Juventus Players Agree to Significant Pay Cut During Coronavirus Pandemic

Juventus have announced that their players and coach Maurizio Sarri have agreed to take a pay cut for the months of March, April, May and June, following the suspension of the Serie A season due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

​The Italian top-flight was halted at the start of the month, following I Bianconeri’s 2-0 victory over Inter, which put the champions back on top of the table. Not a single ball has been kicked in Serie A since, and given that Italy is the most heavily-affected country in Europe by the coronavirus, there is little sign of the campaign starting up any time soon. 

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Clubs are having to decide what action to take in light of this ever-developing situation, whilst calculating the financial impact that arises from the lack of match-day and television revenue. 

And Juventus released a statement from ​the club’s we​bsite on Saturday evening, confirming that the entire playing staff and coach Maurizio Sarri have agreed to a reduction of their usual wage for the coming four months, helping the club to save around €90m. 

“​​Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that, due to the current global health emergency is preventing the performance of the sporting activity, it has reached an understanding with the players and the coach of the First Team regarding their compensation for the residual portion of the current sport season.

“The understanding provides for the reduction of the compensation for an amount equal to the monthly payments of March, April, May and June 2020. In the coming weeks, personal agreements with the players and the coach will be finalised, as required by the current regulations.

“The economic and financial effects of the understanding reached are positive for about €90m for the 2019/2020 financial year.

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“Should the current season’s matches be rescheduled, the Club will negotiate in good faith with the players and the coach conditional increases of compensations according to the actual resumption and finalisation of official competitions.

“Juventus would like to thank the players and the coach for their commitment at a difficult time for everyone.”

It is still unclear when the league will recommence in Italy, and there has been no decision as to how the eventual winners and losers will be settled, if they are unable to complete their fixtures before the start of the following campaign. 

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The 8 Greatest Players to Wear Juventus’ Number 10 Shirt – Ranked

“The number 10 is a special shirt, it is an honour to wear it, it brings with it a great sense of responsibility, a sense of belonging to the history of a club like Juventus FC​…For me today having the number 10 shirt on me, on my skin, not only is it a dream come true, since I was a child, but it is also an ever greater commitment that I feel inside me to carry my team to victory in every game, in every competition, for every trophy.”

– Paulo Dybala


The above quote from Paulo Dybala underlines the significance of the number ten shirt at Juventus.

It is regarded as one of the most famous and well-respected shirts in football, with a number of club legends and some all-time greats wearing the coveted jersey. 

So, here we take a look at the eight best to have slipped on the famous shirt…


8. Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba was so good at Juventus that ​Manchester United were willing to part ways with £89m in order to bring their academy product back to Old Trafford. 

​Pogba made the switch to Turin as he looked to kickstart his career, but many were perhaps expecting him to struggle for game time – considering the strength of the Bianconeri’s midfield at the time. The Frenchman quickly established himself in the centre of the park, however, and was later handed the number ten shirt for the 2015/16 season.

He enjoyed his best campaign yet in his new jersey, grabbing ten goals and 14 assists. But it was his overall game that was most impressive. His tally of 12 assists in ​Serie A was the joint-most of any player, while he ranked second in the division in terms of completed dribbles and he made a career high number of interceptions. 

Pogba was thriving in the black and white jersey, but when United came calling again, he gave up the number ten shirt after just one season. 


7. Paulo Dybala

Paulo Dybala

When ​Paulo Dybala first joined the club, he was given the number 21 shirt. The Argentinian was regarded as a potential star of the future, and the club had high hopes for him. 

And Dybala was given the chance to switch to the number ten jersey for the 2016/17 season, but he wanted to keep hold of his 21 shirt. However, when he was presented with the chance once again the following season, it was an opportunity he could not refuse for a second time. 

Dybala’s talents were there for all to see, but after a difficult 2018/19 campaign, he was linked with a move away from the club. No deal ever materialised, however, and Dybala has come back stronger than ever. In 2019/20, he has managed 13 goals and 12 assists in just 34 appearances in all competitions. In total for Juve, the 26-year-old has 91 goals and 36 assists to his name after 216 appearances.  

A certain Claudio Marchisio has also recently claimed that Dybala is, in fact, one of the best ever players to have worn the shirt. High praise, indeed.


6. Carlos Tevez

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Tevez swapped the blue half of Manchester for Turin in the summer of 2013, arriving for around £12m. The Argentinian was assigned the number ten shirt, but even greater pressure was placed on him considering the fact he was taking over from Alessandro Del Piero (more on him later).

