Juventus vs. Primavera: What the Old Lady Learned from Pre-Season Friendly
Back on Italian soil following a lucrative tour of Asia and Australia, Juventus continued their pre-season with a local fixture on Wednesday afternoon. They travelled to the picturesque Villar Perosa, the long-time home of owners the Agnelli family, for a match steeped in tradition.
The village was built in the 1930s by Edoardo, the first family member to run the Bianconeri, and for a while became the training base for the Serie A giants.
When the demands of modern football meant this was no longer viable, Juve began to eschew more lucrative matches for a summer meeting between their A and B teams.
This saw the first team take on the best players from the youth sector. It is known on the peninsula as the partita in famiglia—"The Family Match"—which perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the event.
As well as the Agnelli clan, who organise the day’s events, the players' families also attend, and the game is never marred by poor behaviour from fans.
With its unique and exciting atmosphere, the town of Villar Perosa comes alive for the occasion. The tiny pitch and quaint surroundings are reminiscent of proud parents watching their children play in the local park.
Whilst reading anything into the most uncompetitive of friendly matches is almost impossible, Massimiliano Allegri is likely to have learned a number of lessons from the match.
Over the following pages is a look at what some of those things may mean for the new coach and his players.
Carlos Tevez Remains the Club’s Deadliest Player
Opening the scoring against a team of youth sector players may be regarded as something of a poor show of form, but Carlos Tevez once again shone in Villar Perosa.
The team’s leading scorer last term, the striker netted the first goal of the match and led the line superbly throughout.
His form will be vital to Allegri in the forthcoming campaign. To see him once again find the back of the net will surely please the Juventus coach.
Andrea Pirlo and Stephan Lichtsteiner Continue to Dovetail Perfectly
One of Juve’s other dangerous weapons is the ability of Andrea Pirlo to find the forward runs of Stephan Lichtsteiner.
Since joining the Bianconeri in the summer of 2011, the duo have regularly linked up to create havoc for opposing defences down the right flank.
The pair did so again for the A-team’s third goal of the day, just as they had in Antonio Conte’s first official match in charge, with the Swiss defender netting the first competitive goal at the Juventus Stadium against Parma.
There Is No End to the Arturo Vidal Speculation
Prior to the game, Beppe Marotta was once again asked questions about the future of Arturo Vidal, despite repeatedly denying the club had received any official offers for the player.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia prior to kickoff, the director general responded by saying (h/t Football Italia):
Vidal is fine, he has started training again and his knee is working as normal again. He is still available for the team, there is always the same speculation about him.
He was never put up for sale and there have never been any negotiations for him. They are the usual media rumours that are apart from reality.
While the Chilean star remains with the Bianconeri, Allegri will also need to get used to the constant questioning over his future.