Tuesday December 15 2020
Cuadrado pivotal for Pirlo

Juventus have recorded important wins over the last week and Elio Salerno explains why Juan Cuadrado has been vital to recent success.

It has been an important week of victories for Andrea Pirlo and his Juventus. A late win the in Turin derby was followed by an impressive three goal triumph in Barcelona and that was then topped off with three-points in Genoa on Sunday evening.

The Bianconeri appear to be slowly finding their feet under the guidance of their former midfield player and despite Juve’s “Moraldo” strike partnership rightly taking much of the credit, another player has proven his importance.

That player is Juve’s flying Colombian full-back Juan Cuadrado, whose influence on the team has been steadily growing over the last year. The 32-year-old’s contribution during the last week has certainly highlighted that and the key role he has to play.

It began in the Derby della Mole, with Juve trailing at home to city rivals Torino and with time running out. Cuadrado delivered not one but two pin-point crosses that were headed home to propel The Old Lady into the lead and rescue them in what was a must win game.

A couple of days later, Cuadrado was in the Camp Nou serving up another crucial assist as he again picked out a well-timed Weston Mckennie run. Then most recently with his team struggling to find a way past a stubborn Genoa defence, Juan beats his marker and draws contact in the area, providing Ronaldo a golden opportunity to put Juve ahead from the spot.

It was a passage of play that was classic Cuadrado. An early run to join the attack, he found himself high up the pitch Isolated 1 v 1 against a defender. As the ball found its way Juan, he slowed play down as he so often likes to do, forcing his opponent to start from almost a standing position.

What followed was a fake, a drop of the shoulder and a quick shift of the ball as Cuadrado exploded into life and away into the space. Cleverly positioning his body between player and ball as the tackle was made, a penalty was the result.

Skipping past defenders in this way is an aspect of Cuadrado game he arguably utilises most regularly and effectively, we all know it’s coming but it is difficult to stop. He hides his movements well, it is this disguise along with his agility and speed off the mark that gives him success in these situations on a weekly basis.

Despite providing a couple of memorable moments in the past for Juve - notably a late winner against Toro and a wonder striker against bitter rivals Inter – Cuadrado hasn’t always been appreciated by Juventini, at times quite the opposite.

Often he would leave a lot to be desired. Poor decisions in possession, inconsistent displays and no end product left supporters extremely frustrated.

However, a change in role has helped Cuadrado refine his play. A move from winger to full-back came partly from necessity as Juventus lacked options in that area and Juan filled in. It started under Max Allegri who briefly turned to him at the end of the 2018/2019 campaign, but it wasn’t until Mazuirio Sarri took over that his transformation to right back became permanent.

There was concern around if Cuadrado had the positional discipline to play in the back line, but he has shown to be adaptable. A good learner who has developed well into the role also thanks to the help of Andrea Barzagli, who followed him closely when he was part of Sarri’s staff last season. Proving productive in his defensive battles, Cuadrado is currently recording 2.8 successful tackles per-game, that number is amongst the top 10 stoppers in the division.

In attack is where Cuadrado is shining, currently on 8 assists for the season with 5 of them coming in Europe’s elite football competition. It is not just his assists, the one-time Udinese player currently registers 2.2 key passes per-game, more than any of his team mates and is again inside the top 10 across the entire league.

His pace is also fundamental to Pirlo and modern football. In transitions he can spring counter attacks from deep whilst he also capable of pressing or recovering swiftly when the ball is lost. Playing in a deeper role has perhaps simplified his game whilst increasing his responsibility. He is more effective, less wasteful and benefits from being able to see play develop from further back allowing him to time his involvements.

When he was signed from Chelsea, it was hard to imagine Juventus ever needing to use Cuadrado as a right back, a role he had only covered at the beginning of his career at Lecce and Udinese. It was an option they stumbled across due to deficiencies rather than planned for.

Despite the doubts, it is currently proving to be a shrewd move for player and club. Panita is closing in on his 200th appearance for the Italian champions and has won multiple titles during his time in northern Italy.

