Juventus News 2007-2008
16.02: Splendid Del Piero free kick beat Roma
A fantastic Del Piero free kick allowed Juventus to defeat Roma in the battle for second place. Juventus fielded a trident attack and had a very aggressive start. Iaquinta chipped a cross for Del Piero's free header straight at Alexander Doni. On 38 minutes Roma threatened with Totti and Mancini combining for Simone Perrotta's effort deflected over. The best opportunity of the game so far arrived moments later, as Trezeguet flicked the ball into the centre for a fantastic Iaquinta right-foot volley that Doni palmed round the post. Pavel Nedved went on a blazing run through the centre and Philippe Mexes was fortunate not to receive a second booking for bringing him down on the edge of the box. From the resulting free kick Del Piero broke the deadlock with an absolute screamer. He usually aims to curl them, but in this case the captain smashed a right-foot rocket into the near top corner.
However, less than 20 seconds later Roma were only denied an equaliser by the post. Nicola Legrottaglie came sliding in to clear from Perrotta, but accidentally fired it on to the post. Camoranesi has a muscular problem and went off for Antonio Nocerino during the break. In the second half Roma pressured Juventus. Roma had 13 corners in the game, but failed to create big chances.
Zebina went on a marauding run and combined with Iaquinta to blast over, but Mexes' header from a corner kick skimmed the upright. Then Sissoko replaced Trezeguet as Juventus switched to a 4-4-2 system, but Roma kept pushing and Buffon flew to push a swerving Daniele De Rossi free kick out of the top corner. Juventus resisted the pressure and brought home a very important win. Juventus are now only one poit behind Roma and have created a nine point gap to Milan. The sad news is that Inter now lead over Roma with 11 points and have virtually won Lo Scudetto.
16.02: Buffon enjoys that the press attacks Inter
Juventus goalkeeper Buffon admits that he has enjoyed watching the Press savage Inter during the refereeing controversy in the peninsula. Having suffered at the centre of the Calciopoli scandal, Juventus are entitled to revel in some schadenfreude as the nation’s media turn on their rivals Inter. Their achievement has been overshadowed by questionable refereeing that has aided them in recent weeks, culminating in controversy in Catania last weekend when Esteban Cambiasso’s offside goal was allowed to stand. Buffon told the press that he is loving every minute of it. Inter are in exactly the same situation as they were. You don’t know how frustrating it is to have question marks put next to every victory as people ask whether you won because of some sinister reason.
16.02: Jorge Andrade is still out with injury
Portuguese stopper Jorge Andrade has been out of action since picking up a serious knee injury at the start of the season. Andrade is nearing recovery, but reports earlier in the season that he may make an unusually early return seem to be false. Andrade told the press that he is doing everything he can to be back soon. His objective is just to be fit by the end of the season and maybe play some games. Injuries are part of a footballer’s life and there is no panic because Nicola Legrottaglie has been doing very well while he has been out. Andrade was bought from Deportivo La Coruna last summer, but because of his injury he has just played four Serie A games. Now it looks like he won't be back before the end of the season.
16.02: Vincenzo Iaquinta wants more playing time
Juventus striker Vincenzo Iaquinta has called for more playing time in Turin after deciding last weekend’s clash against Udinese. The Azzurri hitman turned the game at the Stadio Friuli and fired the goal that sank his former side, but he did so after coming on as a substitute in the 74th minute. With Alessandro Del Piero on form and David Trezeguet leading the scoring charts, it is difficult for Iaquinta to find space. Iaquinta told the press that he knew that there would be problems with competition at Juventus and he is trying to make the most of the chances he get. Of course he doesn't like sitting on the bench. But football is a game of 11 against 11 and the Coach has to make his choices. What happened against Udinese was a dream. To come on and score the goal that won the three points was amazing and it sent a message to the boss showing what he can do. However, he doesn't want to be seen as a player who just does well when he comes on as a sub and so he has to prove himself as a starter.
16.02: Juventus lost over a million fans in Serie B
A survey in the peninsula has revealed that Juventus have lost over a million fans as a result of the Calciopoli scandal. The Old Lady remain by far and away Italy’s most supported side with an estimated fan base of just over seven million. However, a survey conducted by Stage Up / Ipsos and printed in the Guerin Sportivo states that nearly 1.5m supporters jumped ship during the 2006-07 campaign in Serie B. The biggest beneficiaries of Juve’s spell in Purgatory were world champions Milan whose support swelled by 33 per cent to around 4.8 million. Despite reigning supreme in Serie A, Inter have enjoyed a growth of just 14 per cent to a total of around 4.3 million. The research indicated that Fiorentina and Palermo are attracting a greater number of fans, but Roma and Lazio’s tifosi have shrunk.
16.02: Sissoko claims he is better than Mascherano
Juventus new boy Mohamed Sissoko has struck back at claims he was a consolation prize in the transfer window. Juventus were targeting Sissoko along with Liverpool teammate Javier Mascherano, but reports suggest that their finances made Sissoko the only choice. Sporting director Alessio Secco met with criticism for opting for the Mali international, who was seen as a cheap alternative, but Sissoko is adamant that he is a better player than his former colleague. Sissoko told the press that he is better than Mascherano and that he will win titles. The 23-year-old now has to battle with Zanetti and Nocerino for a regular first team place.
16.02: FC Tokyo want to sign Pavel Nedved
Japanese outfit FC Tokyo are reportedly considering a speculative bid for Juventus veteran Pavel Nedved. The 35-year-old penned a new deal with the Old Lady last summer and was expected to conclude his career in Turin. However, it seems that he may be offered a lucrative deal that would allow him to prolong his playing days. FC Tokyo official Fumitoshi Wakabayashi told the press that a move for Nedved isn’t out of the question. The club is always trying to improve and he could be one option, but there is nothing concrete at this stage and he can’t say whether there has been an approach at any level. Japanese newspaper Nikkan Sports reports that The Gas Men have already tabled an offer of around £6m to try and lure Nedved to the Land of the Rising Sun. Nedved played his 200th game for Juventus against Udinese last weekend.
03.02: Cagliari held Juventus to a draw in Turin
Bottom of the table Cagliari held Juventus to a 1-1 draw at the Olimpico in Turin, as both goals arrived in the space of 60 seconds. Juventus knew they had to focus on Serie A now after their Coppa Italia quarter-final exit to rivals Inter on Wednesday, Cagliari had lost six of their last seven games! Bans took their toll on Juventus with Cristiano Zanetti, Vincenzo Iaquinta and Guglielmo Stendardo sidelined. New signing Sissoko was on the bench, as Tiago got a rare chance. On 11 minutes Pavel Nedved skipped past Daniele Conti and sent David Trezeguet clear, Marco Storari performing a desperate point-blank save. A very lively Nedved created another opportunity that almost saw Del Piero force Storari into a howler, then Tiago drilled wide from distance. Cagliari threatened to take the lead in first half stoppages, but Emanuele Belardi was alert on Joaquin Larrivey. After the break Larrivey had another good chance, nodding wide of the target with only the goalkeeper to beat. The pressure finally paid off, as Cagliari took a shock lead in Turin. Conti got his head to a corner kick and Bianco came flying in at the back post for the final touch. It lasted less than 60 seconds before Nedved ran up the other end and fired a rocket into the bottom near corner from 20 metres. Former Liverpool midfielder Sissoko made his debut by replacing Tiago for the final 25 minutes.
For a moment Cagliari thought they were 2-1 up, as Michele Canini sprung the offside trap from a parried Cossu shot and Belardi just about managed to block the deflected finish on the line. Juventus didn't manage to score and were held to a dissapointing draw at home. Inter won once again and are now 12 points ahead of Juventus.
03.02: Juve see Cassano as possible heir to Del Piero
Juventus are pondering a summer move for the re-born Antonio Cassano, according to reports in Italy. The Italian has been a massive hit at Sampdoria following his loan switch from Real Madrid and his impressive form has alerted the big clubs of Serie A. Although Sampdoria are keen to sign the player on a permanent basis, their request that the gem takes a pay-cut may allow a club like Juventus to hijack their move. Sampdoria can sign the Bari native from the Liga giants for just £3.5m, but they can only complete the transfer if Cassano takes a cut in salary. The ex-Roma man currently nets £3m a season, but Sampdoria are only paying around £850,000 of that sum right now, with Real supplying the rest. Given that Juventus have a bigger budget than Sampdoria, they would be able to offer Cassano a more attractive contract. Juventus have been linked strongly with Cassano in the past, but were always seemingly put off by his character. Although doubts still remain over his temperament, Juventus do see Cassano as a possible eventual heir to Alessandro Del Piero. Inter, Milan and Napoli are also understood to be monitoring Cassano’s situation with a view to a transfer swoop.
03.02: Average attendance of 20 706 spectators so far
Juventus has so far had an average attendance of 20,706 fans. Juventus are only ninth in terms of total attendance in Serie A, but due to their small stadium they lead the way when it comes to filling their arena, as the Stadio Olimpico in Turin tends to be 81.59% full. The Lega Calcio confirmed the average attendance for Serie A games in the opening 19 matches was 22,504 compared to 19,181 last term. The situation is different in Serie B, who have lost big clubs like Juventus, Napoli and Genoa to promotion. The average attendance here has precipitated from 8,531 in 2006-07 to just 5,946 so far this season.
The figures put together season ticket holders and those who buy individual tickets for the games. Milan have the best regular attendances with an average of 57,317 at their home games, followed by Inter in the same stadium with 47,639. Roma on 40,167, newly promoted Napoli with 39,179 at the San Paolo, Fiorentina on 32,107 and Palermo’s 26,310 continue the list. The Marassi duo of Genoa (23,461) and Sampdoria (21,369) precede Juventus on ninth place.
03.02: Arsenal scared by Juve interest in Flamini
Arsenal have become desperate to tie up a new deal for Mathieu Flamini. The France international was set to quit the Emirates Stadium last summer due to a lack of first team action, yet Arsene Wenger persuaded the former Marseille man to remain in London. Flamini has responded by cementing a place in the Gunners line-up alongside Cesc Fabregas in midfield, yet with his contract out in the summer and Juventus ready to pounce for him, Wenger is eager to tie the player to a new deal. Wenger told the press that Arsenal want him to stay but they have not finalised any agreements. Wenger would like it tied up as quickly as possible.
