It’s kit season and the latest footballing giant to drop their 2020/21 jerseys are recently crowned Serie A champions Juventus – and they haven’t disappointed.
The Italian powerhouse have teamed up with adidas to create a kit that, according to adi, represents the evolving spirit of a club while still being respectful of its traditions. The updated jersey sees a classic aesthetic given a modern refresh, inspired by the world of modern art.
The jersey sees the reappearance of the iconic black and white panelling, following the much debated split design of recent seasons. When deciding the approach for the 2020/2021 tournaments and leagues, adidas wanted to provide a fresh take on the stripes that have long represented unity between fan and player, past and present.
Buy Juventus’ new home and goalkeeper kits now on the club’s store!
Taking inspiration from the unity of art and football – and their shared celebration of creativity and identity – the resulting jersey reimagines the classic stripes with a unique brushstroke approach on its front and sleeves. Adding elegance to the iconic black and white, the colour gold is prevalent throughout the kit, included within the brushstrokes, club crest and sponsor detailing.
The new home jersey will be worn for the first time on pitch from Saturday 1 August – the final Serie A fixture of the season – and will be available to purchase at the adidas online shop, the Juventus club and online store, as well as selected adidas stores, retailers and fashion stores from 30 July.
Juventus forward Paulo Dybala has joined the long list of professional footballers to join Common Goal – an organisation designed to battle social injustice across the world.
Created in 2017, Common Goal encourages players, managers, officials and clubs to donate a minimum of 1% of their wages to a collective fund which uses football to help empower young ang vulnerable children around the world.
Dybala has now become the 159th professional to join the cause, pledging to donate at least 1% of his wages, and he will lead an initiative which intends to educate and support young children and eradicate violence, racism and discrimination.
“Winning the Scudetto for the fifth time consecutively is an amazing team achievement, and I wanted to make sure this success on the pitch is in harmony with my ambition as a person,” Dybala said. “This is not about me – in fact it’s quite the opposite – this is about working together to tackle the challenges we face.
“I am committed to playing my part in helping to eradicate discrimination, and education is the key. What better time to celebrate the platform that we enjoy as players, than when we enjoy success on the pitch?
“Common Goal is the most simple and effective platform that enables me to maximise my ambitions in terms of social impact, while still being able to focus on my football career, and the other philanthropic activities which are close to my heart.”
Manchester United’s Juan Mata, who was the first player to join the organisation in August 2017, added: “Paulo is one of the most talented and valuable players on the planet and is an incredible addition to Common Goal.
“The fact that he is using winning the league title with Juventus to make a powerful statement on what success means to him as a person, is very inspiring. Paulo understands that football has a unique power to transform the world and we all need to work together to unleash its full potential.”
Common Goal, which has also received support from the likes of Jürgen Klopp, Eric Cantona and Megan Rapinoe, has so far raised over €2m for their cause and hope to unlock 1% of the wealth of the football industry, which is believed to stand at close to €50bn.
Serie A must be the most competitive ‘least competitive’ league in Europe.
Juventus recently tied up their ninth straight Scudetto, to the surprise of absolutely no one. The name on the trophy remains the same, but once again, the winners were made to sweat for their glory.
It didn’t come easy to I Bianconeri, and had the coronavirus outbreak not killed Lazio’s relentless momentum, it may not have come at all. It did arrive, though, and in doing so, Maurizio Sarri finally completed his 30-year rise from banker to tactical mastermind.
Only, his tactics played little part in Juve’s success, and of the Old Lady’s nine consecutive title wins, this was the least convincing and most concerning of them all.
Plenty of optimism and anticipation greeted Sarri’s arrival in Turin back in the summer of 2019, having guided Chelsea to a third-place finish and Europa League success during his only season in England. It’s safe to say that the Italian’s spell at Stamford Bridge received mixed reviews however, with many supporters growing wearisome of his possession-based style of football.
It certainly didn’t contain the same zip and penetrative-incision with which his entertaining Napoli side blessed Serie A for several years, but it’s impossible to blame the coach entirely. The Blues appeared less receptive to his ideas, and he had a harder time moulding such top stars into brand new footballers.
