With their legendary black-and-white striped kit, Juventus calmly validated their ticket to the Champions League quarter-finals for the 17th time in their history, the 3rd time in the last 4 seasons, after beating FC Porto 3-0 on aggregate. Here's a quick presentation of Juventus' strengths, weaknesses and history ahead of their upcoming quarter final against Barcelona. Leonardo Bonucci Assessing a centre-back's quality or worth is often complicated, even more so when football today is so...
Because they need to transform their national domination into an European one
For a little more than five seasons now, Juventus have held an undisputed reign over Italian football. Both Milan teams are taking a lot of time to restore their former glories, and Roma are Napoli too shy to really threaten Juventus. They just go through every season knowing how it will end: with a title.
But Juventus has struggled to transpose this domination into the European field. Of their last five Champions League campaigns, only twice have the
Bianconeri progressed further than the round of 16: once in 2013, when they were eliminated by Bayern in quarter-final, and once in 2015, when they lost in the final.
Paulo Dybala recently said: "Since the Champions League started we've been at the same level as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich." Time to prove it!
Because they don't look solid enough to beat the biggest teams
Juventus haven't really had complicated games to play in the Champions League so far this season. Yet, they didn't really dominate all their games either, far from it.
They got out of their group in the first position with 14 points, but it was not as easy as their group suggested. Two draws against Lyon (1-1) and Sevilla (0-0), and only one victory by more than two goals against Dinamo Zagreb (4-0).
So yeah, it's effective. But is it enough?
Juventus have the best defence in the Champions League this season
Who said Gianluigi Buffon was too old? Not only is the 39-year-old keeper still one of the best in the world, but he's backed by one of the best defences in European football.
Of the 8 games they played in the Champions League so far, Juventus managed to keep clean sheets six times, only conceding two goals (one from Lyon, one from Sevilla), which is the lowest total of the Champions League this season.
It's pretty simple: out of sixteen games they played in 2017, Juventus have won fourteen, drawing one and losing one.
Even more impressive: since the beginning of the year, they've won all of their ten games at home. Juventus stadium is basically an impregnable stronghold: Juventus are unbeaten at home for 45 games now in all competitions (38 wins, 7 draws), 21 in European competitions (12W, 9D).
"The team that lost in final"
That's the sad - but true - story of Juventus: they've lost three times more finals than they've won. And that's super sad.
Juventus last Champions League title dates back to 1996, when Conte, Deschamps, Ravanelli and Del Piero still rocked it in the
FOUR finals since then: in 1997 against Borussia Dortmund, in 1998 against Real Madrid, in 2003 against AC Milan and in 2015 against FC Barcelona. Before that, they played three finals: one they won in 1985, two they lost in 1983 (against Hamburg SV) and 1973 (against Ajax).
Assessing a centre-back's quality or worth is often complicated, even more so when football today is so focused on offensive stat to say whether a player is good or not.
But Leonardo Bonnucci is really a key player to Juventus, both on the defensive and the offensive point of view. With time and experience, he became as important as Giorgio Chiellini in Juventus' defence, bringing what his Italian teammate never brought: forward-thinking football. In Champions League this season, Bonnucci is the Juventus player who completed the most long balls (37).