01.02: No problems solved during the transfer window
It was a dissapointing January transfer market for the Juventus fans. When the market closed 4 players had left Juventus, while only 2 players had joined Juventus. None of the problems Juventus needed to resolve were resolved. Juventus needed a World class central defender to resolve their defensive problems. The result was that they loaned out talented Criscito, sold Boumsong and signed Stendardo on loan from Lazio. Few people in Italy had heard of Stendardo and his signing makes the Juventus defence even more average then it was. And when did Juventus start to sign players on loan? Juventus also desperately needed a creative central midfielder. The result was that they loaned out Almiron and bought Sissoko. He is probably one of the least creative midfielders Juventus could buy but they still did so. Now Juventus have three identical central midfielders in Zanetti, Nocerino and Sissoko, while the only creative one is the disaster of Tiago who is destined to rotten on the bench for the rest of the season. If Juventus had bought star players in the central defence and on midfield this season could have changed. Now we can only wait for it to end. This current Juventus squad is very weak compared to former seasons. And for us Juventus fans it is sad to see so many poor players wearing the proud Juventus jersey and strange that the best we can hope for is third or fourth place. Good work again Alessio Secco...
31.01: Juve eliminated by 17-year-old Inter striker
17-year-old Mario Balotelli scored twice to send Juventus crashing out of the Coppa Italia in an epic 3-2 Inter victory in Turin, but Mauro Camoranesi saw red. These two arch rivals clashed last week and Juve fought back to a 2-2 draw. Buffon was still injured, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic was rested along with several other Inter stars. Inter also fielded two unexperienced teenagers from start. Guglielmo Stendardo made his debut for Juventus. It was Inter who took the lead against the run of play after nine minutes. Promising 17-year-old Mario Balotelli used his height and strength to shrug off Alessandro Birindelli, control a searching pass from Nuno Maniche to place his shot into the ground past the goalkeeper. The equaliser came soon after, as Alessandro Del Piero curled a free kick into the far bottom corner of the net, but it took a deflection off Dejan Stankovic in the defensive wall to leave Francesco Toldo rooted to the spot.
Juventus turned it all around on the half-hour. It was another Del Piero set-piece, as Stendardo’s header was palmed on to the post and Iaquinta did well to nod in the rebound.
The referee then pointed to the spot when Salihamidzic lifted his arm to charge down a Luis Jimenez volley from the edge of the box. Cruz stepped up and sent Belardi the wrong way to make it 4-4 on aggregate and all square in terms of away goals. In the second half Balotelli scored his second of the game. The 17-year-old held off Legrottaglie with his back to goal and spun round for a right-foot rocket into the top corner. David Trezeguet and Mauro Camoranesi were thrown on, the latter making his comeback after almost three months out with muscular problems. But it was no good comeback as Camoranesi was shown a straight red card for an absolutely shocking tackle on Balotelli.
The defeat against Inter sent Juventus out of the only competition they could win this season and showed that the Juventus 2007-2008 version can't even manage to beat the Inter reserves.
31.01: Official: Sissoko joins Juve from Liverpool
Juventus have officially completed the signing of midfielder Mohamed Sissoko from Liverpool. The deal has been on the cards for weeks since the Mali international admitted his desire to join the side he supported as a child. The fee amounts to around £8.2m and Sissoko has penned a five-year contract with Juventus. Juventus will pay Liverpool in three instalments, £3.2m initially, followed by £2.5m on July 10, 2009 and another £2.5m on July 10, 2010. There is also a further sum that could be payable depending on performance in the coming season. Sissoko will be available to Ranieri as soon as Mali’s African Cup of Nations adventure in Ghana ends. Sissoko will replace Almiron, but is certainly not the creative midfielder Juventus desperately need.
31.01: Juventus director criticises the work of Secco
Juventus director Gian Paolo Montali has criticised the work of their sports director Alessio Secco. Montali told the press that it is clear that perhaps something from the stylistic point of view on the one hand and, perhaps from a practical point of view, Secco could do much better. He believes that Secco needs to gain experience, to improve and certainly put some things in place. Montali is not a person who seeks out faults, but searches for the solution to the problem. If there will be problems from the point of view of the market, the purchase of players, including their sale, then this is a problem to be solved. Secco is so far one of the worst sporting directors in Juventus history. He is responsible for the terrible signings of Boumsong, Grygera, Almiron and Tiago. When will Secco finally manage to buy a decent player?
31.01: Diego is Juve's nummer one summer target
Juventus directors have agreed that Werder Bremen ace Diego is their No1 target for the summer market. Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri sees Diego as his Gianfranco Zola, while club supremo John Elkann regards the Brazil ace as the new Michel Platini. Elkann has discussed signing Diego with sports director Alessio Secco and is prepared to throw £20 million at Werder Bremen to make the deal happen. Ranieri is ready to shake-up his playing system to complement Diego, while Juve's board are prepared to offer a five-year deal worth £2 million-a-season. With Real Madrid having gone cold on Diego's trail, intermediaries have told Juventus they have a free run at the midfield schemer. If Juventus don't manage to buy Diego then they will concentrate on Van der Vaart.
31.01: Domenech leaves out Trezeguet once again
France Coach Raymond Domenech has once again snubbed Juventus’ Serie A Capocannoniere David Trezeguet. Despite scoring 15 times in Italy’s top flight this term and holding a phenomenal strike rate of 110 goals in 182 appearances for Juventus, Trezeguet has been frozen out of the France side. Personal differences between Domenech and Trezeguet look increasingly likely to bring a premature end to the Juventus hitman’s international career, as the 30-year-old’s chances of being picked for Euro 2008 are slim. Domenech has opted for young Monaco man Jeremy Menez, Rennes starlet Jimmy Briand and Hatem Ben Arfa of Lyon instead of Trezeguet for the forthcoming friendlies against Congo and Spain. Fiorentina goalkeeper Sebastien Frey, Roma defender Philippe Mexes and Inter’s Patrick Vieira have made the 36-man squad, as has Jean-Alain Boumsong who left Juventus for Lyon this week.
28.01: Official: Juventus sign Stendardo on loan
Juventus have signed Lazio defender Guglielmo Stendardo on loan until the end of the season. The powerful stopper has been linked with Fulham and Birmingham since falling out with Lazio Coach Delio Rossi. However, the Neapolitan’s desire to stay in the peninsula gave Juventus the chance to pounce as they look to strengthen their rearguard. Guglielmo Stendardo will stay on loan until June 30. Stendardo is expected to make his debut on Wednesday in the crucial Coppa Italia quarter-final second leg showdown against Inter. However, the 26-year-old will miss out on the upcoming Serie A encounters against Cagliari and Udinese as he is suspended. Juventus sold French international defender Jean-Alain Boumsong to Lyon at the end of last week and are still without the injured Jorge Andrade, Jonathan Zebina and Giorgio Chiellini. Meanwhile, the dissapointment was huge among the Juventus fans for two reasons. This is one of the first times that Juventus ever sign a player on loan, and from a poor and weak club like Lazio. Everyone agrees that Juventus need star players, specially in defence, to improve. Unknown Stendardo was not the name we had expected. Excellent work once again Secco! After signing Boumsong, Grygera, Tiago and Almiron, Secco made another huge signing.
28.01: Official: Mellberg will join Juventus in July
Juventus have officially announced that Swedish defender Olof Mellberg will join the club from July. Juventus added Lazio stopper Guglielmo Stendardo on loan earlier today as a stop-gap solution, but they are looking to strengthen their defence in the summer in anticipation of a Scudetto challenge. Press reports have predicted Mellberg’s arrival for months and it is now confirmed that he will join Juventus as soon as his contract at Aston Villa expires on June 30. Mellberg told the press that he is very happy with this agreement. This experience in Italy will be an important one at a prestigious club and in one of the biggest Leagues in the world. Now he must end the season in the best possible way with Aston Villa, but he really can’t wait to join Juventus and give his best in the black and white shirt. Coach Claudio Ranieri was also delighted that the towering defender has joined the ranks. He commented that Mellberg is a player he knows very well and he was already following him when he was at Chelsea. He’s a central defender who can also play on the right, as he’s doing this year. He has an imposing physique, but is very quick. He will give his contribution to Juventus in terms of international experience and quality. Mellberg has played nearly 250 Premier League games for Aston Villa since arriving in 2001 and has represented his nation more than 70 times.
28.01: Official: Boumsong sold to Lyon
The Jean-Alain Boumsong saga is over with his official sale to Lyon. Boumsong was already in France to complete the transfer when Juventus revealed they had changed their minds and wanted him to stay for another week so that he could play the Coppa Italia quarter-final against Inter. This infuriated Olympique Lyonnais, whose director dubbed the incident as repugnant. Former Newcastle United defender Boumsong was also angry and according to reports refused to come back to Turin. Later Lyon released a statement confirming he had penned a three-year contract and Juventus will receive only £2m. Boumsong has been a huge dissapointment at Juventus. He was the first player incapable Juventus director Alessio Secco bought to the club.
28.01: Official: Almiron joins Monaco on loan
Sergio Almiron has left Juventus to spend the rest of the season on loan at French side Monaco. The Argentine midfielder hasn’t managed to make an impression since arriving from Empoli in the summer and has been a fringe player in Turin. With Mali international Mohamed Sissoko set to arrive at the end of the African Cup of Nations, Almiron’s chances of playing an important role in the Old Lady’s season are set to further decrease and he has opted to jump ship. The 27-year-old’s transfer may become permanent at the end of the season should he decide not to return to the peninsula to fight for a place. Almiron and Tiago are probably two of the worst signings by Juventus ever.
28.01: Mohamed Sissoko ready to sign for Juventus
Mohamed Sissoko is expected to complete his move from Liverpool to Juventus shortly. Sissoko, who is away on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations, is keen to leave Anfield after making just six Premier League starts for The Reds this season. Reports in Italy claim that the midfielder arrived in Turin on Sunday, where he will undergo a medical before being officially unveiled in a deal worth €11million. It is also reported that the 23-year-old will pen a contract at the Stadio Delle Alpi until 2012. Juventus confirmed on Monday that Sissoko will sign the contract soon.
28.01: Tiago will stay in Turin for the rest of the season
Juventus have pulled the plug on Tiago's move to Tottenham saying the midfielder will stay in Turin. Tottenham were hopeful of bringing the former Chelsea man back to England during this month's transfer window after holding talks with Juventus. Atletico Madrid are also believed to be keen on the Portuguese international who has struggled to hold down a regular place in Claudio Ranieri's plans this season. Juventus have now called off any move for Tiago with the club's sporting director Alessio Secco accusing Tottenham of taking too long to complete the deal. Juventus have also struggled to find a replacement for Tiago as Secco has never managed to buy a good player in his short Juventus career.
