Tuesday February 27 2018
The Old Lady expects

Max Allegri may be at pains to say otherwise, but Gaby McKay feels Juventus and their fans do expect the Champions League this year.

It was a cold Sunday afternoon in Turin, as Juventus visited Torino for the Derby della Mole.

Prior to kick-off, the visiting Bianconeri fans unveiled a huge banner, a figure clad in black and white stripes, tricolore affixed to his chest, and the legend “champions win, losers complain”. Amid the deafening whistles at the Stadio Grande Torino, the Granata fans unveiled their riposte, holding up inflatable models of the Champions League trophy.

“You may win in Italy,” was the message “but you can’t seem to get your hands on this one”. Aside from the ‘Ladri’ slurs and the Calciopoli jokes, it’s the final stick with which opposition fans can beat the Old Lady, whose glorious Italian pedigree has long been unmatched on the continental stage.

Domestically, this is inarguably one of the greatest Juve teams of all time - six consecutive Scudetti and three Coppe Italia on the spin are testament to that. But until they lift the cup with the big ears, there will always - rightly or wrongly - be one big caveat hanging over their achievements, and the fans know it.

It’s strange then, for those same fans to constantly hear Coach Massimiliano Allegri declaring that they cannot expect success in the competition.

“Juve play to win, but they are not the favourites,” the Tuscan said after the draw with Tottenham Hotspur. “You can’t reach the Final every year. The primary objective is the Scudetto: that is nothing to be sniffed at and is not easy. Then we’ll try to go forward in the Champions League.”

On the one hand, of course, the Coach is absolutely right. The Bianconeri may have by far the biggest revenue in Italy, but they’re a long way behind Europe’s other heavyweights. It’s also true that reaching two finals in three years is an extraordinary achievement, and one not easy to replicate.

This is Juventus though, the club where “winning isn’t important, it’s the only thing that matters” and in some respects winning the Champions League is the only thing that matters now.

All of this summer’s signings, from Blaise Matuidi to Douglas Costa, made it clear that they had arrived to help the Turin club to lift the Champions League. Gianluigi Buffon has admitted that his career might not have gone on for as long as it has had be not been motivated by the hunt for his white whale, while President Andrea Agnelli’s obsession with that particular trophy is legendary. Allegri’s attempts to play down its importance are understandable, but entirely futile.

This is not to dismiss the Old Lady’s domestic achievements, which will remain in the history books long after the current winning cycle has come to an end. Questions can be asked about the strength of the opposition before this season, but you can only beat what’s in front of you and Juve’s dominance has been unprecedented.

Those two Champions League finals, achieved by beating the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona and Real Madrid on the way prove that the Bianconeri aren’t simply flat track bullies either. Make no mistake though, elimination by Tottenham would be seen as a disaster, despite the myriad merits of the English side.

If this Juventus team never wins the Champions League, it won’t mean they’re not a great side, indeed historically so. It won’t make Max Allegri a failure as a Coach, and it won’t diminish Gianluigi Buffon’s achievements. But to suggest the Old Lady shouldn’t expect it, yearn for it, is folly.

Napoli have made it abundantly clear that their focus this season is recapturing the Scudetto they haven’t won since 1990. Juventus would do well to be as honest about their Champions League ambitions.

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Have your say...
Juve would benefit greatly financially and have a much larger fan base by winning the champions league. That is by far the big trophy. Only true champions win that cup. Winning the league is good but not as important as putting Italy back on the map and ending this dismal record of 7 defeats in CL finals. Inter have won 3 and Juve only two. One on penalties and one after that big incident with LFC. Juve winning it this time round would prove they are world beaters without luck or cheating.
on the 3rd March, 2018 at 4:11pm
Great, great, great season by Allegri and the players!

on the 2nd March, 2018 at 1:04pm
Strong with a drop of Milik - I have worked hard to achieve what I have. I can afford to attend those matches. Don't stress me for being able to enjoy life.
on the 28th February, 2018 at 7:37pm
If all that it's left to opposing fans is to try to write FAKE NEWS about our Juventus to get some faint and cheap satisfaction, so be it............

Juventus still is in contention for everything!
on the 28th February, 2018 at 4:05pm
AlexJuventino – I HAVE been to many a Juve game and want to go to more. Agnelli needs to spend more, he keeps telling us the money is in a pot, WHERE’S THE POT? If I was Allegri I’d be saying, “where’s my 5 million?”
on the 28th February, 2018 at 10:15am
AlexJuventino, you are right. Strong with a drop of milk clearly has no sense of the value of money, a bit like Moratti with his business acumen. I think the argument comes down to ticket touts, which as we all know are a bunch of peddlers, taking advantages of idiots abroad
on the 28th February, 2018 at 9:56am
Juventus Revenues 2016/17 €562m
Juventus Operating Cost 2016/17 €400m
Balance after season 2016/17 €162m

Suck on that losers...

Forza Juve

on the 28th February, 2018 at 3:24am
"Makes sense doesnt it? No it does not gina no it does not ! You are just an idiot ."