So, having seen the highs and lows of Sarri’s demanding, high tempo system, we all expected Juve to follow in I Partenopei’s footsteps and to win – but win in style.
I Bianconeri achieved only one of those feats, however.
If anything, Juve have regressed from the effective, if somewhat pragmatic, football of Massimiliano Allegri, a world-class coach they abandoned due to his ‘results over style’ ethos. And the Turin club have also diverted from their own motto, “Vincere non è importante, è l’unica cosa che conta.”
“Winning is not important, it’s the only thing that counts.”
It’s a good job these supporters have been used to such practises, then. The football this year has been turgid, there are no two ways about it. Sarri’s favoured 4-3-3 formation has failed to get the best out of the players available to him, and they have surprisingly struggled in the creativity department.
I Bianconeri have continued to dominate possession – something they have done for years anyway – but the end product and cutting edge has disappeared from their game.
The final ball has never looked more complex to this group of players, and the attacking trident Sarri settled upon in June appear to live permanently on different wavelengths to one another. Douglas Costa enjoys running in behind defences and stretching backlines with his pace, Paulo Dybala drops deep and creates chances from between the lines, and Cristiano Ronaldo likes shooting from everywhere.
The lack of cohesion among them has been startling. In fact, the general problem with this Juventus team is that most stars are playing for themselves, and not for each other.
Sarri’s higher-risk strategy has also opened up holes at the other end of the pitch, too. Juventus’ trademark trait under Allegri was their ability to open the scoring and then sit on their one-goal advantage, suffocating opponents who had already given up all hope of actually getting back on level terms.
But the ex-Napoli coach is never content to run the clock down, and his gung-ho approach has seen Juve surrender leads on more than one occasion this season, even dropping points against Milan and Sassuolo, having taken two-goal advantages.
The imperious, impenetrable and unassailable Juventus of old is long gone – their opponents actually fancy a crack at the champions nowadays. That loss of fear factor has affected the group badly, and they have been forced to play second fiddle far more often than they would have liked this season.
This fall from their perch was encapsulated nicely in a 2-2 draw with Atalanta, who refused to allow Juve a touch of the ball in their opponents’ half for over eight minutes of continuous play. Mentally, I Bianconeri are no longer winning matches before taking to the field.
Luckily however, they do still have the edge on teams when they step foot on the turf.
Juventus have some very, very good players. And even when they are not gelling, not in sync or simply not up to scratch, they still possess enough firepower collectively to get by. That, more or less, has been the story of the Old Lady’s season.
Enough Costa crosses will eventually lead to one meeting the head of a teammate. Even if Dybala is playing on another planet to his colleagues, he can still carve out unmissable chances – or do it himself. And if Ronaldo takes enough shots from long range, one will finally strike the hand of a defender, and he’ll gleefully tuck away the penalty.
Fortunately, the Portuguese star and la Joya have shown some chemistry since the re-start, and without their sprinkling of stardust, the champions would have been in a whole world of trouble.
Juve have won 13 games by a single goal margin this campaign, and unlike the controlled, surgical performances under Allegri, Sarri’s men have ridden their luck along the way, scraping through matches with the odd moment of inspiration.
Not to mention that title-runners Lazio and Inter’s massive drop-off in form since football’s return gave I Bianconeri an unchallenged crawl to the red tape. Underwhelming, and a touch fortunate, to say the least.
All in all, very few players can say they’ve enjoyed their football this season. If they can, they’re probably lying. But even at 70% of their powers (or even less), this Juve side dragged themselves over the finish line.
A year of transition was expected, and having won the title, it’s ‘mission accomplished’. There will be no margin for error for Sarri and his conflicted disciples next year, though. Winning is no longer the only thing that counts.
Winning a domestic league title is great, but lifting the Champions League trophy is what every player dreams of. Only the best can win that competition. Well, usually.
Since the competition’s rebranding in 1992, we’ve seen 27 sides lift the famous trophy. Some of those teams have been all-time greats, but a few left fans scratching their heads and questioning whether it was all just one weird dream.
