Author Archives: mirsinho

7 Classic Games Juventus Fans Should Rewatch While Football Takes a Break

Remember when our weekends were filled with the drama, excitement and passion of football?

As the footballing world sits stagnant following the coronavirus outbreak, many of us are attempting to develop new passions, as we desperately try to fill the void left by our past love.

But never fear. It turns out rewatching old classics is almost as fun as watching them live.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the seven greatest ​Juventus games that you have to rewatch.


Juventus 1-1 (4-2 Pens) Ajax (1996)

Alan Boksic

For a team as richly decorated as I Bianconeri, their European Cup successes have been few and far between. The Italian giants boast just two triumphs in Europe’s premier competition, the last of which came in 1996.

Having seen Fabrizio Ravanelli’s early opener cancelled out by Jari Litmanen, the Champions League final was to be settled on penalties. With both Edgar Davids and Sonny Silooy missing for the Dutch side, the Old Lady ran out 4-2 winners after converting all of their spot kicks.

The win saw Juventus crowned champions of Europe for the first time since 1985 and remains their last victory in the competition.


Juventus 3-1 Real Madrid (2003)

David Trezeguet of Juventus celebrates his goal in front of the photographers

Juventus headed into the 2003 Champions League semi-final second leg with an uphill task ahead of them. 2-1 down against the reigning European champions, it was going to take something special to progress.

Marcello Lippi’s men blew the Spanish giants away, with first-half goals from David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero putting them firmly in control. A second half Pavel Nedvěd goal all but confirmed their place in the final, with a late strike from Juventus old boy Zinedine Zidane not enough to spoil the party in Turin.

Juve would go on to suffer final heartbreak at Old Trafford against fellow Italian side ​Milan, with Carlo Ancelotti’s men edging them out 3-2 on penalties.


Cagliari 0-2 Juventus (2012)

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-JUVENTUS-CHIEVO

Not many would have forecast when Juventus won Serie A in 2003 that it would be their last league title triumph of the decade. They certainly wouldn’t have said that after the Turin side won it in 2005 and 2006…only to see those title stripped after the Calciopoli scandal broke. 

Heading into the 2011/12 campaign the club had gone eight seasons without an official Scudetto, having spent time in Serie B, but they came into their penultimate game of the campaign knowing a win at Cagliari would mean any slip up from nearest challengers Milan would hand them the title.

The Old Lady were in imperious form, with Mirko Vucinic finding the net after just six minutes. With rivals Milan flapping at home to Inter, Juve knew if they held their nerve they would be champions. They went one better than that and secured the win in the second half, and with Milan beaten 4-2, the title was Juve’s.

Antonio Conte’s men would go on to complete the season unbeaten, the only team ever to do so in a 38-game Serie A campaign. 


Juventus 4-0 AC Milan (2018)

FBL-ITA-CUP-JUVENTUS-MILAN-FINAL

The Coppa Italia final is a red-letter day in any Italian football fan’s calendar, but when the final contains two heavyweights like Juventus and Milan, it’s a special occasion for most. The Old Lady headed into the 2018 final having not tasted defeat in the domestic competition since 2014.

After a tense start the game exploded into life in the second half, with Juve blowing away their rivals with four second-half goals. A double from Medhi Benatia and goals from Douglas Costa and Nikola Kalinić meant Juventus were crowned Coppa Italia winners for the fourth consecutive season.

The win was Juve’s 13th in the competition and was the first leg of yet another domestic double. The Old Lady didn’t concede a single goal on their way to Coppa Italia glory, outscoring their opponents by an aggregate score of 10-0.


Juventus 3-2 Deportivo La Coruna (2003)

Juventus striker David Trezeguet of Fran

We’ve already established that Juventus’ route to the 2003 Champions League final wasn’t easy, but the Italian giants almost didn’t even make it as far as their colossal clash with ​Real Madrid. In the second-round group stage they needed a win against Deportivo La Coruna to progress.

An early Ciro Ferrara goal had the hosts in control, but a goal either side of the break from Roy Makaay and Diego Tristan had Juve staring down the barrel of elimination. David Trezeguet’s strike offered hope, and with 93 minutes on the clock, Igor Tudor hit the sweetest left-footed strike you will ever see.