28.01: Ranieri praises Zanetti and Del Piero
Claudio Ranieri was still disappointed with Juventus’ performance after a 3-1 win over Livorno on Sunday. Ranieri told the press that he liked the desire to win and the great determination they showed tonight, but they made far too many mistakes in the build-up. David Trezeguet’s brace and an Alessandro Del Piero counter-attack gave them their first victory of 2008. Ranieri said that a round of applause must go to Cristiano Zanetti, as their midfield revolves around him. He is fundamental for Juventus. Zanetti will soon be joined by Mohamed Sissoko, who underwent a medical in Turin and should complete his transfer from Liverpool soon. Another player singled out for praise by Ranieri was captain Del Piero, who scored one and provided an assist. Ranieri commented that the goals all came from Del Piero, he had a key role.
19.01: Weakest Juve side since the late eighties
It seems clear that Deschamps got sacked because he wanted to bring in star players like Luca Toni. Ranieri on the other hand is a puppet of the Juventus directors. The unexperienced Secco comes with a player and Ranieri says ok. The two defenders brought in by Juventus this summer have been huge failures. Grygera has delivered many extremely dissapointing performances, last time against Empoli in the Coppa Italia. While Andrade has been on the sidelines for many months, but the defence actually improved after he got injured. As for Almiron and Tiago they are probably two of the most dissapointing players Juventus have ever bought. Total failures both of them. Only Salihamidzic and Iaquinta have played ok. Most Juventus fans have known since the summer that this Juventus squad desperately need reinforcements.
We need a new right back as neither Zebina, Grygera or Birindelli manages to play two consecutive good games. We need a new left back as Molinaro is too young and has to get more experience. With Chiellini playing in the center the young Molinaro has no competition. And most of all we desperately need two central defenders. Juventus will never win a trophy if Legrottaglie, Boumsong or Andrade are first team regulars, they are all disasters. And with Cheillini out for 40 days and Criscito sent out on loan, Juventus have to bring in two new central defenders. Almrion and Tiago have to be sold as soon as possible, they are disasters. I believe that either Van Der Vaart or Diego could be great players for Juve. The club also needs a new striker. Only four strikers in a club like Juventus are too few. I am also confident that Juventus will never win a trophy with Ranieri. This is the weakest Juventus side since the late eighties. A third place would be too much to ask.
19.01: Official: Olivera joins Penarol on loan
Juventus have sent midfielder Ruben Olivera out on loan to Uruguayan side Penarol until the end of the season. Since arriving from Danubio in 2002, the promising midfielder has struggled to adapt to life in Italy. The influx of new midfield talent at Juventus has made Olivera’s task even more difficult and he is regarded as fifth choice in the pecking order. The 24-year-old spent last season on loan to Sampdoria and has played 20 games in total for Juventus. Having failed to find a place in Claudio Ranieri’s plans, Olivera may opt to make the move permanent in the summer. Reports suggest that the Uruguay international has suffered from homesickness in Italy and it is probable that Olivera won’t return to Turin.
19.01: Big blow for Juve: Chiellini out for 40 days
Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini will be out injured for at least a month after sustaining a knee injury. The Bianconeri player limped off during last night’s epic 5-3 Coppa Italia victory over Empoli and Coach Claudio Ranieri was immediately concerned at the setback. Tests confirmed a sprained right knee with damage to the collateral ligament, which will rule him out for between four and six weeks. Cristian Molinaro also picked up an injury during that game, but is not thought to be serious and should be ready for this weekend’s Serie A meeting with Sampdoria. As Chiellini hopes to be back in time for the Turin derby on February 27, it is possible the club won’t seek out a replacement on the transfer market. Yet he will miss out on games against Sampdoria, Livorno, Cagliari, Udinese, Roma, Reggina and the Coppa Italia quarter-final with Inter.
Zdenek Grygera and Jean Alain Boumsong are the only alternatives to partner Nicola Legrottaglie in central defence, but neither has entirely convinced this season.
19.01: Buffon best goalkeeper of the last 20 years
According to the IFFHS institute of football statistics, Gianluigi Buffon is the greatest goalkeeper of the last 20 years. The International Federation of Football History and Statistics made the announcement today after collating its latest figures that crown the Juventus goalkeeper best of 2007. Buffon tops the all-time charts, although the IFFHS only began its calculations from its inception in 1987, on 69 points along with former Manchester United and Denmark shot-stopper Peter Schmeichel. Germany’s Oliver Kahn is in third place on 62 points, followed by Jose Luis Chilavert of Paraguay (58) and ex-Inter and Italy goallie Walter Zenga (55). Edwin Van Der Sar, Belgium’s Michel Preud-homme, Brazilian ex-Parma goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel and David Seaman complete the top 10. Other Serie A based entries include Milan’s Nelson Dida in 13th position on 35 points, Inter benchwarmer Francesco Toldo in 20th alongside German Andreas Kopke, Gianluca Pagliuca in 22nd and Angelo Peruzzi in 32nd place on equal points with Jens Lehmann. The IFFHS plans a gala in 2012 to mark 25 Years of World Goalkeepers.
19.01: Juventus interested in young Czech starlet
Juventus face competition for Mohamed Sissoko, but they are set to complete a more straightforward swoop for Czech starlet Lubos Kalouda. Juventus are looking to strengthen their midfield with Sergio Almiron and Tiago Mendes struggling to prove their credentials and Mali international Sissoko seemed to be the answer. However, the Liverpool man’s claims that he was on the brink of a move may be unfounded as he has now been linked with Monaco and Juventus President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli insists that there will be no new faces in January. There are now reports that Juventus will invest in the future by adding FC Brno’s Kalouda to the squad. The 21-year-old has only made eight appearances in the Gambrinus Liga, but he caught the eye in the Czech Republic’s Under-20 side and has even won comparisons to his compatriot and Juventus idol Pavel Nedved. Sources suggest that the Cadetti champions approached Brno with a £1m offer, but President Radek Belák is demanding around double that figure. A compromise could be reached within the next week and Kalouda could arrive in Turin in the summer after completing the Gambrinus Liga season.
13.01: Sissoko confirms he is close to Juve
Liverpool midfielder Mohamed Sissoko has confirmed that he is close to signing for Juventus. The Mali international has repeatedly stressed his desire to join Juventus since falling out of favour at Anfield. Sissoko was close to joining Juventus last summer, but the Cadetti champions were put off by a £12m price tag, but now it seems a deal could be done. Sissoko told the press that for the moment he is under contract with Liverpool, but he is expecting news in the next few days. His agent is talking with Liverpool and Juventus to work out terms for his sale. All the journalists have been asking him if he has signed for Juventus, the truth is that nothing is complete yet, but negotiations are very close to a conclusion. Sissoko also added that he is very enthusiastic at the idea of playing for such a prestigious club and to have a fresh challenge to show his value.
13.01: Official: Criscito joins Genoa on loan
Domenico Criscito has returned to Genoa on loan from Juventus and is delighted to be back. The Azzurrini defender started his career with Genoa before Juventus bought a 50 per cent share in him 2004 and his full rights last January. Having impressed in Serie B in the 2006-07 campaign, the 21-year-old had hoped to play a prominent role for Juventus this term, but he started just eight games and has returned to Marassi to gain experience. Criscito told the press that he is happy to be back. He wants to thank Juventus and Genoa for agreeing this deal in his interests. He still feels very strongly attached to the Rossoblu jersey and he feels at home here. He owes so much to this club where he grew up and was launched as a player. Criscito remains under contract with the Old Lady until 2011 and will return to base in the summer.
13.01: Del Piero saved Juve from defeat in Catania
Alessandro Del Piero's stoppage-time spot-kick prevented Juventus' first defeat at Catania in 43 years after Gionatha Spinesi's splendid volley. Mauro Camoranesi, Jonathan Zebina and Jorge Andrade remained on the treatment table. Catania got off to a strong start as Vargas' fierce left-foot strike shook the side-netting, but Nicola Legrottaglie nodded a corner just over the bar too. The Bianconeri had a period of pressure with a series of set plays, but the Sicilians took the lead. Gionatha Spinesi scored a cracking goal, as he sprung the offside trap to volley in Giuseppe Mascara's cross with the outside of his right foot. There were suspicions of offside, but no doubts about the quality of the finish under the bar from six yards. Tiago Mendes' horrible mistake allowed Spinesi to run on goal and some more brave defending saw the finish deflected over the bar. Trezeguet wasted a good chance to equalise on the stroke of half-time, as he anticipated Pavel Nedved to nod Del Piero's cross wide. Hasan Salihamidzic also turned a header over from a Del Piero free kick. Marco Marchionni replaced Tiago for the second half, moving Nedved to central midfield.
Del Piero combined with Nedved, but the Czech's pass for Marchionni was over-hit. A spectacular Del Piero overhead kick from Marchionni's cross was not far over the crossbar, but Mascara had a good chance smothered by Buffon. Del Piero aimed a looping header inches past the far post from Cristiano Zanetti's cross, as Juventus were laying siege to the Catania net. Raffaele Palladino replaced Nedved, but he wasted a golden opportunity when Polito missed the ball and the Under-21 international ballooned over the bar. Vincenzo Iaquinta was the final gamble to get a point from the Stadio Massimino, so Catania striker Mascara turned into a makeshift defender to clear Del Piero's cross off the head of an unmarked Iaquinta. With 30 seconds left of normal time, Palladino sparked a counter and Del Piero was tripped from behind by Biagianti, although it is possible he might've got a touch to the ball. The referee pointed to the spot. Curiously, last season Polito saved a penalty from Del Piero when he was with Serie B side Pescara. Alex stepped up and sent Polito the wrong way to draw Juventus level.
13.01: Tiago Mendes could return to Lyon
Juventus midfield flop Tiago Mendes is set for a return to Lyon, according to Les Gones director Bernard Lacombe. Tiago looks highly likely to quit Turin after a turbulent and unsuccessful spell in the Bianconeri shirt. The Portuguese international failed to impress in his early starts and now it seems that Juventus are ready to bring in Mohamed Sissoko and Rafael Van Der Vaart to replace him. There have been suggestions that Tottenham, Chelsea and Fiorentina are lining up bids for Tiago, but former side Lyon seem to be in pole position. Tiago joined Juventus from Lyon in June for a fee of around £9m. He would most likely return on loan, but a permanent deal would see him change hands for a much smaller sum.