There’s only one thing to do – let’s rank them.
This is a tricky one. 1992/93 Marseille were a great team. They were really great. But were they actually good enough to win the Champions League?
The squad, which featured Fabien Barthez, Marcel Desailly, Rudi Völler, Abedi Pelé and Didier Deschamps, picked up a 1-0 win over AC Milan in the final, only to later be found guilty of match fixing during their domestic campaign.
They were found to have paid Valenciennes to lose a game to ensure their squad were not tired out for the European game, so they probably deserve to be bottom of this list.
It’s probably the best Champions League final story of all time, but let’s not forget that Liverpool’s dramatic comeback against AC Milan in 2005 was only possible because they were bad enough to fall 3-0 down in the first place.
The Reds, who lost 14 Premier League games that year and finished fifth, had the likes of Steve Finnan, Djimi Traoré and Harry Kewell in their starting lineup and would have probably lost about 10-0 if Steven Gerrard didn’t turn into a superhero.
The triumph that made José Mourinho. Porto should never have won the Champions League, and you only have to look at how they had to scrape past Deportivo La Coruña in the semi-final as proof of that.
Their success was largely down to good fortune in terms of their opponents, but the likes of Deco, Maniche and Ricardo Carvalho ensured that Porto still had enough about them to cause an upset.
Chelsea, who found themselves in domestic turmoil in 2011/12, should have lost to Napoli, Barcelona and Bayern Munich that year, but somehow managed to emerge with the Champions League trophy.
There was plenty of firepower in the squad, including Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and John Terry (when he wasn’t suspended), but this squad also included a young Ryan Bertrand who made his European debut in the final…. out of position.
This is a tricky one. On paper, Milan should have been amazing this year. The squad featured Dida, Alessandro Nesta, Paolo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo, Andriy Shevchenko – the list goes on.
Unfortunately, 2002/03 Milan were one of the most uninspiring teams in competition history.
They were all about dull 1-0 wins and were largely responsible for the first 0-0 draw in final history.
Lars Ricken, Paulo Sousa, Karl-Heinz Riedle and Matthias Sammer all flirted with stardom, with Sammar perhaps coming the closest, but the Borussia Dortmund side of 1996/97 just seemed to lack a certain je ne sais quoi.
Ricken’s goal 16 seconds after coming on as a substitute is still a record for the Champions League final, and that is a major reason why this team is still remembered.
If we’re talking purely about performances in the final, this Milan side would be right at the top. They mauled Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona 4-0, but that was pretty much the first time that they had actually played entertaining football.
It’s tough to say what was wrong with this Milan side. They still won games, but it just wasn’t that impressive to watch most of the time. There’s only so much ‘offside trap’ a fan can take.
Real Madrid are almost the victims of their own high standards. Their Champions League triumph in 1998 was their first and has since proven to be their least impressive.
Fernando Hierro was strong at the back, Clarence Seedorf and Christian Karembeu starred in midfield and a young Raúl was just coming into his own in attack, but struggles domestically detract from this side’s greatness.
We’re at that point in the list where every team is ridiculously good, it’s just a question of figuring out which sides were less ridiculously good than the rest.
1999/00 Real find themselves here because they were on the cusp of blossoming into the famous ‘Galacticos’ but were perhaps lacking a little something.
Whatever they were lacking didn’t really show as they still played an impressive brand of football which won the hearts of many.
The 2015/16 tournament wasn’t the most convincing from Real. They conceded three against Shakhtar Donetsk and came close to being eliminated by Wolfsburg, who picked up a 2-0 win in the first leg of the quarter-final.
They had to squeeze past Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Atlético Madrid en route to lifting the trophy, but the fact of the matter is that they did squeeze past them, and that’s not easy.
2009/10 Inter were football’s equivalent of marmite – you either loved them or you hated them.
With Mourinho’s signature defensive style, I Nerazzurri became impenetrable. Samuel Eto’o went from a striker to a winger (which means he became a full-back under Mourinho), and they gave up possession in almost every game they played.