The Old Lady progressed to the next round, before eventually coming unstuck against Milan in the final. A pulsating run to the final nonetheless.


Juventus 4-0 Torino (2017)

Paulo Exequiel Dybala

When you’re as successful a team as Juventus, you’re bound to make some rivals on the way, but nothing beats the rivalry between you and the team you share your town with. Juventus vs Torino is always special if you’re a Juventus fan, and 2017’s clash was certainly special.

The writing was on the wall early on as Pablo Dybala’s early opener was soon followed by Torino’s Daniele Baselli receiving his marching orders. I Bianconeri were in no mood to go easy on their rivals, with goals from Miralem Pjanic and Alex Sandro added to late on by another from Dybala.

The win was Juventus’ biggest over their city rivals for 22 years, in a year which saw them dominate domestically yet again.


Juventus 7-0 Parma (2014)

Stephan Lichtsteiner,Paul Pogba,Fernando Lorente

Score lines as eye-catching as 7-0 don’t come about too often, so to see a 7-0 hammering in one of Europe’s meanest leagues is pretty something.

Doubles from Fernando Llorente, Carlos Tevez, Álvaro Morata were added to by Stephan Lichtsteiner to give the Old Lady one of their biggest wins in Serie A and further tighten their grip at the top of the table.

Undoubtably a memorable day for any Juventus fan.


Let’

Paulo Dybala Reveals He Only Wanted to Join Juventus Following Palermo Departure

​Paulo Dybala has insisted that the only club he wanted to join was Juventus after deciding to leave Palermo in the summer of 2015.

The now 26-year-old emerged as a world-class talent during his time with the Eagles and was highly sought after following three impressive years with the club, in which he produced a combined 37 goals and assists.

As a result, a host of Europe’s biggest clubs were interested in acquiring his services, but the Argentine insists that he only ever had eyes for Juventus, while stalling approaches from other clubs until the Old Lady came calling.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-JUVENTUS-INTER

During a recent video interview with Juventus’ website (as quoted by ​Football Italia), Dybala opened up on his desire to join the current ​Serie A champions, while also recalling the moment he discovered they were interested in signing him.

“I remember that day as if it were yesterday,” stated the midfielder. “I was at home in Palermo with my mother and others. We were talking about what could happen, the team I could choose, there were already many clubs, coaches and others calling, but I wouldn’t close to door on anyone, nor say yes or no, because I felt that sooner or later the call would come from ​Juve.”

He continued: “One day, after lunch, my agent called and said in an hour, you’ll receive a phone call from the Juventus director. I spoke to Fabio (Paratici) and he told me that he’d do everything possible to ensure that I joined Juventus.

“After I put the phone down, I ran over to my Mum, I hugged her and said I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”


​Dybala has since gone on to make 216 appearances for the Old Lady, scoring 91 goals and registering 36 assists in the process – a combined 25 of which have come this season so far.

The former Palermo player is currently recovering in self-isolation after contracting the coronavirus, but he has since taken to social media to reassure his followers that he’s feeling a great deal better.

Let’

On This Day in Premier League History – 9 April: Thierry Henry Magic, Manchester Misery & More

​9 April. There’s nothing particularly special about that date for the majority of us, right?

Oh, how wrong we are!

On this day over the years, there has been a whole host of special moments in football history, dating all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century, and without any current football to enjoy, we might as well bask in the glory of past times.

Without further ado, let’s get stuck in to what happened on this day in football history…


1905 – Juventus’ First Scudetto


​Juventus have won 35 Scudetti since they were founded in 1987, but on 9 April – eight years after their establishment – they won the first of many. 

The Old Lady donned the striking black and white-striped shirts they’re so closely associated with today – inspired by Notts County (yes, really) – for the first time, enjoying their then most successful season as a professional football club.

However, unlike the stranglehold they have on Serie A in the modern day, Juventus wouldn’t win another league title for just over 20 years.


1938 – The TV Era Begins


We’ve all now been living for just under a month without live televised football, yet we’ve already gone completely loopy with withdrawal symptoms. So, it’s hard for us to conceive of a time when sitting back with a beer in front of Super Sunday every weekend wasn’t an option.