That made me laugh so hard for some reason. Like a bit of a script from a Tarantino movie.
Well said.
on the 28th February, 2018 at 12:33am
Tbh i dont think any teams would have stood a chance against barca in 2015 or real in 16 and 17. I mean if you sold cr7 or messi they would cost more than the entire juve team that played those finals and athleticos team also. When you are up against players like neymar,messi,cr7,marcelo, bale, i could call a host of other names but what im saying is the gap in quality and finances to purchase that quality is too great. As another person here pointed out athletico tried twice as well.same ending
on the 28th February, 2018 at 12:14am
@Gina you are a little old to be that dumb still dont you agree? I hope you do. Anyways yup they cheated to reach the two finals and then ran out of money for the finals and couldnt pay the refs more than real madrid. They also cheated for the past six yrs and now on the 7th they ran out of money also and now napoli is paying more so they can win. Makes sense doesnt it? No it does not gina no it does not ! You are just an idiot .
on the 27th February, 2018 at 11:53pm
Strong with a drop of milk. You have obviously NEVER actually watched Juve live because I have many times (champions league included) and I have always managed to get a decent seat for no more than €100.Im guessing that that you used pounds as your currency probably means you are English. Well my friend I have some news for you, clubs in Italy and generally in continental Europe arent busy ripping off their fans like the English clubs do.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 11:05pm
Everyone here (writer of this article included) trying to imply that all Juve fans expect to win the UCL mustn't know many Juve fans because I know plenty and none of us are expecting to win it this year. 99% of the Juve fans I know see the Scudetto as the primary objective and winning the UCL as a very nice (but unexpected) bonus.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 10:54pm
Beppe Rossi - Nobody likes a name dropper, and a big club dropper is even worse. All those games must have cost you upwards of £3k, for that money you could have bought a new Kitchen from Homebase.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 10:11pm
Karl's grouting - Have you actually paid to see a CL game at all? Never mind Juventus. I have seen them over a handful of times in the CL over the last 5 years, I saw them away to Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Porto. Home games vs Barca and Bayern, and Dortmund. Fortunately for me those were all great contests.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 9:29pm
If I'm a plonker, you're illiterate. Try reading posts next time instead of using English idioms from the 19th century. I bet you are barely old enough to drive and pretending to speak like a character from Peaky Blinders hahahaha :p
on the 27th February, 2018 at 9:09pm
I don't see Juventus having any problems getting through in this tie. They have also proved themselves many times over as capable of going all the way to finals. Just not god enough on most occasions, but still no bad teams get to the CL final do they.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 8:24pm
McKay needs to have a very very very long lie down. Is this article from last season? Juve fans aren't expecting the CL after some average performances this season & dubious tactical decisions. The constant changing of formations & sale of key players is a massive hinderance. In 3 years our strongest department has changed from midfield with MVP, to the defence last season & this years its the attack. The mentality in Europe needs to change, finish teams off when 2-0 up and don't retreat innit.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 7:40pm
It's very tough to win the Champions league with Allegri as manager. VERY TOUGH.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 6:52pm
@italy in canada maybe they are arrogant because they are attacked cor no reason all the time and its gotten boring btw
on the 27th February, 2018 at 6:18pm
Rubentus can only win in italy but they don't get that extra help when required in Europe hence why they are the Jimmy White of Football!
on the 27th February, 2018 at 5:50pm
theo you plonker, they dont have advantages over city, barca, Madrid, etc, and their advantage in Italy is through successful management financially, sound buys of players who are in last few years, or out of contract really.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 5:41pm
No, we don't expect a CL win this year. We don't expect a win any year, of any trophy. We expect our team to fight for wins, but we don't "expect" wins. I'm actually always surprised when we do win. When our team doesn't win, sure we're bummed, but there's always next time. I'm not sure why Juve fans have this reputation for unprecedented arrogance. We're no better or worse than fans of any other team.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 4:23pm
If you've can't buy it, they can't win it. They'll never bribe their way to the Champion's League trophy.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 4:21pm
ANything other than a treble is a failure for Juventus with their enormous advantage over all other clubs in Italy.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 4:03pm
@ jj i am interested where you got your information from i had a look at the financial results of both club juve on their official report posted revenue results in 2016 of 565 million euros in the same period spurs in a official release posted revenue result of 210 million pounds equivalent to 230 million euros. gazzetta reported juve wage bill at 164 million euros spurs was reported at 63.6 million pound (72 million euros). please provide your information so i can double check my findings.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 3:52pm
Jeez Juve fans can be so defensive sometimes. Calm down.
It's true Juve have performed well in the UCL last 3 season and that they're the only club in Italy with a shout right now, but it's also true Juve have collapsed multiple times in big moments.
Rummenigge from Bayern also stated Munich couldn't plan to win the UCL anymore because they can't compete with the finances of the super rich clubs. Juve in a similar situation.
Football needs a better distribution of resources.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 3:49pm
To win the CL you have to have a team that can turn on the X factor with counter attacks at the right moment. Last Italian team that showed that in the CL was Inter. Lazio are also very good at doing this. Outside of Italy, Liverpool are doing this perfectly. Why Allegri can't manage to build that with Juve at this point is beyond belief.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 3:37pm
If Juve had drawn Real in the semis last season they would probably have knocked them out (based on past meetings with Real over two legs) then they would have probably faced Atletico Madrid in the final, giving them a better chance of winning. If Juve had lost to Real in the semis then at least the fans are not left devastated after losing another final... but Juve have no luck in Europe and this didn't happen.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 2:13pm
"but Gaby McKay feels Juventus and their fans do expect the Champions League this year"

No, we don't.

Last season? Yes. But this season we are playing worse, our confidence is lower, not to mention the lengthy injury list.

I don't think that Juve's management nor the fans or the players are downplaying the CL importance. But rather emphasizing that it's still an objective and an important trophy.

Only Allegri is downplaying the importance of winning the CL. Because let's face it, he is the one responsible and the one behind many mystifying decision throughout our European campaigns.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 1:59pm
Ah stop, sure Allegri knows Juve have a strong chance of going on to win the Champions League this year. He just wants his achievements to be given the credit it will deserve if it happens.
There can be no arguments that Juve are significantly overachieving in europe given (in todays climate) their tiny financial resources which in fact are actually the same as Spurs!
on the 27th February, 2018 at 1:54pm

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