A brand in itself which doesn’t need much introduction, Juventus Football Club is one of the most famous clubs in the world. It is one of the three biggest clubs hosted by Series A in addition to Milan and Internazionale. An Italian club by origin, Juventus owes most of its fame to the record-breaking number of times—a whopping 32 times—it has won the Series A. Sure enough, we saw Juve plummet its opponents in the biggest Italian Football Championship this year as well.
Juventus- Series A giants that failed to conquer the Champions League
With the world-renowned Massimiliano Allegri managing the team captained by Gianluigi Buffon, Juve finished as champions with a respectable 91 points. 25th April 2016 marked the date when the club succeeded in defending their title for the fifth consecutive season. This came to be after Napoli, then second place, lost to Roma, handing Juventus a 12 point leading with only three games left.
Paolo Dybala became the second highest goal-scorer of the tournament and Paul Pogba tied for the highest assists.
All went well for Juve and with the conclusive match of the campaign played on 15th of May, Juventus and Napoli qualified to UEFA Champions League group stage and Roma made it to the play-off round.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the club when it comes to the Champions League.
The Italian football club has, until now, won 2 Champions League titles, including 11 official trophies from the Union of European Football Associations. And to be completely honest, they perform well out there. We’ve seen Juve make it a long way almost every year. The previous tournament was no exception. Juventus made it to the round of 16 but they fell out of the race from there.
The club went up to a great start last season, defeating Manchester City 2-1 and Sevilla 2-0 in the group stage. After this it managed to draw with Mönchengladbach twice with 1-1 and 0-0. Its next match with Man. City was also in its favour but the club lost to Sevilla in its final group stage match.
Its round of 16 matches were where it couldn’t perform like the champion it was. The team tangled up in a draw with Bayern with 2 goals each which wasn’t that bad. Later, Bayern destroyed Juve with a victory 4-2 after extra time, with an aggregate of 6-4.
Some argue that Juventus fails to perform in the UEFA Champions League as it does in Series A games because clubs playing in the latter were not used to the high tempo and speed at which other European clubs play the game. Others think that it’s all about tactics.
The club lacks tactical variety—this is the ultimate truth. Juventis notably has upgraded its overall stats—preferring attack—over the last couple of years. But they still are one of the most predictable team one can find. They rely very much on the 3-5-2 system, which surely serves them well at the Serie A, but isn’t much help at UEFA. Sure, the club is showing a little deviation from its traditional tactics, but it was still not enough.
There are many other factors contributing to the lowered standard of performance of Juventus in the UEFA Champions League that include some of its key players not being able to reproduce their blazing form.
The team also lacks a true leader. With Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez all go, no one seems to want to take up the torch from them. The club doesn’t lack talent or leaders—we have many amazing players from Paul Pogba to Alvaro Morata. But none is willing to lead the lot.
Suffice to say, the ‘giants’ of Series A weren’t able to get to the UEFA Champions League title yet again.