Rewind to this day in 1938 and you’ll see the beginning of the golden era of football, with the England vs Scotland grudge match becoming the first football game to be shown live on our screens in full.

Luckily for those north of the border, Scotland secured a narrow 1-0 win at Wembley Stadium.


2004 – Thierry Henry Magic Against Liverpool


Just in case you had forgotten just how bloody marvellous Thierry Henry was at football, we thought we would remind you of the striker’s stunning hat-trick for ​Arsenal against ​Liverpool 16 years ago today.

The Gunners ran out 4-2 winners at Highbury, with Henry stealing the show courtesy of his remarkable solo goal and second of the afternoon. Arsenal would go on to win the title without losing a single game in the 2003/04 season, coining the term the ‘Invincibles’. 

Although, anyone who has ever talked to an Arsenal fan would know that as they do like to bring it up in conversation, believe it or not.


2005 – Norwich 2-0 Manchester United


​​Norwich like a good old upset against Manchester’s big boys, don’t they?

Back in 2005, a Dean Ashton-inspired Norwich not only scored twice against United, but kept a clean sheet during a stunning victory at Carrow Road. 

The result all but ended United’s hope of another Premier League title, with the Red Devils finishing the season third, while the Canaries’ joy was cut short by their relegation several weeks later.

It’s fair to say Sir Alex Ferguson wasn’t best pleased, refusing to speak to United’s media team after the game. Toys were well and truly thrown out of the pram.


2013 – Borussia Dortmund Break Malaga Hearts


Even for ​Dortmund, this was dramatic.

BVB have a habit of doing things the hard way and were staring a shock Champions League quarter-final exit to Malaga in the face when the fourth official put up the board for stoppage time on 9 April 2013. 

2-1 behind, their Spanish visitors were set to go through to the semi-final, with Dortmund needing two goals to progress. Marco Reus grabbed an equaliser in the 91st minute, before defender Felipe Santana – who found himself in a suspiciously offside position – prodded home a winner for Jurgen Klopp’s men, with Westfalenstadion erupting in euphoric celebration.

BVB would go on to the final to face German rivals Bayern Munich, but would fall short of a rare European trophy.


2014 – Bayern Beat Manchester United


Another bad day for ​Manchester United. 

With a place in the Champions League semi-finals at stake, United were unable to pull off a remarkable two-leg victory over the Bavarians, losing to Bayern 3-1 following a draw in the first match between the sides.

Patrice Evra’s thunderbolt – that was so good even ​Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer looked like he was celebrating it – had given the visitors an unlikely lead, but three goals in under 20 minutes for Die Roten soon turned the tables, including a beautiful solo effort from Arjen Robben.


2016 – Andy Carroll Humiliates Arsenal


It feels like only Arsenal could concede a hat-trick to ​Andy Carroll from a collective distance of about 20 yards. On this day in 2016, they did exactly that.

However, it feels even more typical that West Ham would still fail to win the game, drawing 3-3 with the Gunners.

Two headers and an acrobatic volley did the business, although Carroll would be lucky to even get his name on the scoresheet once these days.


2019 – Tottenham Punish Manchester City Mistakes


It feels an awful long time ago, but Tottenham made it to the ​Champions League final last year. On their way, they beat domestic treble-winners Manchester City of all teams, with a breathtaking second leg securing their place in the semi-final.

However, the first leg proved just as pivotal, with Spurs narrowly edging out the Sky Blues 1-0. Sergio Aguero had missed yet another penalty before Heung-min Son netted in the 78th minute, gifting Tottenham what proved to be the deciding goal in the tie. 

Despite how the journey ended in Madrid on 1 June, it was one hell of a ride for the Lilywhites.


2020 – Giovani Lo Celso Turns 24


While we have loved taking you down memory lane, 9 April is a very special day this year for ​Tottenham’s hottest new midfielder. 

The Argentine turns 24 having now secured a permanent move to north London and there are plenty of signs that suggest Lo Celso is going to be a big hit for Spurs in the years to come.

Happy birthday, Giovani!