13.01: Deschamps: I didn't want Tiago and Almiron
Former Juventus Coach Didier Deschamps has named the men he would have brought in for the Bianconeri’s return to Serie A. The French tactician guided the Old Lady back to the top flight after the Calciopoli verdict sentenced the giants to a spell in the Cadetti. However, Deschamps opted to quit Turin due to a breakdown in relations with the Juventus directors and was left to hypothesise on the moves he would have made. Deschamps told the press that Sergio Almiron and Tiago Mendes weren’t on his shopping list. The club wanted them at all costs, but it was a done deal and it had nothing to do with him. Deschamps had other names in mind such as Luca Toni, Kolo Touré and Gabriel Milito.
13.01: Henry left Juventus because of Moggi
Thierry Henry has explained he left Juventus because disgraced Director General Luciano Moggi disrespected him. The Frenchman had joined Juventus from Monaco in 1998 and was playing as a winger, but his time in Turin was brief and unsuccessful. Henry explained that when he first arrived he had a back problem and wanted to play immediately, but he couldn’t under Marcello Lippi. With Carlo Ancelotti he started to become a first team regular in every match. At the start it didn’t go too well, but after the Roma game he started to score goals and provide assists. That is when his character emerged. He is an honest lad and, for him, Moggi showed a lack of respect. Probably, if it had not been for this incident, he would have continued playing for Juventus. Instead he told them he no longer wanted to remain there. Henry refused to reveal the details of what happened between him and Moggi, who would later become the focus point for the Calciopoli scandal that saw Juventus demoted into Serie B and stripped of two Scudetti. As for Henry, he went on to Arsenal in 1999 and his career was completely revitalised before moving to Barcelona in the summer. He has crossed paths with Italian teams several times since, most notably in the 2006 World Cup Final and will do so again in Euro 2008.
13.01: Three clubs are interested in Boumsong
Fulham are being linked with a swoop for Juventus’ French international defender Jean-Alain Boumsong. Roy Hodgson has strong Italian connections having spent years with Inter and is believed to be discussing a possible offer for the 28-year-old. Boumsong made 33 appearances in the Old Lady’s Serie B promotion campaign, but he has been sidelined by injury problems and slipped down the pecking order in Turin. The Cameroon-born giant has 22 France caps, but he is widely regarded as surplus to requirements in Claudio Ranieri’s squad. Having played for Rangers and Newcastle the 28-year-old knows what to expect from life in Britain and may opt to quit Serie A, despite reported interest from Lazio. Boumsong arrived at Juventus in August 2006 for around £3.3m, but he could leave for half that amount. However, Fulham may have to outbid Greek giants Olympiacos who have reportedly asked Juventus for information on the unsettled stopper’s future.
21.12: Tiago Mendes apologises to Juventus
Tiago Mendes has apologised for telling a Portuguese newspaper that he would like to leave Juventus. The former Chelsea man has failed to settle in Turin since his summer arrival from French champions Lyon. The frustration of starting just two games this season was evident as Tiago admitted that he is considering an early exit from Serie A and his agent and father Jorge Mendes insists that he regrets his statements. He told the press that what was said in the interview is regrettable. He wasn’t playing and felt that he had been banished to the periphery at Juventus. Now it’s different and as the days go by his desire to keep wearing the Bianconeri shirt increases. He has realised that his boss Claudio Ranieri values him, but clearly he needs everyone’s support if he is to stay in Turin and so he will talk to the directors. Sources suggest that there will be a meeting with Juventus sporting director Alessio Secco within the first few days of the New Year to determine whether or not Tiago will remain at the club.
21.12: Will Juventus call back Giovinco?
Juventus are reportedly ready to try and bring Sebastian Giovinco back from Empoli in exchange for Sergio Almiron. Claudio Ranieri sent talented 20-year-old Giovinco to the Stadio Castellani for a season to grow as a player and he has impressed in the Tuscan side. However, the man who went the other way in the summer hasn’t had such a good time in his new surroundings. Argentine midfielder Almiron is at the bottom of Juve’s midfield pecking order and has even fallen behind the unsettled Tiago Mendes. Whispers are intensifying that Ranieri may reverse his summer switch and try to cement the early return of Giovinco. The Azzurrini starlet has indicated that he is happy with Empoli, but he would undoubtedly welcome the call back to base. It is believed that Almiron may be less willing to take a step backwards, despite his lack of playing time in Turin, but he may be given little option.
21.12: Is Gilberto Silva Juve's number one target?
Out-of-favour Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has emerged as Juventus’ number one transfer target in January. The Brazilian, who joined the Gunners in 2002 from Atletico Mineiro, has lost his place in the first team this season to Mathieu Flamini and wants to leave. Although Arsene Wenger has publicly stated that he wishes for Gilberto to stay until the end of the season, the huge wealth of midfield talent coming through at the club, such as Abou Diaby and Denilson, will probably persuade Wenger otherwise. Juventus are almost certain to purchase a centre midfielder in the January transfer market, and have been linked with numerous top-stars, including Frank Lampard, Rafael Van der Vaart and Diego. The 31-year-old Gilberto Silva would certainly be open to the move, while he could also be purchased at a relatively low price. Gilberto also has a wealth of experience, having played 59 times for the Brazil national team, and having participated at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.
21.12: Valencia midfielder Albelda linked to Juventus
Valencia star David Albelda is the latest big-name player to be linked to a move to Juventus. The Bianconeri are well-known to be in the market for a midfielder, and La Stampa claims that the club could take advantage of Albelda’s delicate situation at his club. The 30-year-old, along with veteran goalkeeper Santiago Canizares, has been sensationally axed from the Valencia starting line-up for the remaining two games of the year by Coach Ronald Koeman, and the pair’s long-term future at the club is under question. Albelda’s contract with Valencia runs until 2011, but Juventus could offer him an immediate route out of the club during the January transfer window. Bianconeri boss Claudio Ranieri is a big admirer of the player, having worked with him during his two spells as boss at the Mestalla. Albelda also has international pedigree, having played for the Spanish national team on 46 occasions. It is being suggested that Ronald Koeman would be happy to give his nod if an offer in the region of 10 million euros is made. Juventus might be willing to offer eight.
21.12: Juve also interested in Boca's wonderkid
Juventus have jumped to the front of the queue to sign Boca Juniors starlet Ever Banega. The 19-year-old midfielder is one of the most promising youngsters playing in the Argentine league and he was a star at his country’s successful FIFA Under-20 World Cup campaign in Canada during the summer. Banega only made his professional debut for Boca in February of this year, replacing Fernando Gago, who had left for Real Madrid. The teenager made an instant impact and he was a crucial part of the team that won the Copa Libertadores, and finished runners-up to AC Milan in last Sunday’s FIFA Club World Cup final. Last month it was reported that Milan had a €10m offer turned down by Boca chairman Mauricio Macri. Macri has put a price-tag of €20m on Banega, although it is believed he would accept the €15m Juventus would be willing to pay for him. The Bianconeri have made the signing of a top-class centre-midfielder a priority during the January transfer window, following the disappointing form of Sergio Almiron and Tiago Mendes. Banega, who is nicknamed “tarjeta amarilla” due to the number of yellow cards he receives, is a player in the mould of Liverpool star Javier Mascherano, sitting in front of the defence, winning tackles and spraying the ball around the field. As well as AC Milan, Juventus also face competition from Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Inter Milan for the signature of the youngster.
21.12: Moratti goes to war with Juventus once again
Inter chief Massimo Moratti has called for Juventus to be stripped of more Scudetti as a result of Calciopoli. Moratti’s claims refer in the main to the 2001-02 campaign when Juventus dramatically won the title on the final day, finishing a point ahead of Roma with Inter left two behind. The Bianconeri recorded a win over Udinese, while Inter fell to Lazio in controversial style. Moratti told the press that Inter are still more than one Scudetto short. And that the Calciopoli scandal made the history of the game still less palatable because one can’t think that the men involved haven’t been at other times.
Moratti added that from what he has read, they were notably disadvantaged in the 2001-02 campaign.
16.12: Juventus won for Alessio and Riccardo
Alessandro Del Piero's brace and some career-best saves from Buffon saw Juventus conquer Lazio 3-2 at the Olimpico in a highly entertaining clash. Juventus were unbeaten here since 2003 and fielded Alessandro Del Piero from the start after Vincenzo Iaquinta and Mauro Camoranesi were ruled out with injury. There was a minute's silence before kick-off as it is one year since Juventus youth players Alessio Ferramosca and Riccardo Neri, who drowned at the Vinovo training ground in a tragic accident. Juventus had a fantastic opportunity after 14 minutes when Del Piero's free kick was nodded inches over the bar by Giorgio Chiellini. Then Mauri pounced on a deflected Cristian Ledesma cross off Cristian Molinaro at the back post only to incredibly balloon over the bar from point-blank range! Juventus broke through in chaotic fashion. A corner kick was headed into the path of Salihamidzic and the shot ricocheted off Trezeguet's ankle from five yards to leave the Lazio defenders stranded.
Lazio equalised soon after with a well-worked team move, although the Juve defence was rather static. Massimo Mutarelli ran on to Rocchi's assist and volleyed the pass to the back post for Pandev's cushioned header. Claudio Ranieri introduced Tiago Mendes for Nedved, as the deep cut to the Czech midfielder's head had not fully closed. Within three minutes of the restart Del Piero ran from the centre circle to restore Juve's advantage. A Lazio set-piece was cleared to the captain, who sprung the offside trap, sprinted all the way into the box and kept his cool to place a precise left-foot angled drive into the far corner of the net. Then Ledesma's free kick over the top was volleyed by Rocchi from six yards and Buffon batted it off the line with one strong hand and extraordinary reflexes. Later Del Piero scored an almost identical goal to his first, trapping a long Cristiano Zanetti ball with the outside of his right foot and thumping the left-foot finish high into the far top corner this time. Del Piero almost got a hat-trick when he nodded over from Trezeguet's cross, although he may have been shoved in the back. With just 20 seconds left on the clock, Lazio pulled one back with Pandev completing his brace. Rocchi sprung the offside trap down the left and crossed for the Macedonian's header from point-blank range. This was the first away win in Serie A since September.