Diego Milito’s fantastic goalscoring stole the show, but you always felt like this Inter side maybe could have done things in a more convincing fashion.
Three words: Alessandro Del Piero.
The Italian was the standout star in a team which featured Gianluca Vialli, Antonio Conte and Didier Deschamps, firing Juventus to glory in devastating fashion.
With Ballon d’Or winner Kaká stealing the show in midfield, 2006/07 AC Milan were something special.
They got revenge against Liverpool in the final that year, with Kaká and Filippo Inzaghi proving too much to handle in attack.
If you haven’t gathered, we’re in the section of the list for teams who were primarily led by one star. For Bayern Munich in 2000/01, that star was goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.
The victory over Valencia in the final was all about penalties. Bayern missed one in the game, before Kahn went off on one in the shootout to earn the Germans the trophy.
As a single unit, Barcelona were great in 2005/06, but this was the Ronaldinho show. Frank Rijkaard knew that and built his team around the Brazilian.
Would Barça have won the tournament without Ronaldinho? Possibly not, although Eto’o would have had something to say about that.
Zinedine Zidane rocked up to Real for the 2001/02 season and scored one of the greatest goals in competition history in the final in his debut season. Not bad.
Los Blancos scored goals for fun this season and had to prove their mental fortitude by coming back from the brink of elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich.
And then Real got caught up in the moment and tore the squad apart through mass spending – and they didn’t even replace Claude Makélélé!
Carlo Ancelotti’s brand of free-flowing football brought the best out of Real and helped Cristiano Ronaldo fire home a ludicrous 17 goals during the competition.
They dominated plenty of sides en route to glory, but their legacy takes a slight hit as they came within seconds of losing the final to rivals Atlético Madrid.
The treble winners. That alone is good enough for a high finish on this list, and that’s how it should be.
However, because we’ve got to look a little deeper when comparing these teams, we’ve got to look at how United came to be European champions, and it’s not as impressive as you might think.
Defensively, United were more than a little unconvincing at times, evident by the fact they needed dramatic comebacks in both the semi-final and the final, but the fact that they had the quality to fight back speaks volumes.
United’s squad in the 2007/08 final reads like a real who’s who of footballing greats. Edwin van der Sar, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidić formed one of the best defensive trios of all time and Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez weren’t half bad in attack, either.
Defensively dominant and sublime in attack, this United side overwhelmed their opponents with terrifying ease.
They’ll always be remembered as the side who needed a Loris Karius disasterclass to win the final, but the reality is this Real side were phenomenal.
They fought through PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich en route to the final, with a squad which featured Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo and soon-to-be Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modrić.
Just one year earlier, a very similar Real side stormed to victory in Europe, but there’s an argument to suggest that this 2016/17 was Real at their recent peak.
Modrić, Toni Kroos and Casemiro made up perhaps the finest midfield on the planet at the time, and they tore apart a Juventus side who were expected to cause Real major problems.
Alisson and Virgil van Dijk gave Liverpool an elite defence. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino dominated in attack. On an individual level, this Liverpool side were great, but Jürgen Klopp’s tactics brought them to a new level.
Their unbelievable 4-0 win over Barcelona in the semi-final was the greatest comeback in the competition’s history, ensuring this side will never be forgotten. Ever.
Louis van Gaal’s Ajax side were the perfect blend of outstanding talent and pure entertainment. They beat the ‘best in the world’ Milan side no less than three times, and it did by playing some stunning football.
Frank Rijkaard led from midfield, allowing Seedorf, Edgar Davids, Marc Overmars and a young Patrick Kluivert to shine on the biggest stage.
What made this Ajax side most impressive was their ability to win in various different ways. They could use pace and power, intricate passing or defensive resilience – whatever was needed, they could do it.
We’re in the real crème de la crème now, and kicking things off is the Barcelona side from 2014/15.
MSN – Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar – wreaked havoc against opponents all year long, scoring a combined 137 goals across the entirety of 2015.