Tevez scored on his debut against Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana before netting the winner on his league debut. Juventus went on to win the league crown, with Tevez finishing the campaign as the team’s top goalscorer with 21 goals in all competitions. His fine performances also saw him named Juventus’ Player of the Season. 

The former Manchester United and City player was again a key figure during the 2014/15 campaign, helping guide them to the Champions League final, as well as a league and cup double for the first time in two decades.  

Overall, Tevez went on to score 50 goals in 95 games for the Bianconeri before departing for Boca Juniors.  


5. Liam Brady


Liam Brady may have spent just two seasons in Turin with ​Juventus, but his time there is remembered fondly. Brady notably scored the winning goal – a penalty – with 15 minutes remaining in a 1-0 victory against Catanzaro to win the Scudetto in 1982. 

Brady was renowned not only as a true gentleman of the beautiful game, but also a wonderfully gifted footballer. Sure, Brady was the ultimate professional, but it was his performances that helped Juventus to lift league titles in back-to-back seasons. 


4. Roberto Baggio


Il Divin Codino joined the Bianconeri in 1990 for a world record transfer fee. It may have taken some time, but ​Baggio went on to win the hearts of the Juventus faithful, with his stellar displays and leadership skills taking centre stage – eventually being named as captain. 

During his time at the club, he operated as a second striker or in the advanced playmaker role, and it was his versatility that made him such a threat. In his 200 appearances for the club, Baggio scored 115 times – a tally any out-and-out striker would be proud of, let alone a versatile forward. He helped the Turin-based side win the Scudetto, the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup before joining Milan. 


3. Omar Sivori 


Sivori was the original number ten. 

He was audacious, he was brilliant, and he was lethal in front of goal. ​Sivori joined in 1957 and went on to form a menacing partnership with John Charles. During his first season at the club, he scored 31 goals in just 40 league and cup appearances – helping guide Juve to the Scudetto. 

Sivori had a stunning strike rate at Juve, grabbing 135 goals in just 215 league games for the club. But his game was so much more than just scoring goals, and his stellar displays saw him pick up the Ballon d’Or in 1961. 


2. Michel Platini


Although Roma pipped Juventus to the Scudetto in 1982/83, new recruit Platini scored an impressive 28 goals in 48 games. 

But this was just the start, because ​Platini would quickly go on to become one of the greatest footballers of all time. He may now be remembered as a disgraced former UEFA president, but this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t stop to acknowledge Platini’s simply astonishing ability as a footballer. 

This was a player that won the Ballon d’Or not once, not twice, but three times. And in consecutive years? Well, that just sums it all up, really. 104 goals in 223 games for Juve…from midfield isn’t exactly a bad total either, is it? 


1. Alessandro Del Piero

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When Del Piero left the club in 2012, he said that he hopes the number ten shirt will be a less of a burden after him. The only problem, however, was that Del Piero spent a truly incredible 18 years donning the shirt, and so it would be pretty hard for future players to ever live up to such heights.

There were even cries for the jersey to be retired.

Del Piero joined Juventus in 1993, but he wouldn’t take up the shirt immediately. The Italian went on to become a true legend of the club, becoming their all-time top goalscorer with 290 goals. He also played more games (705) than any other player. 

Make no mistake about it, Del Piero was a truly sublime player, but it was his loyalty and connection with the club that was so special. Two Scudetti titles (2005 and 2006) were taken away during the Calciopoli scandal and Juve were relegated to Serie B. But instead of heading straight for the exit door, Del Piero stayed to captain his side – and he was also top scorer as he guided them straight back up. 

Loyalty. Passion. Class. Del Piero is an undisputed legend, and the number ten shirt will forever be associated with his name. 


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Out of Favour Real Madrid Star Marcelo Linked (Again) With Summer Move to Juventus

​These links between Marcelo and Juventus just won’t go away, will they? 

The Real Madrid full-back has been tipped to follow the same path trodden by ex-teammate, and good friend, Cristiano Ronaldo for some time now, and we may finally be arriving at the end of this ongoing saga. 

Marcelo

According to La Stampa, Marcelo has attracted the interest of a number of top European clubs, and yep – you guessed it – the Old Lady has been having a nosey once more. 

And there may actually be some substance to these rumours this time. 