Let’

5 of the Best Serie A Kits of the 1990s – As Chosen By James Richardson

When you think back to Serie A in the 1990s, what immediately springs to mind? Francesco Totti, Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon bursting onto the scene? Ronaldo tearing defences apart limb from limb? Or some of the greatest tactical sides in football history? 

​Yes, yes and absolutely yes. 

But above all, one thing stands out:

The kits. 

The beautiful kits.

Serie A was ushering in a whole new era of young, exciting, attacking stars into their midst, and this brave new world was welcomed in stylish fashion. 

Francesco Totti

Some of the nicest jerseys in history took centre stage in the most exciting and star-studded league in the world, providing the sexiest backdrop to the biggest events in sport. But which shirts stole the show in the 90’s cat-walk?

To help us decide on the nicest strip in the business, 90min spoke to Italian football expert and former Football Italia host James Richardson, who gave us the rundown of his favourite Serie A shirts. 

Prepare to be wowed. 


Napoli 1990/91

One of the most memorable shirts in Napoli’s history, this little number will forever be remembered as the final kit to be pulled on by club legend Diego Maradona.

A historic jersey, which brought an end to an era of success for I Partenopei. 


Fiorentina 1992/93

The first of a Fiorentina doubleheader. This jersey is Fiorentina’s 1992/93 outfit, and it’s a thing of beauty. 

The colourful 7up sponsor pops off the front of the shirt, and the lovely shades of purple provide a charismatic and classy criss-cross effect. One for the ages. 


Fiorentina 1997/98 

Gabriel Batistuta of Fiorentina celebrates

As good as the previous strip was, this one just about pips it for us. 

Fiorentina had a knack of making their sponsor badge look so stylish on the front of their shirt, and once again, they’ve made Nintendo appear a class above the rest. A joy to behold. 


Roma 1991/92 


There is so much to love about this particular kit. To start with, yellow and red are such warm, inspiring colours, and to see a stadium filled with Giallorossi flags is magical. 

Now onto the actual strip. The Roma 1991/92 jersey is simply stunning. A lovely red dominates the shirt, with yellow trimmings and the word ‘Barilla’ emblazoned on the front. Never has a pasta brand seemed oh, so sexy. 


Sampdoria 1991/92 


The pièce de résistance. The emotion that stirs within you upon looking at this Sampdoria strip from 1991/92, is the feeling every kit manufacturer aims to reproduce when designing the latest jerseys.

The collar, the stripes, the deep blue combined with the red and black. The badge in the centre of the jersey. There’s something so stylistically perfect about this shirt, that with only a glance in its direction, you just know it was made in Italy. 

Outstanding. No wonder James Richardson chose this as his number one. 


Watch Golazzo – The Football Italia Story, part of BT Sport Films series, Friday at 9pm on BT Sport 2.


Let’

Fabio Quagliarella: The Italian Capable of the Spectacular Who Decided to Peak a Decade Late

​We’ve all heard the term: ‘peaking too early’. It’s a phrase which has been common with players included in 90min’s ‘Curious Case of…’ series but now it’s time to shed light on a talent who didn’t peak until his mid-30s.

The definition of a late bloomer: Fabio Quagliarella. 

Born just south of Naples, Quagliarella spent much of his youth career at Gragnano – now of Serie D – before making the switch to Torino as a 14-year-old in 1997. He developed through the ranks at I Granata into an opportunistic and intelligent forward who was blessed with a superb technique and a thunder-bastard of a right-foot.


​​The Italian failed to make an impact at senior level for Torino, however, and was shipped out on loan in 2002 for two consecutive campaigns. Following a barren spell at Fiorentina, Quagliarella found his feet in the lowly Serie C1 at Chieti, where he scored 17 times in 32 games.

Some of the goals he scored during that 2003/04 campaign were strikes that would later become synonymous with Quagliarella’s flamboyant style of play; from curling free-kicks to audacious acrobatic efforts.

Following the bankruptcy of Torino Calcio in 2005, the co-ownership system in Italy – which has since been removed – meant Quagliarella became something of a Serie A journeyman over the next few years.  

Between 2005 and 2009 he played for Udinese, Ascoli and Sampdoria, forming a formidable strike partnership with Antonio Di Natale at I Friulani after a breakout 2006/07 campaign at Sampdoria – where he scored 13 times in Serie A and his knack of pulling off the spectacular saw him gain worldwide recognition.

