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Juventus Power Rankings

Adam DigbyFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2014

Juventus Power Rankings

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    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    With the season ending in historic fashion, Juventus and her fans can sit and look back on a campaign that will live long in the memory. With a third successive Serie A title secured in record-breaking fashion, the current incarnation of the Bianconeri are among the strongest sides in memory, sweeping all before them under Antonio Conte.

    The coach has guided La Madama to a level of dominance not seen on the peninsula in quite some time, and he has done so in emphatic fashion, winning each of the club's 19 home games this term. Their league-record tally of 102 points is the highest by any team in Europe's top five leagues, and it will be interesting to watch how the Turin giants look to build on that over the summer months.

    For now, however, the end of 2013-14 provides the perfect opportunity to reflect upon the players who have donned the famous black and white shirts this term, analysing their importance to the club's 32nd Scudetto victory. On the following pages, each member of the squad has been ranked in order of their impact this season and a brief recap of their individual contributions to this latest triumph.

     

    All statistics provided by WhoScored.com unless otherwise stated.

26. Rubinho

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    Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

    Games Started: 0 Sub Apps: 1 Goals: 0

    For the second straight season, Rubinho made his only appearance as a substitute in the final game. The 31-year-old is clearly only making up the numbers for the Bianconeri and is in a position that could be used to develop a younger player, such as Nicola Leali.

25. Marco Motta

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Games Started: 0 Sub Apps: 2 Goals: 0

    Marco Motta made two appearances as a substitute before moving to Genoa, and he is unlikely to ever become a regular member of the Juventus squad again this summer.

24. Paolo De Ceglie

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Games Started: 2 Sub Apps: 2 Goals: 0

    Joining Genoa at the same time as Motta, Paolo De Ceglie is another player whose long-term future is likely to be away from Turin. Having spent years waiting for the full-back to deliver on his early promise in the youth sector, the club seem to have run out of patience with the 27-year-old.

    Always a firm favourite with the Bianconeri supporters, injuries and misfortune have ruined a potential solid career with his hometown club, and a permanent move seems to be on the horizon.

23. Federico Peluso

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Games Started: 4 Sub Apps: 5 Goals: 1

    The continued excellence Kwadwo Asamoah and the signing of Angelo Ogbonna limited Federico Peluso's impact this term. While he is a solid professional and never complains about his minimal role, he is another player whose place in the squad could be used to develop a younger player, such as Pol Garcia.

22. Simone Padoin

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    Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

    Games Started: 8 Sub Apps: 13 Goals: 1

    Continuing the theme of players who make little impact and take up a place that could be much better used, Simone Padoin enjoyed another instantly forgettable campaign. Despite playing in 21 matches, it is tough to remember a single telling contribution from the 30-year-old.

21. Fabio Quagliarella

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Games Started: 3 Sub Apps: 14 Goals: 1

    As the 2013-14 season developed, it became more and more clear that Fabio Quagliarella had become unneeded by Conte and would seem set to leave this summer. Since the end of January, the 31-year-old made just three substitute appearances which totalled a combined 72 minutes.

20. Daniel Osvaldo

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    Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

    Games Started: 4 Sub Apps: 7 Goals: 1

    Signed in January after falling out of favour at Southampton, Daniel Osvaldo endured a mixed second half of the campaign with Juventus. Largely flattering to deceive, the former Roma striker scored two vital Europa League goals and the winner against the Giallorossi last week.

    It is highly unlikely the Bianconeri will pay the €19 million clause to make his move permanent, but it would be no surprise to see him make a cut-price switch.

19. Simone Pepe

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    Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

    Games Started: 0 Sub Apps: 2 Goals: 0

    While it seems ridiculous that a man who played just 23 minutes all season can be a vital squad member, Simone Pepe manages just that. While his presence in the locker room should not be overlooked, once fit, his versatility is so important to Conte.