The 31-year-old has lost his place in the Madrid side this season, following the arrival of French defender Ferland Mendy, and he has failed to impress when given the opportunity to regain his spot. 

​Marcelo watched from the sidelines as los Blancos picked up three wins out of three at the end of January and the start of February, but his return saw his side lose two and draw one of their next four matches. 

Far from inspiring stuff, then. 

Marcelo

But if there’s one man who can get the best out of anyone, it’s ​Ronaldo. The Portuguese superstar enjoyed his best years at ​Madrid playing on the same flank as the Brazilian defender, striking up a fearsome partnership and a telepathic understanding. 

And I Bianconeri will be in the market for another defender this summer, as they look to bolster their current options with an attacking wing-back, who would be more suited to the energetic style that coach Maurizio Sarri is trying to deploy. 

The Italian coach was keen on bringing Marcelo to Turin last summer, but a move never materialised. The same rumblings have resurfaced once again however, with ​Juve officials hoping to meet the defender in Madrid to discuss a deal, but the coronavirus outbreak has put a stop to any transfer talk.

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I Bianconeri are willing to offer Marcelo a four-year contract, two years longer than his current deal with Madrid. 

​Come on, let’s get the band back together. 

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Pep Guardiola ‘Obsessed’ With Leonardo Bonucci But Faces Potential Roadblock in Deal

Pep Guardiola is ‘obsessed’ with the idea of bringing in Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, but faces an almighty fight with the Italian giants to secure his services. 

​City have been stung by their failure to recruit a replacement for Vincent Kompany in the summer, as a long-term injury to Aymeric Laporte left them short of established cover at the back. This resulted in Fernandinho and Rodri being re-purposed into auxiliary central defenders, and though the former did a pretty exemplary job, their defensive record has left a lot to be desired.

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They sit 25 points off leaders ​Liverpool, and their 31 goals conceded is just the division’s fifth best tally – behind the Reds, Sheffield United, Leicester, and (astonishingly) rivals Manchester United. 

So news that they are chasing a new centre-back this summer? Hardly surprising. 

News that they want that centre-back to be ​Leonardo Bonucci? Well, that’s a little more left-field. 

Guardiola, however, has never kept his admiration for the 32-year-old a secret. He was singing his praises as far back as the summer of 2017, shortly after Bonucci swapped Turin for Milan.

Leonardo Bonucci

Speaking then, Guardiola said: “He’s an exceptional player in terms of character, personality – in terms of everything. That’s why he played in one of the big teams in the world in Juventus, now Milan, that is what it is. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not.”

Bit weird, really. 

Anyway, in line with those comments, ​CalcioMercato are now reporting that Guardiola’s love for the player is bordering on an ‘obsession’ and he is keen for him to be the high-profile, experienced defensive addition the club plan to make this summer. 

The Italian outlet, however, note that for all City are keen, there is very little chance of it happening. Juventus see Bonucci as ‘untransferable’ and though they are willing to trim their squad to raise funds this summer, neither Maurizio Sarri nor the club’s hierarchy are prepared to put on the table a player who has been a resolute concrete pillar at the heart of defence this season. 

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To secure his services, City would likely have to go way above and beyond the sort of fee you should be paying for a defender who is likely to be exiting his peak years over the next 12 to 18 months. 

And for a club in their situation – still ​staring down the barrel of a European ban for financial misconduct, despite the fact the coronavirus pandemic has dwarfed that situation for now – that would be more than a little bit silly. 

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6 Champions League Games to Re-Watch on UEFA.tv

​Still struggling to find enough classic football to watch while at home with nothing to do?

Fear not, for UEFA have ​announced they are streaming a selection of past Champions League games every Tuesday and Wednesday for free on UEFA.tv. They’ve picked a cracking list of matches, each filled with drama and individual brilliance, that will have you on the edge of your sofa.

So, if you find you’re still missing football, here are six Champions League classics for you to go and enjoy.


Juventus 3-0 Atlético Madrid – 2019

Cristiano Ronaldo

Looking for a Cristiano Ronaldo masterclass and a dramatic comeback? Look no further.

Needing to overcome a 2-0 loss in the first leg, ​Juventus had to score three goals without conceding against defensive specialists Atlético Madrid in order to progress to the last eight. 