16.12: Capello signs for England, Barcelona want Lippi
Fabio Capello is officially the new England manager after signing a four-and-a-half year deal. The appointment was finalised after Capello agreed terms following extensive talks in London. It is believed that he will earn £6m per year, with an opt out clause set for 2010. The ex-Juventus boss begins work on January 7 and will be presented to the media on Monday. Capello will bring his backroom staff of Franco Baldini, Italo Galbiati, Franco Tancredi and Massimo Neri. He was linked with the England job, but it is now reported Marcello Lippi is lined up as the next boss of Barcelona. The 2006 World Cup winning Coach was named by newspapers as a potential candidate for the job that went to fellow Italian Fabio Capello this week, but is eager for a return to club management. According to this morning’s edition of Turin-based paper ‘Tuttosport,’ Lippi is top of Barca’s wish-list for next season. Frank Rijkaard’s position has been in the balance since losing La Liga to Capello’s Real Madrid last term in a late turnaround, but the Blaugrana’s problems are continuing and he is not expected to remain on the bench. As well as Lippi, the other candidate for the Nou Camp is former Chelsea Coach Jose Mourinho.
16.12: Juventus could sign young Czech starlet
Juventus look to have beaten Arsenal and Chelsea to Czech starlet Martin Fenin. The 20-year-old FK Teplice striker is already a full international and was being tracked by a host of big clubs. However, Juventus look to have sealed the deal with his club. His agent told the press that Juventus have held talks with the management, the transfer fee is 7.5 million euros which is not a problem. The two clubs are to sit at the table and negotiate specifically. They don't expect him to get a chance in the first team and it is possible he will be loaned to another Serie A side.
16.12: Zalayeta wants to stay with Napoli
Napoli star Marcelo Zalayeta has told Juventus that he wants to stay with the Partenopei.
The Uruguayan hitman is currently on loan at the San Paolo from Juventus until the end of the season. The 29-year-old has been a revelation this campaign, scoring seven goals in 13 matches and helping launch his side up to joint-sixth in the Serie A table. Zalayeta told the press that in Napoli he is doing well both on a professional and a human level. He has the esteem and the trust of the people who he needs. His career with Napoli is just beginning and with this shirt he would like to write the most important chapters of his life. He wants to play for a long time here and Juventus know that this is his intention. Zalayeta, who has won 47 caps for Uruguay, also said that he would probably refuse a recall to his national side if they asked him to return.
13.12: Juventus ready to sign Swedish wonderkid
Juventus are on the verge of signing Sweden's new phenomenon, who has been compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to his physical qualities. According to reports coming from Italy, young Swedish attacking midfielder Albin Ekdal is in Turin for his medical. If the negotiations go through, and he is cleared by the doctors, he will join the Italian giants next summer. The move will not take place this winter in order to allow Ekdal to finish his studies by May, but the paperwork is set to be completed this week itself to ward off other big teams. The 18-year-old, who is 186cm tall, will join Juventus from IF Brommapokarna, where he debut in April this year. He has played 15 games since. Other clubs, including Inter, Arsenal, Ajax and PSV Eindhoven, are also after his signature, but Turin seems to be his most likely destination now. Juventus will pay the Swedish club just over 1 million euros.
13.12: Van Der Vaart would be happy to join Juventus
Dutch midfield star Rafael Van Der Vaart has admitted that he would welcome any offer from Juventus this summer. The Hamburg ace is joint top scorer in the Bundesliga alongside Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose after hitting nine goals so far this term. Van Der Vaart is under contract with the Rothosen until 2010, but he has a clause in his deal that allows him to leave for just £700,000 in 2009. Van Der Vaart told the press that he will only leave for a big club, like Juventus for example. He knows that they are interested and if the Bianconeri were to make him a concrete offer, he would consider it very carefully. He thinks that Hamburg would be ready to discuss terms with them. Inter are also reportedly tracking the 24-year-old and could start a bidding war.
13.12: Agent: Criscito is staying put in Turin
Juventus stopper Domenico Criscito isn’t on his way to Fiorentina, according to agent Sandro Gedda. The 20-year-old defender excelled in Serie B for Genoa and is regarded as a huge prospect, but he has struggled to find space in the Old Lady line-up. There have been rumours that Fiorentina were ready to swoop in January after experiencing a recent defensive injury crisis, but Gedda denies this talk. The agent told that he hasn’t ever had any contact with Fiorentina for Criscito. There is no news and he thinks that Juventus will want to keep hold of him as he is a quality player with a big future. He will certainly stay in January and there is an agreement in place for June that Genoa get first refusal if he is sent out on loan.
13.12: Molinaro dreams of playing for Italy
Juventus revelation Cristian Molinaro has admitted he wants an international career with Italy, but has shelved hopes of making Euro 2008. Molinaro told the press that becoming a regular in the Giro Azzurro is one of his objectives. However, to think that he could make Euro 2008 is a little premature. Nevertheless, he has a great desire to play for his country which is the dream of every young footballer. The left-back has won himself a place in the Juventus first team recently after Giorgio Chiellini was transformed into a centre-back. The 1983-born player, who was initially signed by the Old Lady after starring for Salernitana, was recalled to Turin in the summer after spending the last two Serie A campaigns on loan at Siena. Having been given his chance by Claudio Ranieri, Molinaro is starting to become one of the key figures of this new Juventus side. Roberto Donadoni’s left-back plans for Euro 2008 will probably include Gianluca Zambrotta of Barcelona and Lyon’s Fabio Grosso. Chiellini could also be drafted into the squad for the trip to Switzerland and Austria given his versatility and fine form this term.
13.12: Camoranesi ruled out by injury once again
Mauro Camoranesi will return to training with the rest of the squad either in the middle or at the end of January. Camoranesi has suffered another muscle problem. The Italian international felt pain in his right thigh during Monday’s training session. Camoranesi, who had only just recovered from another fitness setback, has had an injury plagued campaign so far. The former Verona winger and 2006 World Cup winner will not be back in action until the New Year. Luckily Juventus have many alternatives on the right side, as Salihamidzic, Marchionni, Palladino and Iaquinta can all play in that role.
09.12: Nedved saved Juventus against Atalanta
Pavel Nedved scored five minutes before full time and earned Juventus a win against Atalanta. The Bianconeri needed a boost after drawing three of their last four Serie A games and falling to a 2-1 Coppa Italia defeat at Empoli midweek. Claudio Ranieri was infuriated by the poor showing of his second string squad and warned they might not get another chance to impress him, so he stuck with the old guard for this tough fixture. Juventus started well and Trezeguet came sliding in to meet Antonio Nocerino's volleyed cross from the byeline and just failed to turn in. Soon after a deflected Molinaro cross was nodded inches wide of the upright by the Frenchman. Juventus had three chances in the space of 12 seconds, as Vincenzo Iaquinta saw two efforts charged down by desperate defensive bodies flung in his path and as the move continued Pavel Nedved's cross flashed across the face of goal. Ranieri threw on Alessandro Del Piero and Marco Marchionni for the second half. Juventus had their best chance of the game on the hour mark, as Trezeguet managed to flick the ball past the goalkeeper, but Pellegrino caught up with him for a decisive clearance. Moments later Trezeguet's turn on the volley from Molinaro's cross was just wide, while Floccari's header was off target. Del Piero curled one of his trademark free kicks just past the far post and another set-piece was palmed round the post by Coppola. Juventus finally broke the deadlock five minutes from time with former Ballon d'Or winner Nedved. The Czech shrugged De Ascentis off the ball and unleashed a screamer from 30 metres that rocketed past Coppola low into the corner.
09.12: Juventus could send Tiago on a loan spell
Tiago Mendes’ latest dismal performance may have convinced Juventus to send him to Paris Saint-Germain in January. The Portuguese midfielder was their biggest summer signing at £10m, but has been repeatedly disappointing in Serie A. On Thursday evening newspapers described him as “a ghost” in their 2-1 Coppa Italia defeat at Empoli and some suggest it was his last chance to convince Coach Claudio Ranieri. According to French paper ‘L’Equipe,’ Paris Saint-Germain have already contacted the Turin giants with an intriguing proposal. PSG would like to take Tiago on loan for six months so that he can recover physically and psychologically. Ligue 1 is familiar to him, as he had great success with Olympique Lyonnais, although PSG are currently struggling in the bottom half of the table. Juventus are looking for midfield reinforcements in January, as Sergio Almiron has also disappointed since his summer switch from Empoli. Ranieri is more convinced than ever that his old Chelsea protégé Frank Lampard would be a success story in Serie A.
07.12: Stadium plans to be announced soon
Juventus President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli has promised that Juventus will announce the plans for their new stadium before new years eve. The Old Lady are currently sharing the Stadio Olimpico, which played host to last year’s Winter Olympics, with city rivals Torino. The Juventus President told the press that they are working towards a new stadium and a decision will be made in a month. Juventus will have a new home and it will be a stadium only for the Bianconeri, which will contain action, sporting and non-sporting, seven days a week. It was feared that Juventus wouldn't build a new stadium after Italy lost Euro 2012, but the club is doing all it can to create a new home.
07.12: Juventus will sign new players next summer
Juventus President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli has promised that he will bring in new faces this summer. Juventus are flying in Serie A after returning from the wilderness of the Cadetti. However, if they are to compete in Europe next term, Cobolli Gigli believes that they will need to spend some money in pre-season. The President promised that they will strengthen the squad and look at the young Juventini who are gaining experience elsewhere. The Juventus project is going forward with a solid group as a club and as a team. The President believes they were lucky to find a Coach like Claudio Ranieri, who can start a cycle. He also believes in Tiago Mendes and they are certain that Alessandro Del Piero will be their captain and leader.
07.12: Mellberg will probably join Juventus
Italian Press reports suggest that Juventus have agreed a deal with Aston Villa defender Olof Mellberg. It is no secret that the Bianconeri are keen to bring the Swedish international to Turin, but it seems that his arrival in June is now a formality. Mellberg’s contract at Villa Park expires this summer, so he will be able to join Juventus on a free transfer, but no official agreement can be announced until February.
After a good start to the campaign, Claudio Ranieri’s men look likely to be competing in European competition next term and will need to bring in reinforcements. The news will heap further misery on the out-of-favour Jean-Alain Boumsong. Rumours suggest that the French stopper will quit the club in the summer as he continues to slide down the pecking order. As Mellberg’s arrival won’t leave Juventus out of pocket, the deal isn’t likely to interfere with a possible move for Serbian defensive starlet Branislav Ivanovic. The Lokomotiv Moscow man has already stated his desire to join the Cadetti champions and it is believed that negotiations are progressing quickly.
07.12: Saviola could join Juventus next summer
Juventus are being linked with a summer move for Real Madrid outcast Javier Saviola.