18. Marco Storari

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    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    Games Started: 5 Sub Apps: 1 Goals: 0

    A solid backup keeper, Marco Storari appeared to regress somewhat this term, falling below his previous dependable standard. He conceded three goals in his six appearances from just 13 shots against him, according to ESPN FC.

17. Mirko Vucinic

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Games Started: 4 Sub Apps: 8 Goals: 2

    In January, it seemed Mirko Vucinic would leave Juventus, strongly linked with both Arsenal and Inter, per Massimo Marioni of Metro. He managed to play his way back into the rotation and was no longer certain to leave this summer, although as the end of the season drew near, he had once again found himself on the outside looking in.

    Without an appearance since the 2-1 loss to Benfica, the Montenegrin striker may once again need to find a new club, seemingly unwanted in Turin.

16. Sebastian Giovinco

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    Dino Panato/Getty Images

    Games Started: 6 Sub Apps: 11 Goals: 2

    Like Vucinic and Quagliarella, the future of Sebastian Giovinco remains unclear at the current time. Unlike his two fellow strikers, however, the Turin native appears to have a strong ally in Conte and appears to be a favourite of the tactician.

    Perhaps more than any other player, the Juve coach has protected and defended the 27-year-old and values his abilities above those others mentioned.

15. Angelo Ogbonna

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    Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

    Games Started: 14 Sub Apps: 2 Goals: 0

    Moving from rivals Torino, it was always going to be difficult for Ogbonna to win over the Juventus fans, and he has endured a difficult first season with the Bianconeri. The move also appears to have cost him a place at this summer's World Cup, with the 25-year-old missing out on Cesare Prandelli's 30-man squad for the tournament.

    He has struggled in the central role in Conte's back three, but he did well on the left whenever he was asked to fill in for Giorgio Chiellini. There, in his natural role, he excelled, and that bodes well for the future.

14. Mauricio Isla

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    Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

    Games Started: 10 Sub Apps: 8 Goals: 0

    Having finally overcome his injuries, Mauricio Isla enjoyed a solid second half of the season, alternating duties on the right flank with Stephan Lichtsteiner. Still some way off his best form, it was nice to finally see some of his good performances return.

13. Leonardo Bonucci

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Games Started: 28 Sub Apps: 1 Goals: 2

    Last season, Leonardo Bonucci took a giant leap forward in quality, eradicating the mistakes that had plagued his first two campaigns in a Juventus shirt. In 2013-14, however, a few of those began to creep back into his game, much to the chagrin of all connected with the club.

    Conte altered his role slightly, asking him to pass less and defend more, but concerns remain over his ability to focus for 90 minutes.

12. Andrea Barzagli

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    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    Games Started: 26 Sub Apps: 0 Goals: 0

    Injury heavily limited his number of appearances, but whenever Andrea Barzagli took the field, Juventus knew they would get his consistent best. Averaging 64.3 passes per game and connecting on 91.2 per cent of those, he was as comfortable in possession as he was marking opposition strikers.

11. Stephan Lichtsteiner

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    Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

    Games Started: 24 Sub Apps: 3 Goals: 2

    Like Barzagli, the presence of Lichtsteiner on the right flank offered Juventus a guaranteed solidity that simply is not there without him. The Swiss full-back chipped in with eight assists, all but one of which was converted by Fernando Llorente, the new arrival thriving on the service he provides.

10. Claudio Marchisio

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Games Started: 21 Sub Apps: 8 Goals: 4

    Having lost his starting berth at the start of the season, Juventus once again came to rely on the versatile contributions of Claudio Marchisio. Able to fill in for any of the three regular midfielders, the Turin native made himself a vital member of the squad in a whole new way in 2013-14.

    Perhaps most surprising was his ability to fill in for Andrea Pirlo, providing a range and quality of passing that had rarely been seen from him before.

9. Kwadwo Asamoah

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Games Started: 32 Sub Apps: 2 Goals: 2

    Before coming to Turin, Asamoah was a direct and physical central midfielder, but over the last two seasons, he has evolved into a completely different player. Now a pacy and dependable full-back, the Ghanaian even played as an orthodox defender against Real Madrid this season.

