Victory over Sampdoria on Sunday evening brought home the bacon for Juventus, who won Serie A for the ninth straight season.
Nine. Straight. Seasons.
That’s quite a silly feat, so silly that we’ve marked it by ranking all nine title winning teams on just how good they were.
A comfortable victory over Sampdoria secured title number nine, but Maurizio Sarri’s debut season has not been without its turbulence.
They were bossed by Lazio in the Supercoppa, the Coppa Italia final ended in penalty-kick heartbreak against Napoli, and they have been on the wrong end of an eyebrow-raiser or two since returning from lockdown – most notably horsing a two goal lead out the window to lose to Milan.
Juventus won Serie A in 2012/13 – that’s about all we can say for it.
The entire season was overshadowed by the Calcioscommesse match-fixing scandal, where manager Antonio Conte and his assistant Angelo Alessio were banished from the touchline for almost a year as a result of their involvement.
Juve themselves weren’t implicated, and escaped with their title on this occasion.
In hindsight, it’s pretty clear to see why Max Allegri left Juve at the tail end of last season.
What was a hugely promising campaign rapidly came off the rails: the warning signs were there in a 3-0 Coppa Italia defeat to Atalanta, and defeat to Ajax in the Champions League quarter-finals, followed by a whimpering five-game winless run to conclude the league season, all suggested that Allegri’s Old Lady had snuffed it.
Still, they had Cristiano Ronaldo, and that was something to celebrate in itself.
Conte leaving was supposed to set Juve back a year or two, but as it turned out, it had the opposite effect.
A fresh-faced Allegri arrived from Milan and quickly put together a fearsome defensive unit. They played 450 minutes of league football before they conceded a goal, a run of games that included a 7-0 victory over Parma, on their way to a particularly comfortable title win.
Allegri’s maiden year also saw Juve come within a whisker of European glory, but beating Barcelona proved a bridge too far in Berlin.
Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain were on fire in 2016/17. The Argentine duo racked up more than 50 goals between them, as Juve saw off a stern challenge from Roma and Napoli to win a record-breaking sixth straight title.
This team was really good, arguably the best around, but came up against a Real Madrid team in the Champions League final who were in no mood to be beaten.
Breaking 100 points and keeping top spot from November all the way until the end of the season isn’t bad, eh?
Carlos Tevez made his £8m fee from Manchester City look like a snip as he rattled in 21 goals in a historic season for the Turin giants. Only a disastrous European campaign stops this team ranking higher.
It’s always a bit underwhelming when someone else wins you the league, but it’s something Juventus are no strangers to. Napoli’s victory over Roma in May 2016 made it a record-equalling five straight titles, as Allegri’s team would go on to become the first side in Italian history to retain the league and cup double.
It wasn’t all plain-sailing, however. A diabolical start to the campaign saw them pick up just one win in six, but a derby win over Torino – on Halloween no less – set them back on the right track.
That kicked off a run of 15 straight wins, and they would not lose another game until they travelled to Verona on the penultimate day, with the title in the bag.
You’d hate to be Napoli, wouldn’t you?
Maurizio Sarri’s team took 91 points in 2017/18; enough to be a league winning total in seven of Juve’s nine years on top of the game so far.
It just so happened that they came up against a really, ludicrously good Juve team, who upped their game and responded to the challenge when they had to.
The 2017/18 team summarised the spirit that has been constantly present throughout the past decade. When the chips were down, they were next to impossible to beat, and it ultimately won them a league and cup double for a fourth – fourth – straight season.
Any season where you sign Andrea Pirlo and go unbeaten for the entire campaign is a major win, whichever way you look at it.
Conte’s maiden campaign earned a resilient Juve team a first league title (that actually stood) since 2003, and set the table for a decade of dominance, the likes of which we will never see again.
Well, unless Juventus themselves keep it up until 2030 – which you wouldn’t rule out.