The Argentine forward made a controversial switch from Barcelona to Real Madrid during the summer, but he has struggled to find space at the Bernabeu. After just four appearances and two goals with the Merengues, Saviola could be on the move again and Claudio Ranieri is reportedly interested. According to Catalan newspaper Sport, the Bianconeri are setting aside around £4m to capture the diminutive 25-year-old on loan. While David Trezeguet is believed to be in support of the swoop, it is suspected that Alessandro Del Piero may oppose the arrival of a similar player.
07.12: Ranieri: Too soon to bring back Giovinco
Claudio Ranieri insists that it is too early to recall Sebastian Giovinco from his loan spell at Empoli, despite the Azzurrini starlet’s superb form. Empoli defeated Juventus last night in the Coppa Italia last 16 first leg and Giovinco showed why he is winning plaudits across the peninsula this term. There have been powerful suggestions that the 20-year-old could be brought back to base sooner rather than later, possibly in an exchange with unsettled midfielder Sergio Almiron returning to his former club, but Ranieri has called for patience. Ranieri explained that he won’t be making an Almiron-Giovinco switch. If he did that, he would be clipping the wings of their young lad as if he came here now he would just be training. It wouldn’t be in his interests.
07.12: Juventus lost against Empoli in the first leg
Empoli will take a 2-1 lead to Turin after they beat a weakened Juventus side at the Stadio Castellani with Sergio Almiron seeing red. Claudio Ranieri rested a host of star names, including goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, but he did opt to start with captain Alessandro Del Piero. Under-fire midfielders Almiron and Tiago Mendes were determined to impress and Raffaele Palladino was handed a start as Vincenzo Iaquinta and David Trezeguet sat out. The home side looked more motivated and tested Bianconeri stand-in goalkeeper Belardi after just three minutes with a rasping long drive that the former Reggina shot-stopper had to push away for a corner. Del Piero showed a flash of magic but was superbly denied twice by Davide Bassi in the Empoli goal. It was Pozzi who put the Tuscans ahead with a precise header from a Luca Antonini cross after Juventus-owned starlet Sebastian Giovinco’s incisive ball into the box. Just five minutes into the second period, it was 2-0 to Empoli as Ignazio Abate cut into the box and fired past Belardi. The Old Lady’s Cup run was in jeopardy and Almiron didn’t help the cause when he was booked for a foul on Giovinco and dismissed for vehement protests. Ranieri threw on Iaquinta and it had the desired effect as the ex-Udinese man made it 2-1 in the 81st minute and extended Juventus a lifeline. It could have been even better for the Cadetti champions had referee Stefano Farina seen an apparent Empoli handball in the box late on and Hasan Salihamidzic was denied in the dying seconds by Bassi, but Ranieri will breathe a sigh of relief. The return leg in Turin is on January 16.
07.12: Andrade could return on the pitch in February
Juventus defender Jorge Andrade is firmly on the road to recovery and has set a provisional month for his comeback. The Portuguese stopper picked up a serious injury against Roma on September 23 and has left a whole in the Juventus defence. A broken kneecap was expected to keep the 29-year-old out for more than six months, but there are signs that his recovery is ahead of schedule. Andrade told the press that he is a lot better now. He is working to build up the muscle and now the knee seems almost healthy. He has worked hard over the last three months and he has work ahead, but he is happy because he knows that he will return better. The former Deportivo man already seems to have a month in mind for his return to the Juventus side. He could return in February.
07.12: Agent: Boumsong won't leave Juventus
Out-of-favour Juventus defender Jean-Alain Boumsong is staying in Turin, according to agent Vincenzo Morabito. The French stopper was a key figure in the Old Lady’s promotion from Serie B last term with 33 appearances, but he’s yet to feature in the top flight. In the summer, Boumsong was heavily linked with Lazio, but he seems set to stay put and fight for a place. His agent told that the lad’s future is still in Turin. He is happy in a Juventus shirt and he and his family like life in Turin. It would be hard to leave and he would only do so for one of the world’s biggest sides. There was no concrete contact with Lazio. In the summer there was a tentative approach from Lyon, but nothing came of it. Recently there have been whispers that Real Madrid are interested in Boumsong, but at the moment they are just whispers and nothing more. Boumsong is currently sidelined with an injury as Giorgio Chiellini and Nicola Legrottaglie occupy the centre-back positions.
09.11: Stephen Appiah could return to Juve
Ghana captain Stephen Appiah is being linked with a surprise return to Juventus in the winter transfer window. The 26-year-old midfielder left Turin for Fenerbahce in 2005 for a fee of around £5m after two seasons in the Bianconeri jersey. Juventus are currently on the hunt for midfield options as Tiago Mendes and Sergio Almiron continue to struggle to settle at the Stadio Olimpico. Appiah is under contract until June 2009, but it has been suggested that he could use FIFA Article 17 to quit Istanbul. This rule states that players can unilaterally cancel a contract after a “protracted period” if a compensation package, based on their salary, is paid to their club. It is believed that discussions are at an early stage, but Appiah is said to be keen to return to the peninsula as soon as January.
09.11: Del Piero celebrates his 33rd birthday
Alessandro Del Piero celebrates his 33rd birthday today and he’s being linked with a move upstairs at Juventus when he ends his playing career. The captain has committed his future on the pitch to the Old Lady and respected agent Gianluca Pasqualin believes that he’ll stick around after his retirement. His agent told the press that his playing career will end at Juventus and then he will become a director there. Alessandro would like to be a President, but if he doesn’t do that he should certainly be one of the main directors as his dream is to follow in the footsteps of the great Giampiero Boniperti. A statement on Juve’s club website offers Pinturricchio the best wishes of staff and fans. This event comes during a very positive period for the captain. In his personal life he has just become a father to Tobias, his first son, and on a football level he has confirmed himself as a talisman for this club and renewed his contract. Del Piero will look for a late birthday present when the Cadetti champions take on Parma at the Stadio Tardini on Sunday.
09.11: Trezeguet left out of France squad once again
Juventus star David Trezeguet won’t play a part in France’s crucial Euro 2008 qualifier against the Ukraine. The ex-Monaco man has been snubbed once again by Coach Raymond Domenech and it seems that his international career may be over. Despite leading the Capocannoniere chart with 10 goals to his name, Trezeguet has been ignored due to a conflict of personalities with the controversial boss. Reported Inter target Karim Benzema of Lyon is chosen instead along with 20-year-old teammate Hatem Ben Arfa. France will face Morocco in a friendly on November 17 followed by the all-important game in Kiev on November 21.
09.11: Chiellini expects to extend his contract
Giorgio Chiellini is Juventus’ surprise star of the season and expects to celebrate his return to the fold with a contract extension. The Tuscan stopper’s days in Turin seemed to be numbered in the summer as he neared a switch to Manchester City after falling out with boss Claudio Ranieri. However, Chiellini opted to stay and has been a rock at the back for the high-flying Old Lady this term. Chiellini told the press that he feels really important now playing in the centre. The club told him before the Inter game that there will be meetings about a contract renewal. Nothing has happened yet, but he thinks they’ll meet soon and he doesn't see any problems. Since he nearly left everything has changed so much. Chiellini starred in last weekend’s Derby d’Italia as the Cadetti champions contained the threat of ex-Juventino Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Chiellini commented that it was a great satisfaction to have stopped Zlatan and to have played well.
09.11: Zlatan explains why he left Juventus
After a hostile reception on his return to Turin, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has explained why he left Juventus for Inter. The Swedish star caused controversy when he agreed a move to Juve’s bitter rivals after the Bianconeri were hit by the Calciopoli verdict. Zlatan explained that he just didn’t want to play in Serie B. He won two Scudetti with Juventus, but then everything happened and they were relegated. He still wanted to play in the Champions League and the other big games. In Serie B there aren’t any great matches. He knew that it would take at least a year to return, so he thought it wasn’t the best thing for him to stay. He had already thought before that he didn’t want to renew his contract so it was in the air, but the situation acted as a final push. Inter were one of a few clubs interested.
09.11: Giovinco wants to return to Juventus
Empoli loan starlet Sebastian Giovinco has called for Juventus to recall him to the Stadio Olimpico. The Azzurrini ace is making waves in Tuscany and stunned Roma with the Azzurri’s equaliser last weekend. Having only made three appearances for Juventus in Serie B last term, the 20-year-old has been sent out to gain experience, but he believes he is ready for the Bianconeri. Giovinco commented that he is at Juventus level now. He expects to return to Turin at the end of the season with the Scudetto badge stitched on his shirt. He has learned so much from watching Alessandro Del Piero in training, but Gigi Cagni has told his to keep his feet on the ground.
29.10: Teammate: Ivanovic will join Juventus
Ex-Roma goalkeeper Ivan Pelizzoli has revealed that Lokomotiv Moscow teammate Branislav Ivanovic is set to join Juventus. In recent months, Serbian international stopper Ivanovic has been strongly linked with a move to Turin as they look to replace the injured Jorge Andrade. Although Domenico Criscito has impressed in the Portuguese star’s absence, the appeal of the 23-year-old Ivanovic seems too great to ignore. Pelizzoli told the press that over the last few days Branislav has been constantly asking him about Juventus. When he asks him why he wants to know he just smiles and won’t reply. In his opinion Juventus will be getting a real bargain. He plays as a right wing-back for Lokomotiv, but for Serbia he is a centre-back and he can do both equally well. What makes him an even better signing is the fact that he is still only young and has lots of room for improvement. It is believed that Ivanovic will command a fee of at least £7m and there are whispers that Juventus may face competition from other top clubs, including Ajax.
29.10: Napoli-Juventus referee suspended for a month
Italian referee Mauro Bergonzi will not officiate in this week's matches and looks set to be dropped for a longer period after wrongly awarding two penalties against Juventus on Saturday. Juventus lost 3-1 at Napoli having been level at 1-1 before Maurizio Domizzi converted both controversial spotkicks. Bergonzi decided Giorgio Chiellini fouled Ezequiel Lavezzi despite replays showing he won the ball and the official pointed to the spot again after former Juventus striker Marcelo Zalayeta dived over goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. The referee has not been selected for any of Tuesday's Serie B games or Wednesday's Serie A matches, the Italian Soccer Federation Web site said. Media reports have said referees' chief Pierluigi Collina could now ban Bergonzi for as much as a month and then keep him in Serie B for longer. Zalayeta could also face a suspension for diving when the league's disciplinary committee meet this week.