Cuadrado has been a dedicated servant to Juve, his work-rate and desire have always been unquestionable but now he is finally being applauded not only for his bright personality, on field dancing and beaming smile but also the significance of his performances.


Have your say...
Cuadrado isn't as good as Cafu as FB (ofcourse) but he doesn't deserve a harsh insult from this sad little creature: Pinturicchio. Anyway, who is this guy?? XD
on the 20th December, 2020 at 9:45am
one more time - you rarely make points, cogent, wayward, obtuse or otherwise.

chorus: we like cuadrado [or whomever] for his speed, versatility, ability to beat his man etc

pintu: balderdash! you are obviously an abyssinian, likely corrupt with a weakness for rodomontade

[tried to catch that terrible, tin-eared bombast of yours but even at my worst i can't quite get that terrible foghorn self-parody]
know enough about own goals pal?
wait let me guess - 'gibbering baboon' is your riposte?
on the 19th December, 2020 at 10:28pm
I don't comment often anymore but this Pinturicchio stuff is just too funny xD Gotta love the FI comment section.
on the 19th December, 2020 at 3:14am
@TorreD "brainless" G

Yep, I verily live such a life. That's why you consistently see others lauding my comments, and I make pointed critique with pertinent, logical, and rational line of thought, whereas you and your kin like Anonymous (INC.) lack a fundamental knowledge of not only football, but refinement in general.

It's hilarious that the Internet has given a voice to incoherent and babbling buff00ns like you to spew idiotic bile in the form of opinions.
on the 18th December, 2020 at 1:23pm
@Pin" Head "Turrichio
I see once again that you have learned nothing over your recent absence from FI.
You continue your grandstanding hypocrisy accusing others of the very life you lead, wherever you may be: a basement dwelling troll sitting alone with your computer with no life, no women and no personality... How sad you truly are.
As for Cuadrado, through his faults he brings speed and space to the front, making him a dangerous player who opens up the pitch and his passing has improved.
on the 17th December, 2020 at 7:37pm
Anonymous the XOXOXth pathetic troll with his ridiculous haberdashery of words trying to show us why his IQ is the same as good age... Hilarious!

Have fun yelling at your Mom in the basement you dwell in, and fantasising that you have intelligence or an understanding of basics of football via your simulated life in FIFA.

on the 17th December, 2020 at 11:26am
@Pintu the idiot, first, I have no time to put silly name like stupid fanboy as you do with your name, Pintu the idiot. I bet you cried like girl when Del Piero retired. I don't like this "useless" activity, leave insulting comments and pretend to be a football expert. Have fun with this stupid activity. Should I write : LOL on to make this look epic?
on the 17th December, 2020 at 4:23am
Yes, Rrrr, just like Anonymouse, you too lack discernment to understand why a username is important, which is why you come across like a tool with little to no implicit value.

If you refer to my previous comments across FI, you'll understand where I come from and my line of thinking... Thinking, that requires a functional and rational brain, something which you do not possess an iota of, clearly evident from your posts.

I'll notify the Webmaster to update troll list with your name. Ciao!
on the 17th December, 2020 at 4:15am
'keyboard warrior', Anonymous is correct as you offer little but ad hominem.
an expert's post is a rich terrain of wisdom, insight. not yours, nothing in the archives i'd wager.
you may be as smart as you posture, just '0' evidence of that wattage.
you're dull pal, spare us the 'rodent brain' this 'mouse' that...yes, yes pests we are all.
'Pinturicchio'? does that speak the courage of your convictions more than say 'Anonymity'? can i scan that handle at customs to get your D.O.B citizenship etc?
on the 16th December, 2020 at 6:26pm
Cuad has been Juve's most dynamic attacker since the days of Allegri. Their midfield up til now was garbage from an attacking standpoint so it worked well as he provided the spark from the wings. The problem now is the team has become unbalanced as the mid is better but defensively vulnerable. Curious how Pirlo will handle it as they don't have a really good defensive mid. Pjanic never had the physical qualities for it and Bentancur has been hot and cold here.
on the 16th December, 2020 at 4:11pm
With Cuadrado I think it's important to tread softly when talking about his defensive abilities. After all, he's a RW come RM come RB come CB. He's a fantastic utility player because he will do any job asked of him, but he's not a natural defender. Pirlo's system favours versatility in players, which will be why Juan is seeing more game time but at a certain point a more traditional defender will be needed in that position.
on the 16th December, 2020 at 3:05pm
@Anony-mouse First, if you want to be taken over the Internet, then at least use a decent nickname.... Commenting under "Anonymous"? LOL! Secondly, at least try to understand the meaning of words you're using before typing them. Your internet-threats amount to you being a less than rodent brained keyboard warrior. The actual insult you were looking for was "armchair expert". Have fun with FIFA!
on the 16th December, 2020 at 12:00pm
One of the few that qualifies as a true Juventus legend in this new dominant era , his contribution year in year out has not gone unnoticed, only clueless fans can hate or underappreciate what he brings to our game and team overall.

