1. They did drop back in the 2nd half vs Barca as well albeit when 3-0 up.
After watching both clubs this year there is no way that Real are THAT much better than Juve like the 4-1 scoreline suggests but there is a psychological issue with Juve n CL finals n they obviously need alternatives in attack
on the 7th June, 2017 at 2:23am
@BEPPE ROSSI,KO,TOM,SANDRO LAURELLA,FORZA AZZURRI,MOMO, what you all have in common is intellectualism of the game and the team,everyone else on this feed is either interista or napoli and milan fans...basically nobody's tjat should be on this particular blog I should say. OH A SHOUT OUT TO paolo WITH HIS statistical ingenuity in stats[BTW YOUR A CLOWN PRINCE]and BOSS, dude really get a hobby.....
on the 7th June, 2017 at 1:13am
Juve need players from top 50 to win CL. Reus, Isco, Mbappe etc. Not Rincon, Lemina and Sturaro. Cuadrado is too much up and down.
on the 6th June, 2017 at 8:15pm
Juve's mentality for the biggest game need to be sharpen. They lack of composure to deliver in the big game. Make Juve as attacking minded team will also improve the chance. Let alone the defend since they know how to do already. Additional players like Verratti, or UCL winners like Di Maria or Douglas Costa will be mandatory. Juve need additional players who get used to play and win in UCL. Mario was a prove that he had correct mentality during the game.
on the 6th June, 2017 at 5:26am
Manipulated release clauses to knee-cap their domestic rivals and still can't manage to win the CL. Smiles all around.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 7:55pm
Making excuses for loosing a final yet again. I've come to realize something about Juve. It's in their DNA to never go all out and try to take games by the throat. At the end of the day they still believe defense will always win. Yet in this era of football its those teams such as RM, Bayern and Barca that are willing to go balls out and attack when needed that have brought home the cup. Waisting 90mil on Higuan shows you they are still mismanaged for European cup level competition.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 5:14pm
So many on here with an opinion, and yet where are their teams? At home watching JUVE on TV in the final. Win or lose, we made the final again, and an extra 110 million Euros. There wasn't much you could do to stop to deflected shots on goal that went in. The first half was some of the best football I have watched by two teams since the 2006 Semi final Italy/Germany. Second half, was an entirely different team mentally and physically. Real wanted it more, and their champions stepped up.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 4:59pm
I, for one, would love more articles from the Rube-licker on how great Rube's defenders are after this game.

Irony is real. And funny too it turns out.

As is Karma.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 4:48pm
I don't think anyone is jealous of a team that is clearly the biggest CL loser.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 4:28pm
LOL Some of the messages I read on here are absolutely hilarious. People acting as if Juve lost to some terrible team. This is a squad that has won 3 out of the last 4 CLs and has dominated everyone in their path and Juve had the better of them for half of the game, only conceding 2 perfectly deflected goals that they had no control over. Some of you are just so jealous that Juve is the only team capable of advancing anywhere in CL that you have to talk pure nonsense. It's embarrassing.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 1:42pm
Juve got spanked in yet another final. Real Madrid broke their souls like they did with Atletico. Juve will never be the same.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 12:18pm
Fun fact. Buffon won more european titles with Parma 96-01 than with Juve 01-17.

Dybala was 3 years old last time Juve won a european title.

Higuain have lost a final every year since 2014.

Juves motto used to be "Vincere non è importante, è l'unica cosa che conta", now its "Its time to be proud"

Buffon have won more Serie B titles than european titles with Juve.

Last time Juve won CL, the movie Mission Impossible 1 came out same year, 1996.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 10:23am
What rubbish. There is no gap. We beat them two years ago, we beat Barcelona this year. Only one team was more successful then Juventus were this year and that is Real Madrid. One team in the whole of Europe.