Despite the mammoth task, the Portuguese star delivered for I Bianconeri, overcoming the formidable duo of Diego Godín and Jose Gimenez with two vintage headers past Jan Oblak. With time running out, the game looked to be heading into extra-time, until ​Ronaldo intervened with a late penalty to complete the turnaround and send Juve into the quarter-finals.

Many asked if a 34-year-old Ronaldo would still step up for the big games. Here, he answered decisively with one of his best games in a Juve shirt.


Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain – 2017

Sergio Roberto

The game that was so good, it earned its own Wikipedia page and nickname – La Remontada, or ‘The Comeback’ to you and I. At least, it’s enjoyable for those who aren’t PSG fans.

The Ligue 1 side were dominant in the first-leg and went to Camp Nou with a 4-0 advantage. Barça looked outclassed, and the tie looked over. Or so it seemed…

The match started with a goal in the third minute from ​Luis Suárez, and even despite Edinson Cavani’s second-half away goal, it wasn’t enough to stop the Blaugrana from erasing the deficit. Indeed, it was unlikely hero Sergi Roberto who netted in the fifth minute of injury time to send the Parisians home in tears.

Was it horrendous defending, or an astonishing attacking display? Either way, this riveting game will live long in the memory of football fans, for the dramatic comeback and the memorable collapse of PSG, who haven’t really recovered since. It that isn’t compelling enough, Lionel Messi was brilliant on the night as well.


Galatasaray 3-2 Real Madrid – 2013

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While Los Blancos ultimately went through to the semi-finals, they were given an almighty scare by Cimbom in this quarter-final second leg.

A volleyed Ronaldo finish put the La Liga side 4-0 up on aggregate, and it looked like a routine away win for the Spanish side. Yet the Süper Lig club had other ideas, and equalised through former Arsenal cult hero Emmanuel Eboué’s thumping strike. 

Wesley Sneijder and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba then scored within two minutes, putting the hosts in front and only two goals away from knocking out Jose Mourinho’s team. But Ronaldo had other ideas, and scored again to end any hopes of a shock exit.

It was a thrilling game, and the added star-power of Ronaldo and Drogba make it a worthwhile watch.


AC Milan 3-0 Manchester United – 2007

AC Milan's Kaka celebrates scoring again...

It’s rare to find a game where Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United were thoroughly beaten by their opponents, but this Milan side were unstoppable at home and boasted some outstanding players.

The Italian team had lost the semi-final first leg 3-2 in Manchester, but it took only 11 minutes for Kaka to level the tie with his early goal. Clarence Seedorf later added a second before half time, and it was substitute Alberto Gilardino who scored to secure ​Milan a trip to Athens to take on Liverpool in the final.

Simply put, Carlo Ancelotti’s side showed why they were considered among the best teams in the world at the time. Their passing and movement was outstanding, and they ensured the likes of ​Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs had little impact on the game at all.

This victory showed a brilliant team who were at their best – which was too much for Ferguson’s Premier League-winning side of 2007.


Barcelona 0-3 Bayern Munich – 2013

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This all-conquering Bayern Munich side are among the most exciting teams of the decade, and this dominant performance symbolised just how entertaining their style of football was.

Having comprehensively beaten the Catalans 5-0 at the Allianz Arena, few expected ​Die Roten to be just as dominant at Camp Nou. They pinned the Blaugrana back in their own half, and pounced on any misplaced pass to launch deadly counter-attacks that frightened the ​Barça backline.

The ‘Robbery’ pair of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery were at their best, terrorising full backs Dani Alves and Adriano, while Mario Mandzukic’s selfless display showed how good he was without needing to score himself.

Ultimately, this was a clash of different tactics, with the Catalans’ possession-style football decisively torn apart by Bayern’s swashbuckling counter-attacking style.


Manchester United 4-3 Real Madrid – 2003

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Rather watch the Brazilian Ronaldo at his destructive best? Then this is essential viewing for you.

This was a game that boasted world-class attacking football and fantastic goals, as well as world-class performances. Among them, David Beckham scored twice off the bench, including a trademark free-kick for the Red Devils, while Zinedine Zidane put on an imperious display for ​Los Blancos.

But the star of the show was clearly El Fenomeno. The Brazilian scored a stunning hat-trick, including a 25-yarder that even got ​United fans off their seats. Few away players get a standing ovation at Old Trafford, but his performance deserved one, and he was duly applauded by all when he was substituted towards the end of the game.

The match is worth watching for his performance alone, with the attacking displays by both teams an added treat for any interested viewers.

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