Seriously, some of his strikes during his first spell at I Blucerchiati are just ludicrous.

Fabio Quagliarella

Now an Italy international and destined for a big move away, Quagliarella achieved what he described as his ‘dream move’ at the age of 26, with his childhood fantasies morphing into reality when he made the £15m transfer to his boyhood club, Napoli.

Despite immediately establishing himself as a fan-favourite and becoming part of I Partenopei’s mightily talented attacking triumvirate alongside Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik, off-field issues with a stalker haunted his time at the club and he was forced to leave after just one season – moving to Juventus on an initial loan deal.

During arguably the toughest period of his career – he also tore his ACL in January 2011 – Quagliarella’s perfectly executed chip from 25 yards out in Italy’s group stage defeat against Slovakia at the 2010 World Cup reminded the world of the Italian’s awe-inspiring talent, a forward who epitomised the meaning of ‘aesthetic’ when the ball was at his feet.

After joining I Bianconeri permanently in the summer of 2011 despite his injury, Quagliarella enjoyed a mightily successful spell in Turin from a team perspective but struggled to establish himself as a star under Antonio Conte.

FBL-EUR-C1-JUVENTUS-GALATASARAY

And when he departed for a second spell at Torino in 2014, Quagliarella – coming off a single goal campaign in Serie A with Juve – was regarded by many as a ‘has been’, a player ultimately in decline after never quite recovering from the trauma he faced in Naples just a few years prior.

Nevertheless, Quagliarella – who was 31 when he returned to Torino – teased a resurgence with a 13-league goal campaign in 2014/15 and also scored the winner in Torino’s first win over Juve for 20 years in the Derby della Mole.

His successful ’round two’ at Torino convinced fellow former employers Sampdoria to take a shot on an ageing Quagliarella in January 2016. But after an underwhelming six-months amid a torrid campaign for I Blucerchiati, it looked like their risk hadn’t quite paid off – despite his special consolation strike against Inter in February.

Reaching the milestone of 100 Serie A goals was the highlight in an impressive 12-goal 2016/17 campaign before, finally, we got the rejuvenation we’d all been waiting for under Marco Giampaolo – who’d managed Quagliarella at Ascoli over a decade prior.

UC Sampdoria v Pescara Calcio - Serie A

Giampaolo adopted his typical 4-3-1-2 at Sampdoria (he’d arrived in 2016, by the way) which allows for constant rotations and interchangeability in the final third. This suited Quagliarella perfectly as it allowed the versatile Italian to drop a little deeper and into wide areas to kickstart quick combination play. The system was less reliant on Quagliarella’s ability to hold the ball up, something he’s never really excelled at.

The well-structured, balanced and vertical system saw Quagliarella thrive and he followed up his 12-goal season with 19 strikes in 2017/18 – the most prolific goalscoring season of his career until…

The Capocannoniere-winning campaign of 2018/19. The peak of Quagliarella’s career despite turning 36 midway through the season.

With Giampaolo’s ‘4P’s philosophy’ the mastermind, Quagliarella went on to score 26 times in Serie A – setting up a further seven – and equalling Gabriel Batistuta’s record of scoring in 11 consecutive Serie A matches in a single season, which the Argentine set in 1994.

Amid his remarkable season, Quagliarella couldn’t resist breaking the internet once more as he netted a sensational back-heeled volley against former club Napoli in September. A moment of sheer brilliance and innovation which was later nominated for the 2019 FIFA Puskas award and labelled by Quagliarella himself as the best goal of his career – and that’s something.

[embedded content]

A return to the national team was inevitable and in Italy’s 6-0 thumping of Liechtenstein last year, he became the country’s all-time oldest scorer. And who knows, continued defiance of age could see Quagliarella sneak into Roberto Mancini’s Euro 2021 squad. 

His nine-goal campaign this term has shown he doesn’t need Giampaolo holding his hand to get the very best out of him.

Quagliarella has shown the horrors of his Napoli days are a distant memory and the special talent he so often teased throughout his twenties has finally come to fore, just a decade later than the average joe.

Let’