29.10: Juventus players really upset with the referee
Juventus’ stars have dubbed the refereeing decisions in their 3-1 defeat at Napoli as a scandal. Juventus were defeated at the Stadio San Paolo after Maurizio Domizzi converted two extremely controversial penalties. The first appeared to be a clean Giorgio Chiellini tackle on Ezequiel Lavezzi, while in the second incident Marcelo Zalayeta visibly dived over Gianluigi Buffon. The club has ordered its players not to speak to the Press in order to avoid further inflaming the controversy, but a few comments did sneak out after the match. Trezeguet told the press that when these things happen, it is quite simply a scandal. Legrottaglie and Palladino commented that it was absolutely scandalous. Buffon was clearly furious with the decision, and the booking he earned because of that. The goalkeeper just said that they are not allowed to talk about it. Vincenzo Iaquinta came on as a late substitute and tried to be a little more diplomatic about the performance of referee Mauro Bergonzi. Juventus found an unlikely ally in Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis, who praised his team but also admitted there had been mistakes.
29.10: Cobolli Gigli: Juve has paid for their mistakes
Juventus President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli was livid after two controversial penalties in Naples. Juventus had already complained about the refereeing in the 1-0 win over Genoa when Pavel Nedved and Coach Claudio Ranieri were sent off. They were positively furious after two terrible penalty decisions helped Napoli to a 3-1 victory. Cobolli Gigli told the press that they cannot treat them like this! He doesn't even need to see the incidents again on the slow-motion replay. They were so clear even from the stands that even the Napoli fans near him recognised the errors. He has to wonder how on earth the referee and his assistants did not see them. The club’s figurehead also implied this was some kind of punishment for the Calciopoli scandal and that Juventus would never again be given the benefit of the doubt. Juventus want to be judged by what they do on the field. They went into Serie B, returned in A and they are earning their position for a good season.
29.10: Blanc comments on Juventus transfer policy
Juventus general manager Jean Claude Blanc has explained their transfer policy and where that leaves Tiago Mendes. Blanc explained that in this transfer campaign Juventus have invested £37m and also sold players that gave them a profit of over £10m. The right way to run a club is not to spend all the money at your disposal. They will try to focus on those players who they think represent added value for the squad. A section of the fans had originally protested at what they saw as a below-par summer spending spree for the return to Serie A and drawn-out contract renegotiations with their top players. Secco commented that the transfer campaign was performed with great professionalism. They tried to mix experienced players with youngsters, renewed the contracts of five of their great champions. Now that Del Piero’s deal has been penned until 2010, the only figure rocking the Juventus boat is Tiago, who threatened to walk out in January if he does not play more first-team football. Secco commented that Tiago remains a great champion and he is part of the club’s treasure chest. He has not yet found space, but there is time to settle into Italian football.
29.10: Pavel Nedved can play against Inter
Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved can breathe a sigh of relief after the Disciplinary Commission handed him a two-game ban. The Czech veteran was sent off in the dying stages of the win over Genoa after he elbowed Abdoullay Konko. It had been feared that Nedved would pick up a three-game suspension and miss the crucial Derby d’Italia against Inter on November 4, but he will now be back for the bitter battle. Nedved will miss Juventus-Empoli on Wednesday, but be back for Sundays big game. Juventus boss Claudio Ranieri received a single-match ban for his abusive protests against the officials and saw Napoli-Juventus from the stands.
21.10: Juventus won but got two red cards
Alessandro Del Piero celebrated his contract extension with the winner as Juventus defeated Genoa 1-0 to go clear in second place, but Claudio Ranieri and Pavel Nedved were sent off. Alessandro Del Piero played his first game since penning a new contract until 2010, but Vincenzo Iaquinta was out with a flu bug, joining Mauro Camoranesi, Jorge Andrade and Jean-Alain Boumsong on the sidelines. Early on David Trezeguet had a header plucked off the line from Grygera's cross. The Frenchman also attempted a spectacular volley, but it didn't quite come off. Del Piero sporting a new haircut went on a mazy run down the right flank and cut back for Pavel Nedved, but the ball was eventually closed down amid a crowd of Genoa bodies. As the move continued with Antonio Nocerino's header, Nedved tried to volley it when he should have left it for Trezeguet. Del Piero was in sparkling form and dribbled past Konko to put the ball ito the centre, but Rubinho was at full stretch to push it away from danger and Nedved couldn't pounce. It was fitting that Del Piero should break the deadlock on his first match since extending his contract. His 219th official goal in a Juventus jersey was a fine volley with the outside of his right foot from six yards, meeting Nedved's cross from the left. Rubinho had to fly to fingertip a trademark Del Piero free kick out from under the crossbar as it dipped mercilessly over the defensive wall.
It was a weaker Juventus in the second half. Cristian Molinaro's error left Giuseppe Sculli clear on goal and Gianluigi Buffon performed a great save to keep it out. From the resulting corner Marco Borriello couldn't get enough contact on his header. Buffon then fingertipped a looping Marco Borriello header over the bar. Just three minutes from time Ranieri lost his traditional cool head when the referee awarded a free kick for Palladino's contact on Cesare Bovo. The Coach was furious and was sent off for swearing at the official. Genoa never stopped believing and in stoppages a corner kick found a glancing Papa Waigo header that looped into the air and was somehow cleared with some difficulty by the Juventus defence. The tension rose further as an angry Nedved was booked for a sliding tackle on Omar Milanetto. The Czech was so livid that at the final whistle he appeared to elbow Abdoullay Konko and got a straight red card in addition to the yellow, so he'll face a lengthy ban and may be suspended for the showdown with Inter. Genoa clearly bring the worst out of Nedved, as last season in Serie B he received a five-match ban for an incident in this fixture.
21.10: Ranieri irritated at Tiago outburst
Claudio Ranieri admits he is disappointed and irritated at Tiago Mendes’ outburst. The Juventus boss was inevitably called upon to comment on Tiago’s threats to walk out of the club if he was not given more first team football ahead of the January transfer window. Ranieri told the press that he was very irritated, as these are things that hurt the squad. He didn’t like it, he was disappointed and he just has to react. In difficult moments, champions have that extra gear to react. Ranieri wanted his signing, but in his team he plays whoever is in best shape. He doesn't look at age, price-tags or wages. He pick who makes a team and the other 15 who go on the bench or in the stands will be disappointed, but they don’t blast people in public. Tiago was one of the big summer signings for Juventus, but has barely stepped on to the field and this week accused Ranieri of making him fourth choice for the midfield.
21.10: Secco: Tiago should focus on training
Tiago Mendes is set to leave Juventus in January after director Alessio Secco reacted angrily to his outburst. The Portuguese midfielder was one of the big summer signings following their promotion to Serie A, but has barely featured. Tiago launched a scathing attack on Coach Claudio Ranieri and warned he would walk away mid-season if he did not get more playing time. That outburst did not go down well with Secco, who made the club’s position very clear. Secco responded that Tiago should focus on training. At Juventus there are no groups of favoured players. The Coach makes the decision and they have the utmost respect for him. Juventus have faith in Tiago and consider him an excellent player, but they did not like his comments and he disappointed them. Only Ranieri decides who is worthy of a place after viewing the weekly work done within the squad.
21.10: Trezeguet is considerng international retirement
Juventus hitman David Trezeguet has revealed that he is considering international retirement, but is happy with life in Turin. Despite netting seven times already this term, Trezeguet wasn’t selected in Raymond Domenech’s latest France squad. Trezeguet told the press that he is seriously considering quitting international football. He has been playing for France since 1997 and those 10 years are a long time to him. Now though Domenech is choosing not to pick him and he thinks that the way he has treated him is frankly unacceptable. It remains to be seen whether or not the ex-Monaco man will be selected for Les Bleus’ crucial trip to Ukraine, but he has already indicated that he may refuse the call.
21.10: Juventus want to buy Montenegrin Wonderkid
Sources suggest that Juventus and Roma are tracking young Montenegrin marksman Stevan Jovetic. The 17-year-old is making waves with Partizan Belgrade and caught the eye with a hat-trick in the Grobari’s 5-0 UEFA Cup rout of Zrinjski back at the start of August. It is believed that Manchester United have approached the Serbian giants in a bid to secure Jovetic’s services in January, but they may face Italian competition. The striking starlet is already winning comparisons to ex-Milan hero Dejan Savicevic and has won praise from the 41-year-old. With Real Madrid also said to be interested, Roma and Juventus may need to dig deep if they want to sign one of Eastern Europe’s most exciting talents. Jovetic is under contract until 2009 and is expected to command a fee of around £7m.
21.10: Official: Del Piero extends his contract
Alessandro Del Piero has finally extended his Juventus contract until 2010. He had been locked in negotiations with the club over a new deal for several months and at one point it looked as if he would end his decade-long stay in Turin. However, crunch talks found an agreement and pen has been put to paper on a contract until June 30, 2010. Del Piero commented that this was a decisive choice for his career and his life. Juventus have given him a lot and he wants to continue winning here. The negotiations that took them to this signature were long and at times complex, but he wish to underline the effort put in from Jean Claude Blanc, Alessio Secco, his brother Stefano and Dario Tosetti. Juventus hinted in their Press release that Del Piero has indeed accepted a 20 per cent pay cut, which will go to 25 per cent for 2009-10. The agreement underwritten gives an economic recognition to a world class player, but also allows Juventus to further develop the image potential of the captain in sectors and countries that are still unexplored, thanks to the full collaboration of the Juventus commercial structure.
21.10: Genoa Coach: Juve don't give youngsters a shot
Genoa Coach Gian Piero Gasperini says that Juventus have always been unwilling to give their young players a chance because they have forever wanted immediate success. Juventus currently have an exceptional batch of young players coming through at the club. The likes of Domenico Criscito, Giorgio Chiellini, Antonio Nocerino, Sebastian Giovinco, Claudio Marchisio and Raffaele Palladino are all tipped as stars of the future. Gasperini was a coach of the Juventus youth team from 1994 until 2003, before moving on to take the job as head coach of Crotone. As a player he also grew up in the Bianconeri youth system, joining the club as a nine-year-old before being released to Palermo when he was 20. Having spent more than 20 years at the club, Gasperini is well-placed to offer his opinion and he believes that Juventus have always favoured buying established stars, rather than giving their youngsters a chance. Gasperini told the press that Juventus have always been a little snobbish with their young players. He is not sure why this is but perhaps because there was always the necessity to win things immediately and so it is not easy to give the youngsters a chance.
