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What HAPPENED with Juventus?

12 minute read Published November 7, 2023

Juventus absolutely dominated the 2010s in Italian football, winning every single season but one, in 09/10. They are also the club with the most Serie A titles ever by a wide margin having won 36 while the Milan teams share second place at 19. Italian teams get to wear a star above the badge on their shirt for every ten seasons they’ve won, meaning Juve has three, Inter and Milan each have one. They are the only three teams to have won more than 10.

Juventus have more league titles than Real Madrid (35), Bayern Munich (32) and Barcelona (27) and those are some pretty damn dominant clubs in their respective leagues.

However, it has now been three seasons since Juventus last won the title. Inter, AC Milan and Napoli have brought home the last three Scudetti with Juventus finishing outside of the top three every season. Last season they finished in seventh but with an asterisk as they did have points deducted.


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So what happened to the club that won the league for nine straight seasons?

Manager Merry-Go-Round

Massimiliano Allegri was the Juventus coach between from 2014 when he replaced Antonio Conte, until 2019 and won each of the four Scudetti during that time. In 2019 he resigned from his position even though he still had a year left on his contract. It’s been said that Juventus thought he had achieved all he could at that point.

Maurizio Sarri came in to replace him and actually managed to win the Scudetto in the 19/20 season but was promptly sacked when Juventus were knocked out early of the Champions League the next season. The club brought in a managerially inexperienced club legend, Andrea Prilo who was sacked less than a season later when it was clear he had failed to win the clubs tenth consecutive scudetto.

So after a disappointing season and two disappointing managerial appointments in two years, Juventus thought they’d go back to what worked - and re-signed Allegri.

Generational Shift

For ten year Juventus was lucky enough to keep the core of their team pretty constant. The defensive line of Buffon, Chiellini, Bonucci, Barzagli and Lichtsteiner played together for 8 full seasons. Marchisio, Pirlo, Vidal and played for several seasons together in midfield.

This was of course excellent for the team at the time, but with such a stable core to the team it was hard for new players to break through and after 10 seasons at the top, the squad started becoming old. Even in Italy there’s a point at which players start to decline. It was only this summer that the last of those defenders left Juventus, as Bonucci joined Union Berlin.

Before the 2019 season it was finally time to bring some youth into the backline who’s age was now starting to show and the choice fell on Matthijs De Light. De Light had at only 19 years captained the Ajax team that the season before made a deep run in the Champions League and deeply impressed the football world. Which brings us to...

Transfer Dealings

In a new transfer reality where players regularly move for €50m+ Juventus have failed to adapt. The transfers that have been made in this market have largely been disappointing, with a few exceptions of course.

Having Cristiano join should be considered a success, not only in sporting terms but also financially and with regards to the club's recognition internationally.

But many of the big transfers Juventus have undertaken in the past few seasons have not played out like that. Matthijs De Light came in to be the new Chiellini or Bonucci, the leader in the backline that would make up the spine of the team for years to come. De Light, after spending three seasons at Juventus, decided that the project he had been promised no longer looked as attractive and decided to move on to Bayern Munich, at a €20 million loss for Juventus.

Other examples include Dusan Vlahovic, Arthur Melo and the return of Paul Pogba. Vlahovic was touted as the next big star after a breakout season at FIorentina where he scored a goal every other game. Expectations were very high but he has since failed to deliver on those expectations. Arthur came to Juve from Barcelona after being highly anticipated at the Catalan club but failed to secure a spot in the team. Why Juve thought it would go any differently in Turin is hard to say. Pogba has only played 8 games since he joined last summer.

Arthur’s reported transfer value was €80 million but it’s likely that number is inflated as Miralem Pjanic moved to Barcelona for €60 million at the same time and both those numbers seem very high to outsiders. This was likely done to increase turnover at both clubs thus making their Financial Fair Play numbers make sense, which leads us to...

Corruption issues

Juventus is Italy’s most successful club ever, both domestically and internationally. For some reason though, it seems that’s never enough. In the 2005 Calciopoli scandal the team was found guilty of arranging games in their favour.

So it wasn’t the first time leadership in Juventus was caught behaving improperly when in November of last year the entire board resigned and a few days later were given a 15 points (later reduced to ten points) deduction in the league. This was given for a capital gains violation that included several player transfers.

Final Thoughts

The team has had a tough generational shift. Both a five time scudetto-winning manager and several of the most decorated players in the squad left the club in a matter of a few years and the club failed to handle this.

The transfers that were brought in to replace the club legends either didn’t live up to their predecessors, or they were unimpressed by the sporting project that the club presented and left. Combine that with leadership running the business side of the club in an illegal way thus getting a ten point deduction and the result is a great club finishing seventh in the league.

Allegri is now back on the touchline and some sort of stability has been brought back to the back room. This year has started off better for the club as they currently sit second in the league, just two points Juventus is too big a club not to be.

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