With 54 domestic honours to their name (55 if you include their sole Serie B championship win), Juventus are the most successful club in Italian football. They currently hold the record for most Serie A wins (34), most Coppa Italia wins (13), and the joint-most Supercoppa Italiana wins along with AC Milan (7).
Despite their domestic success, they haven’t been as successful on the European stage. The club has only won the Champions League twice in their 120 year history, with their last victory coming in 1996.
Since their Champions League final victory in 1996, Juventus have gone on to lose five consecutive finals (1997, 1998, 2003, 2015, and 2017). These defeats brought their runners-up total to 7 finals, making them the team which have suffered the most final defeats in the history of the competition.
However, the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo has made the Turin-based club one of the favourites to lift the prestigious trophy at the end of the season. Here’s 4 reasons why Juventus will put an end to their Champions League final losing streak.
As already mentioned, the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo this summer has made a huge impact on the Juventus odds to win Champions League. After nine very successful years at Real Madrid, where he won four Champions League trophies, the 33-year old joined Juventus for a fee of almost £100 million. The transfer meant that he became the most expensive player over 30 years old, and the most expensive player in Italian football.
The Portuguese striker became one of the most lethal players in world football, finding the back of the net 450 times in 438 appearances during his time at Real Madrid, becoming the club’s all-time leading goal scorer. He also holds the record for the most goals in Champions League history, scoring 120 goals in 160 games which averages at just under a goal every game.
Although Ronaldo didn’t manage to score in last season’s Champions League final, he did score some vital goals throughout the tournament, including a sensational bicycle kick against his current club in the quarter final.
Video Source: UEFA.tv on youtube.com
Along with Ronaldo, Juventus have made some impressive signings this summer to add to their already impressive squad. The most important signing of the summer could be Leonardo Bonucci. The former Juve defender re-joined the club this summer and is likely to team up with Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini once again. All three players were part of the famous ‘BBC’ defensive line and are likely to play with each other once again as they eye for Champions League glory.
Elsewhere, Joao Cancelo and Douglas Costa were brought to the club for large fees, around £35 million each. Cancelo is one of the most promising full-backs in the game and will offer the side something different on the right hand side of the pitch. Meanwhile, Douglas Costa impressed for Juventus on loan last season with 14 assists, leading to his transfer becoming permanent this summer.
Juventus also managed to secure the signings of Emre Can (free) and Mattia Perin (£10 million). Perin is only expected to be a back up to current number one Wojciech Szczęsny, but Emre Can has made an impressive start and looks set to become a main-stay in the first eleven.
Each of these players offers something different to the team, and could be valuable in the later stages of the tournament.
Despite all these new signings, the ‘spine’ of the team is very similar to the 2015 and 2017 teams which were defeated in the final. Whilst they may have all gotten a bit older, they will still remember their two consecutive final defeats and hopefully learn from them.
The majority of players now know what to expect in the final of the competition compared to what they knew a few years ago and could use it to their advantage. The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo means they’ve added a player who has experience of winning the Champions League, and the players could use his experience to push them over the line.
With quite a few of the players in their thirties, it could also be one of the last chances they have to get their hands on the prestigious Champions League trophy.
The Italian’s appointment on 16th July 2014 was initially met with ambivalence by Juventus fans, but Max Allegri has continued Juventus’ dominance on the domestic stage and transformed them into serious Champions League contenders.
This year is his fifth season at the club, and Allegri has gradually moulded the squad to his liking. Every player in the team knows what their role in the team is, and where they should be on the pitch when they are in possession and when they are not. It’s this familiarity with Allegri’s system which could give them an advantage over some competitors who have appointed new coaches, such as Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
The club have made it to two Champions League finals since his arrival. Could it be third time lucky for the Italian tactician?