If there is a gap between us and Madrid, then by your logic there must be an even bigger gap between Juventus and Barcelona as well as Juventus and Munich, who were are clearly better than by miles by your stupid reductive logic.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 9:31am
Allegri - please take a leaf out of Lippi's 2006 WC semi final game plan against Germany when he took out almost his entire midfield and had 4 strikers on the pitch. Italy were going from defense to attack. Allegri lost his nerve (yet again) and that transferred to the players. He opted to contain RM rather than go toe to toe with them - like in the first half. Also. Higuain may be able to do the business against Pescara and Sassuolo - but he aint no big game player.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 9:16am
I genuinely thought - after all that talk about how much more experienced they are than 2015 and how much more they want it this time - than they will at least put up a fight. It looks like they just gave up after the 2nd goal. went it. It was sad to see them lose yet AGAIN. Fans no longer believe the club hierarchy when they say they are aiming to win it next year. They have lost TOO Many finals now.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 9:00am
Juve lacked grenta,defence was exposed as an aging defence.Allegri was poor.In all honesty,Juventus loss to Roma in serie A before their title winning game against Crotone got me worried.AS Roma plays similiar football to spanish teams and as Napoli who exposed juve but needed better players to finish their chances.Napoli & Roma games exposed Juve as these teams play like spanish teams but they were ignored as Juve only cared about results.Italian team need to play modern football!
on the 5th June, 2017 at 8:36am
Juve need another top striker for when Hugain doesn't show as on Sat.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 8:19am
This was Juve playing badly and not Real playing well.That's why they lost.Brilliant first half,didn't show up for the second.Two deflected goals helped Real and Juve gave up at 3-1.Such a shame.4-1 is a highly embarrasing scoreline.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 8:18am
Juventus were a beaten team after their semi final win over Monaco. The footage of their players celebrating in the locker room as if they'd already won the trophy showed them to be a small minded club, who lack the mentality to be the best in Europe. Any top coach / team manager would've absolutely stopped that video getting out and reaffirmed the belief that their job was to win the final, and not to celebrate just getting there.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 7:59am
@Anonymous11 YES! Pressing first half, sitting back the second. And always thought if Allegri left Morata on against Bayern, at lkeast for another 10 minutes, they would have won. Maybe Allegri is also the problem...
on the 5th June, 2017 at 7:13am
on the 5th June, 2017 at 5:29am
We smashed Barcelona in Torino and the 1st half was perfect. We fell apart in the 2nd and that is more psychological than a question of quality so if we talk about a gap, it is only on the mental level. We have seen time and again what this team can do at peak performance and they were nowhere near it in the 2nd half while RM turned on turbo beast mode.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 3:40am
I think a quality Italian core of players is a must in Europe because it's national pride at stake also. Foreign players in a foreign club don't give a toss about national pride.
Mandzukic was Juve's only foreign player who played with some sort of club pride against RM and I take my hat off to him!
Bring on Verratti, Bernadeschi, etc. Give Italan youth a chance once again!
on the 5th June, 2017 at 2:41am
Did anyone see how bonucci was trying to confront the reff when cuardrado was going to be carded? old habits doesnt die right..although this is europe rocchi or tagliaventus
on the 5th June, 2017 at 2:35am
Why is it that Italian teams really enjoy being dominated by Spanish teams is there something I'm missing here. With the exception of Milan, Italian teams love being doormats. I'm starting to think Juve get some perverse thrill out of being dominated by a team of 11 men in finals.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 12:59am
Juve suck. Completely flopped. Dybala and several others were scared. Juve have psychological problems. It's like inter until Mourinho came along. We need mourinho. Milan need to come back. They get the leave wrong but CL right. Juve are the reverse. Juves priority next season should be a team of psychologists.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 12:52am
The change of approach was because of the stupid clown named Allegri.

Once a clown, always a clown. He was outplayed in every single big match in the league, never learned a thing from Barca final.

Simply he's a stooge that inherited a big team.

Juve need a world class coach. Enough said.
on the 5th June, 2017 at 12:28am
Once again Juventus proved to the world that they don't belong to the Champions League. They are arrogant when they beat Crotone, Empoli or any other minnows, but when they play for a trophy that counts, they are nowhere to be found. Juventus should continue to concentrate on the domestic championship because it's the only thing they can win. Juventus fans, it doesn't matter if you win Coppa Italia or the Birra Moretti trophy because nobody care about those. They are domestic minor competitions. I hope Milan gets back soon in the Champions League because they are the only Italian team capable of winning the big trophy.
on the 4th June, 2017 at 8:36pm

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