on the 16th December, 2020 at 10:41am
@Pinturicchio, "...Serie-B talent like Cuadrado into a wingback."

Shut your mouth, Keyboard Warrior! Your arrogance is too much and your inaccurate judgement to describe Cuadrado is simply pathetic.
on the 16th December, 2020 at 10:37am
This post praises Cuadrado, but fails to acknowledge his lapses in focus and silly mistakes. Watch him when Lazio scored for 1-1!

The PK vs Genoa was a classic Cuad move, and not something he suddenly picked up these past 12 months. Only difference is, vs Genoa he did his signature move in the box, vs a youngster who foolishly threw himself in front of Juan.

The stats in general speak for themselves however: he creates goals for us at this point.No argument there. But I want consistency!
on the 16th December, 2020 at 7:42am
don't forget that Gianlucca Zambrotta enjoyed a second life once he shifted from attacking midfield to the back line ... it seems to have suited Cuadrado similarly ...
on the 15th December, 2020 at 7:20pm
Hahaha. What an excuse for not having a proper RB/RWB! Convert a 1-dimensional, Serie-B talent like Cuadrado into a wingback.

Not only can he not defend to save his own life, his crossing success rate is abysmal. Whenever Juve lose possession due to him it always results in trouble, but additionally his limited attacking abilities are now split up into pathetic defence and subpar attacks. Nice!

PS: Remember his idiotic red card against Madrid in 2017? He's a classic liability at best.
on the 15th December, 2020 at 6:46pm
on the 15th December, 2020 at 5:41pm
Cuadrado has always been underrated, the guy used to play as a RW/RM and he adapted to plays as a RB or RWB and didn't even complain, I am not saying he is the best RB out there but atleast he leaves it all on the pitch and he does his best, yes he over do it sometimes but he is very beneficial . During the past years he managed to help Juve in many difficult games, Lyon away, Torino home TWICE, Bayern away, Olypiacos away, Sporting away please show the guy some respect. Forza Cuado
on the 15th December, 2020 at 4:26pm
As the article states he is under appreciated. To me the reason for it is the stats sheet can show 2 assists at the end of a game, but during it, he may have given the ball up 4 times in key positions, flopped 30 times, and made poor decisions holding up the ball too long.

At the end of the day, he has played with his heart on his sleeve and doing whatever the coach has asked. He has been key to our success this season and last, but would love to see more consistency from him for 90 mins.
on the 15th December, 2020 at 2:39pm
He is from Colombia, in south America, not Columbia, in north america!! Besides that, nice article, it is nice that my country man is getting the right recognition
on the 15th December, 2020 at 2:25pm
Finally getting some recognition. Too bad as soon as he makes another mistake the fans will ask for his departure. Meanwhile Dybala can take as many games as he needs to get back to form.... no rush. But Cuadrado and Danilo have stepped up quite a bit this season. The way Alex Sandro is speaking then I expect him to do so as well. Cuadra on the right and Chiesa on left seems to be the way forward.
on the 15th December, 2020 at 2:10pm

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