Juventus are the most successful side in Italian football history, with more Serie A and Coppa Italia titles than any other club. They are currently enjoying one of their most dominant periods in the game, having won eight successive titles dating back to 2012.
How do they do it?
Well, something they have always been able to rely on are big game players. When there is silverware on the line, their star names come to the party. Here, we take a look at seven players who have established themselves as the men for the big occasions.
Younger readers may know Platini as the disgraced former UEFA president who was banned from football administration back in 2015. However, he is also the eighth greatest footballer of all time.
The Frenchman played a key role in golden periods for both France and Juventus
Platini was a truly exceptional player at his peak, winning the Ballon d’Or for three straight years between 1983 and 1985. He fully deserves a place on this list.
Most Clutch Moment: Platini netted the winning penalty in the 1985 European Cup final, but he had an even greater impact on the Intercontinental Cup final against Argentinos Juniors later in the year. He scored a goal and provided an assist during the match itself, before coolly dispatching the winning penalty in the subsequent shootout.
From the eighth best player of all time to the ninth…
‘The Divine Ponytail’. Has there ever been a better nickname in football?
His haircut was as unique as his talent. Of course, Baggio will always be remembered for that penalty miss in the 1994 World Cup final shootout, but when he had a Juventus shirt on he was always a standout performer during the big games.
His five years at the club saw him win one Serie A title and a UEFA Cup, along with a Ballon d’Or back in 1993.
Most Clutch Moment: With the 1993 UEFA Cup final played across two legs, Baggio had multiple opportunities to make his mark. He duly delivered.
He scored twice in the first leg against Borussia Dortmund, and chipped in with an assist in the return match for good measure. Juventus won the tie 6-1 on aggregate.
Alessandro Del Piero
He was a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, yet Del Piero is remembered more for his iconic Juventus career. A six-time Italian champion during his 19 year stay at the club, there were very few who could match him when he was at his best.
A scorer of beautiful goals, but also important ones. He simply could not be ignored from this list.
Most Clutch Moment: Del Piero played a key role in the club’s Champions League triumph in 1996, but it was two years later that he was arguably at his absolute peak. The classy forward finished as that season’s top scorer in the competition, and in the semi-finals he produced the goods, netting a hat trick in he first leg against Monaco to put Juventus firmly in control of the tie.
Juventus have been seriously blessed with some talent over the years, eh? Playing in a side that contained the likes of Del Piero, David Trezeguet and Edgar Davids, it is testament to Nedved that he was able to flourish in his own right.
Winning two Serie A
Most Clutch Moment: Juventus faced Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2003. With Real edging the first leg 2-1, the Italian giants needed their key man to produce something special. He did just that, scoring the tie-clinching goal to hand Juventus a place in the final.
Is Gianluigi Buffon
After a year away at PSG that just didn’t feel right, he is back where he belongs, and you probably couldn’t rule out the prospect of him sticking around for a couple more years yet.
When he arrived for the first time back in 2001, he was the most expensive goalkeeper in the world. Almost two decades on, it is fair to say he was worth every penny.
Most Clutch Moment: Interestingly, we can go back to the same game that Nedved shone in to find Buffon’s big moment as well. With 65 minutes on the clock in the second leg, Luis Figo had the chance to level the tie from the penalty spot. He was unable to do so though, as Buffon denied him with a fine save.
While Buffon might arguably be ‘Mr Juventus’, Chiellini is carving out an outstanding legacy of his own.
Perhaps there were some who took a while to warm to the veteran defender. He has never been as elegant on the ball as his long-term centre-back partner Leonardo Bonucci, and there did seem to be a time when he struggled to finish a game without a bandage around his head, or a bite mark on his shoulder (not mentioning any names).
Yet putting all of that aside, he has become one of the most reliable defenders in world football over the past decade. If you wanted someone to marshal the defence and keep a clean sheet, Chiellini is your man.
Most Clutch Moment: Defenders rarely get to have the glory moments that strikers do, so Chiellini’s spot in this list comes from him doing what he does best on the big stage. He was handed the captain’s armband in the 2016 Coppa Italia final against Milan, and he did not disappoint. Leading by example, he played a crucial role as Juventus won 1-0 after extra time.
Cristiano Ronaldo is yet to complete his second season at Juventus. It does not matter. He has already made a huge impact.
After proving his greatness at Manchester United and Real Madrid, big things were expected of the Portuguese forward and he has lived up to his billing. He settled into Serie A life by scoring 21 league goals in his opening season, and he has already matched that after just 22 games in the 2019/20 campaign.
He may not be amazing to watch anymore, but you simply cannot overlook those numbers.
Most Clutch Moment: It is not easy to break down Atletico’s stubborn defence. Just ask Liverpool. Yet Ronaldo managed it in 2019. Juventus had lost 2-0 in the first leg of the last 16 clash, so they needed someone to come to their rescue. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Ronaldo fired home a hat trick to complete the comeback, helping his side into the quarter-finals.