    His crossing is much improved, his steady supply providing a perfect balance to Lichtsteiner on the opposite flank and his continued evolution has ultimately led to De Ceglie's exit.

8. Martín Caceres

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Games Started: 14 Sub Apps: 3 Goals: 0

    This season showed why Juventus were so keen to bring Martin Caceres back to Turin, and the former Barcelona player shone as Barzagli remained sidelined. As well as injecting some much-needed pace into an otherwise sluggish defence, the Uruguayan was comfortable on the ball, completing 90.5 per cent of his 61.3 pass attempts per game.

7. Fernando Llorente

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Games Started: 29 Sub Apps: 5 Goals: 16

    Overcoming a difficult adjustment to life on the peninsula, Fernando Llorente proved to be an incredible signing for Juventus. Out of contract in Bilbao, the Pamplona native made a huge contribution to this season's title win and earned a recall to the Spanish national team setup.

    Having cost nothing in terms of a transfer fee, the acquisition of the 29-year-old should see the Bianconeri make a far greater impact in Europe next term.

6. Arturo Vidal

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Games Started: 28 Sub Apps: 4 Goals: 11

    It says much about how good Arturo Vidal has been, that this season was perhaps his poorest since moving to Juventus three years ago. Only one player in Serie A bettered his average of 4.1 tackles per game, while his tally of 18 goals in all competitions is the highest by any midfielder in Juve history.

    Excellent at both ends of the field, the 26-year-old has matured into one of the best in the world at his position, and a good tournament in Brazil this summer may finally see him recognised as such.

5. Andrea Pirlo

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Games Started: 29 Sub Apps: 1 Goals: 4

    When there are no longer any adjectives left to use in describing him, you know the career of Pirlo has continued to be a lesson in brilliance. Now 35, the bearded genius continues to conduct the Bianconeri orchestra perfectly, weighing in with a further six assists to add to those four goals.

    All those came directly from free-kicks, with Pirlo losing none of the accuracy which has long been a hallmark of his game; his passing remains as accurate as ever.

4. Paul Pogba

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Games Started: 33 Sub Apps: 3 Goals: 7

    This year was undoubtedly a breakout campaign for Paul Pogba, the 21-year-old maturing into one of world football's hottest properties. Adding seven assists to his goal tally, the young Frenchman has firmly established a starting berth in Conte's strongest XI.

3. Gianluigi Buffon

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    Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

    Games Started: 33 Sub Apps: 0 Goals: 0

    Like fellow Azzurri great Pirlo, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon continues to weigh in with consistently brilliant displays. Making 86 saves in his 33 games, according to ESPN FC, the 36-year-old kept a remarkable 18 clean sheets in the league alone.

    Certain to star for Italy in the World Cup, the club captain shows no sign of slowing down.

2. Giorgio Chiellini

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Games Started: 31 Sub Apps: 0 Goals: 3

    When lamenting the absence of quality Italian defenders, the name of Chiellini is most certainly the exception to the norm. The 29-year-old once again showed he is among the best in the world, leading the team in clearances (4.7) and interceptions (2.1) per game, while sitting second in terms of tackles (2.5).

    Equally impressive was his contribution with the ball, as only Pirlo (69.0) averaged more passes per game than Chiellini's 68.3. Completing 91 per cent of those efforts, the big No. 3 can reflect on another excellent season at the heart of the Juventus defence.

1. Carlos Tevez

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    Marco Vasini/Associated Press

    Games Started: 30 Sub Apps: 4 Goals: 19

    Joining the club for just £10 million, Carlos Tevez is arguably the signing of the season in Serie A. Such was the impact made by the 30-year-old. His snarling tenacity and drive make him the perfect striker for Conte and Juventus, and his tally of 19 goals provided a huge leap in quality for the champions' attack.

    That only two players on the peninsula found the back of the net more often this term only serves to highlight that fact, and his debut campaign in Italy is one of the best in recent memory.

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