When you add Marc-André ter Stegen, Gerard Piqué, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta to the mix, you’ve got one of the most terrifying teams in history.
Half of this Bayern Munich side went on to reach the 2014 World Cup final, which speaks volumes of the general level of quality in this squad.
Jupp Heynckes’ side were led by ‘Robbery’ – the wide duo of Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben – but that was just the start of it.
Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng and Philipp Lahm helped make up a sublime defence, while Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller pulled the strings in midfield.
This side should have won the competition in 2012, but they finally got what they deserved this time around.
Pep Guardiola’s debut season with Barcelona was comfortably one of the greatest we have ever seen. Barça went on to win the treble, and they did it by completely dominating their opponents.
Messi was yet to become the focal point of Barça’s sides, so this team was all about an overall quality throughout the squad. Xavi, Iniesta and Sergio Busquets pulled the strings in midfield, and Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry ran riot in attack.
Some good fortune was needed to edge past Chelsea in the semi-final, but apart from that, it was utter domination from start to finish.
2008/09 Barcelona rewrote football, but 2010/11 took it to a whole new level.
To a man, this team may well be the greatest club side ever. Messi, Pedro and David Villa in attack, Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets in midfield, Eric Abidal, Pique, Javier Mascherano and Dani Alves in defence, with Victor Valdés in goal. Wow.
Their 3-1 win over Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in the final is often described as one of the most dominant victories ever, and it was the perfect example of what this team was about.
Juventus face a trip away to Cagliari at the Sardegna Arena on Wednesday evening, in what will be their first game since securing a ninthsuccessive Serie A title.
The Old Lady clinched another Scudetto on Sunday after a 2-0 win over Sampdoria, in which Cristiano Ronaldo scored to take his tally to 31 Serie A goals for the season.
As for Cagliari, the 14th-placed side haven’t won in their last eight fixtures, with their last triumph coming on 27 June in a 4-2 thumping of struggling Torino.
The hosts will not exactly be expecting to end that dreadful run against the champions on Wednesday, especially as they lost the reverse fixture 4-0 earlier this season.
Here’s 90min’spreview of this fixture…
When is Kick Off? Wednesday 29 July What Time is Kick Off? 20:45 (BST) Where is it Played? Sardegna Arena TV Channel/Live Stream? Premier Sports 1, LiveScore App
Maurizio Sarri will have to make do without a number of his star attractions, with Brazilian winger Douglas Costa set for another spell on the sidelines, alongside Sami Khedira, Giorgio Chiellini and full-back Mattia De Sciglio. The former Napoli boss could also be without both Paulo Dybala and Danilo who were forced off through injury during their triumph at the weekend.
With the league already secured and a meeting with Lyon in the Champions League on the horizon, Sarri could rest some of his key men.
As for the home side, there should be no major injury concerns to trouble manager Walter Zenga, although Nahitan Nandez will miss out through suspension.
Juventus: Buffon; Cuadrado, Rugani, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Matuidi, Bentancur, Ramsey; Bernardeschi, Higuain, Ronaldo
While Juve did wrap up another relatively comfortable league title at the weekend, it’s not all been plain-sailing of late. The restart has seen them drop points at both Atalanta and Sassuolo, while they also suffered defeats to AC Milan and Udinese – with the latter loss delaying their title celebrations.
Their season as a whole has been somewhat confusing, with their title triumph perhaps overshadowing some poor performances and their ageing side. With a vital Champions League clash to come, it could be a good opportunity on Wednesday to build some momentum.
As for Cagliari, their wretched run of form may not have put at them at risk of relegation, but it doesn’t exactly bode well ahead of next season. In fairness, the hosts have rarely been thrashed of late, albeit they have been on the wrong side of a number of cagey affairs.
Juve may have one eye on their European hopes, but they will no doubt want to end their title-winning season in style. Star man Cristiano Ronaldo will also be hoping to hunt down current top scorer Ciro Immobile, who is currently on 34 Serie A goals for season.
It’s never straightforward with this Juventus side, but it would be no surprise to see them score a hatful of goals on Wednesday.