Juventus: 5 Best Players to Star for the Bianconneri at the Stadio Delle Alpi
September 8th will usher in a new era for Juventus as they take to the field in the brand new Juventus Arena for the very first time. English side Notts County will be the club’s first opponents to mark the grand opening of Juve’s new home after a special request from the Italian side.
Everybody involved with the Old Lady will be hoping the move to the 41,000-seat stadium and the appointment of Antonio Conte as manager will see the club return to the glory days of yesteryear. The Turin side have not had the best of times since they were demoted to Serie B in 2006, and the new ground signals a fresh start for the club both on and off the field.
The club left their former home, the Stadio delle Alpi, back in 2006 after 16 years and returned to the Stadio Olimpico after it was renovated for the 2006 Winter Olympics. Five years later the club are on the move once again with the aptly named Juventus Arena built on the club’s former ground where they shared so many great memories between 1990 and 2006.
So many great players pulled on the famous black and white jersey at the Stadio delle Alpi; here are our top five.
Alessandro Del Piero
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Quite simply, Alessandro Del Piero is Mr Juventus. After spending 18 years with the club, he is now all-time appearance holder as well as all-time top scorer and he does not look like stopping there.
The World Cup winner adhered himself to Juve fans on his first start for the club with a hat-trick against Parma following his transfer from Padova and the love affair with the 36-year-old has continued to blossom ever since.
During his time with the Old Lady, Del Piero has picked up a number of trophies including seven Scudetto’s and one Champions League trophy in 1996. Perhaps his greatest achievement was lifting the World Cup with Italy back in 2006 in a time when Italian football was embroiled in a match-fixing scandal.
After 285 goals in 677 games for Juve, time looks to be running out on his successful career, but one thing is for sure: nobody will ever forget Alessandro Del Piero.
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Although his career may have ended on a sour note, there is no denying that Zinedine Zidane is one of the greatest footballers to have ever played the game.
Whilst everyone may remember him for his spell in Spain with Real Madrid, it was his time with Juventus that catapulted him into the limelight. After showcasing his skills during Euro ’96 for France, Juventus paid Bordeaux the measly fee of £3.2 million and what a bargain that turned out to be.
The Frenchman was an artist on the pitch with a delicate touch, mesmerizing skills and vision that could split a team open with one kick of the ball. During his time with the Old Lady, Zidane played an instrumental part in France winning both the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championships in 2000.
His ability on the greatest stage of all led to interest from Real Madrid and in 2001 he swapped Italy for Spain for a then world record fee of £53 million. A Champions League medal with Juve was the only thing Zidane left without when he left for Spain, but he will be forever remembered for his five years in Turin.
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Roberto Baggio is perhaps the greatest Italian player of his generation. After starring for Fiorentina in the 1980’s, it was at the 1990 World Cup in his home country where he came to the world’s attention.
His performances in Italia ’90 led to Juventus agreeing a €10 million fee for the player. His departure from Viola led to riots on the streets of Florence.
Baggio was named both European Footballer of the Year and World Player of the Year in 1993 after his performances helped his club win the UEFA Cup with a 6-1 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund. One season later the Divine Ponytail single-handedly helped Italy reach the 1994 World Cup with five goals in the tournament, but he will be forever remembered for his infamous penalty miss in the shootout against Brazil.
Baggio only spent one more season in Turin before moving to Milan, but his final season was a memorable one after helping the Bianconneri win the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia.
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In a team with players such as Zidane and Del Piero, Antonio Conte may not jump off the page, but he was an integral part of Juventus’ success throughout the 1990s.
Conte’s leadership skills and his ability to dictate the midfield helped Juve win trophy after trophy in the mid 1990s but it was a shock that he only managed to win 20 caps for the Italian national team.
The player won everything available to him during his time at the Stadio delle Alpi with five Scudetto’s, one Champions League and one UEFA Cup to name a few.
Juventus fans will be hoping Conte can bring the glory days back to Turin after he was named manager at the start of the season after winning promotion to Serie A with Siena last term.
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Despite his forgettable spell as Juventus manager, Ciro Ferrara will go down as a club legend after a successful playing career with the Old Lady.
Prior to joining the club in 1994, the defender spent a decade with hometown club Napoli during their successful spell during the late 1980’s and won the Scudetto twice playing alongside the great Diego Maradona.
Another six Scudetto’s would follow as he moved up north to Juventus in the summer of 1994. During his 11 years in Turin, Ferrara became first choice centre back and was considered to be one of the best defenders in the world during his peak.
The Italian national team have always had a number of world class defenders such as Franco Baresi, Paulo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta at their disposal, so it came as some surprise that Ferrara had only won 49 international caps during his career.