13.10: Juve interested in new French star striker
Juventus have joined the queue to sign new French star Karim Benzema and may make a move before the January transfer window. The 19-year-old Lyon forward has been linked with several teams recently, including Inter, Milan and Fiorentina so it won’t be easy for the Bianconeri to get their hands on him. Furthermore, the Ligue 1 champions are not willing to sell their newest hero and are unlikely to settle for anything less than £20m. David Trezeguet has named the youngster as his natural successor for the French national team.
13.10: Four teams want to buy Del Piero
Palermo are the latest side to consider a sensational bid for Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero. The Bianconeri hero’s contract talks are progressing slowly and sporting director Alessio Secco has admitted that he could leave. Since Secco’s announcement, a number of sides have been linked with an unlikely swoop, including Milan, Q.P.R and Brescia. Palermo President Zamparini told the press that he would sign Del Piero tomorrow morning. He wouldn’t be able to pay his wages, but if there were sponsors who could help their door is open.
13.10: Juve could make new move to buy Lampard
Chelsea stars Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba are reportedly lining up Italian destinations as the Stamford Bridge exodus is set to begin. There have been regular whispers that the departure of popular boss Jose Mourinho would lead to some of the Blues’ key figures quitting the club. Juventus were linked with Lampard in the summer and it is believed that the Old Lady will take a close interest in the ex-West Ham man’s movements. Drogba is said to be on Milan’s wish list and the Ivorian’s agent has hinted at foreign interest.
11.10: Donadoni explains why he dropped Del Piero
Italy Coach Roberto Donadoni defends his decision to drop Alessandro Del Piero and Italian Football Federation President Giancarlo Abete agrees. The ex-Livorno tactician opted to leave Juventus captain Del Piero out of the squad to play Georgia in Saturday’s crucial Euro 2008 qualifier and it has caused a media frenzy. While many players have issued messages of support for Pinturricchio, Abete believes that Donadoni has made the right choice. Abete told the press that being left out of the squad doesn’t mean the end of his international career. Donadoni’s choices are his own and the Italian Football Federation has complete faith in him. While Donadoni was keen to offer consolation to Alex, he also made some pointed remarks in his Press conference. He explained that it was difficult to leave anyone at home, not just Del Piero. At 33, he will find it harder to recover than at 27, but he has shown he is in condition. His choices are never personal and every one of his 20 players are treated equally. It is maybe the most difficult period in Del Piero's career so far. He was dropped by Donadoni, put on the bench against Fiorentina and his contract renewal with Juventus looks very difficult. Pippo Inzaghi will also have to watch on TV after he was left out of the squad. Juventus striker Vincenzo Iaquinta is a doubt for the Georgia fixture due to a knee injury.
11.10: Defensive crisis: Juve want to buy Lyon reserve!
Lyon defender Francois Clerc is the latest stopper to be lined up by Juventus, with the Frenchman tipped to join the Bianconeri in January. Juventus are currently looking to replace Jorge Andrade, who tore knee ligaments last month and is likely to be out for the rest of the season. It is rumoured that Juventus would be keen to use Tiago in an exchange deal for Clerc after his poor start to the season, but this option has been denied by the French outfit. But Lyon would be more interested in exchanging Clerc for Jean-Alain Boumsoung, but only at the end of the season. However, Clerc – who is only a reserve at Lyon – is not the only defender being chased by the Turin outfit. The Old Lady’s sporting director Alessio Secco is also following Serbian international Branislav Ivanovic, as well as Portuguese youngster Manuel Da Costa. Future doesn't look bright for Juventus when they plan to resolve their defensive crisis with either a Lyon reserve or a Lokomotiv Moscow defender.
11.10: Trezeguet not included in France squad
France Coach Raymond Domenech has further antagonised Juventus striking star David Trezeguet by claiming that Karim Benzema is better than him. Trezeguet is sitting atop the Serie A Capocannoniere chart with seven goals to his name, but has not been included in the latest France squad. The 29-year-old lamented Domenech’s decision, which he believes to be based on personality rather than performances and the war of words has begun. Domenech told the press that he didn’t choose Trezeguet because there are other players who are just as good. David is a quality player, but there are others who offer a bit more such as Benzema who can play in the centre or on the wing. Benzema is just 19-years-old, but has impressed at Lyon over the last two seasons and is in line to receive his fifth cap. Italian Press reports suggest that Benzema is a target for Fiorentina and Milan, but is ironically being tracked by Trez's Juventus. Trezeguet will miss out on the Euro 2008 qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Lithuania, but it remains to be seen whether he will return to the fold for the final game against Ukraine on November 21.
11.10: Tiago Mendes could be sold in January
Tiago Mendes continues to mystify the Juventus faithful and it’s reported he’ll move back to Portugal in January. The former Chelsea midfielder was one of the big-name signings of the summer following promotion into Serie A, but has barely featured due to injury and poor form. Tiago does not seem to fit in well with the rest of the squad and is considered by the Italian media to be a ‘mystery object’ without a solid mooring in their tactics. With Antonio Nocerino, Cristiano Zanetti and Sergio Almiron doing well in midfield, there are claims Tiago could be sent back to Portugal in January. Sporting Lisbon and Porto have both shown an interest in the international, who cost £9m to prise away from Olympique Lyonnais.
11.10: Ranieri comments on draw against Fiorentina
Claudio Ranieri rues the chances Juventus missed to secure victory in Florence and explains why Alex Del Piero was dropped. Ranieri told the press that it is a shame, as they had several clear-cut opportunities on the counter-attack in the second half. Vincenzo Iaquinta had given Juventus the lead, but a last-minute spot-kick from Adrian Mutu for Nicola Legrottaglie’s handling offence equalised. Ranieri had stated this match would prove whether Juventus were Scudetto material and the answers are inconclusive. Ranieri surprised many by leaving Del Piero on the bench in favour of Iaquinta, who scored their goal. Ranieri explained that he needed Iaquinta as he is a player who attacks space and, knowing they would be under pressure, needed two fast wingers. That is all there is to it. One thing is certain: If Juventus manage to win the Scudetto it would be the weakest Juve side ever to do so.
02.10: Secco: Juve could lose Del Piero
Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero’s future is up in the air after Juventus sporting director Alessio Secco surprisingly revealed he could leave. The 32-year-old talisman had been expected to commit the remainder of his career to Juventus this summer, but contract extension talks met with unexpected hitches. While Pavel Nedved, Mauro Camoranesi and even David Trezeguet agreed deals, Del Piero’s talks have already broken down once and seem to have hit a brick wall. Reports suggest that Juventus are only willing to offer Pinturricchio a three-year deal with a reduction in salary of nearly 30 per cent, while the forward is unwilling to accept less than his current wage. It had generally been assumed that an agreement would be reached within the next few days, but for the first time the club has admitted that he could leave. Secco admitted that there is a risk that Juventus could lose him. Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk may swoop to add Del Piero to former Livorno hero Cristiano Lucarelli up front.
02.10: Juventus fans banned from Florence
Juventus fans have been forbidden from attending this weekend’s game against Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. The decision was taken after scenes of violence at last weekend’s Derby della Mole between Juventus and Torino. Fiorentina and Juventus share one of the most bitter rivalries in calcio and have a long history of violence, prompting fears that the friction may spill over to the terraces. Napoli supporters have already been told that they cannot travel to the San Siro for the Partenopei’s game against Inter on Saturday. The ban was put in place after Vesuviani fans threw bottles at Napoli’s win over Livorno and last weekend’s fixture against Genoa was played behind closed doors at the Stadio San Paolo.
02.10: Juve and Inter chase new Argentine starlet
Juventus and Inter are chasing Argentine starlet Sergio Aguero, but will need deep pockets to lure the in-form Atletico Madrid striker. Aguero has scored 11 times in 31 games for Los Rojiblancos since his arrival from Independiente for a fee of close to £10m and is helping fill the gap left by the departed Fernando Torres. The 19-year-old hitman is believed to be an option for Juventus if contract negotiations with Alessandro Del Piero continue to stall, while Inter have been watching him for nearly a year. However, it seems that Aguero has his heart set on playing alongside fellow countryman Lionel Messi, the player to whom he has regularly been compared. While Juventus and Inter will undoubtedly keep an eye on Aguero, they may be scared away by his estimated price tag of around £15m.
02.10: Weak Juventus defence needs reinforcements
Reports in Italy suggest that Juventus are preparing for a January defender hunt after Jorge Andrade sustained a serious injury. The Bianconeri’s battling 2-2 draw with Roma was marred by Andrade damaging tendons in his right knee. There had already been question marks raised over whether Juventus had sufficient depth at the back and now they may find themselves putting too much pressure on youngster Domenico Criscito. Most sources believe that Branislav Ivanovic is the likely replacement. The 23-year-old Serbian has impressed at Russian giants Lokomotiv Moscow and is attracting interest from some of Europe’s giants. Lokomotiv have valued Brankovic at around £7m as he is under contract until 2011 and there may be something of a bidding war when the transfer window reopens. Udinese’s Cristian Zapata is also reportedly on the shopping list. The Colombian stopper has been linked with Milan and Fiorentina in recent months and could fetch as much as £8m. German giants Stuttgart warned Juventus off Portuguese defender Fernando Meira in the summer, but that may not prevent another bid. The three outsiders to get the call to Turin are experienced trio Paolo Negro, ex-Juve man Mark Iuliano and ex-Azzurri star Luigi Di Biagio. Juventus already had a weak defence and after the injury to Andrade they desperately need reinforcements.
01.10: Lucky Juventus won the Turin derby
A tense battle of a Turin derby was decided by a classic David Trezeguet goal deep into stoppages. The Derby della Mole was last played in 2003, but Toro were looking for their first 'home' victory since 1995 and were without a win at all yet this season. Vincenzo Iaquinta, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Jorge Andrade, Mauro Camoranesi, Marco Marchionni and the banned Jonathan Zebina were sidelined, so Giorgio Chiellini was in central defence. Fresh from a 4-0 demolition of Reggina on Wednesday, confidence was high and the top spots within sight. Unfortunately there were clashes between fans and police a few hours before kick-off. David Trezeguet had the first attempt on target after 55 seconds, Matteo Sereni beating away the sudden snapshot for a corner. Toro had plenty of the ball, but Juve had the best chances, as Pavel Nedved and Trezeguet got in each others' way to head a Raffaele Palladino cross wide. There was a defensive mess on 32 minutes. Paolo Zanetti threaded through for Recoba and after Nicola Legrottaglie's failed clearance, Gigi Buffon stuck out a long leg to anticipate Il Chino for a corner.
Straight after the restart there was panic for Juventus. Recoba's cross-shot found Comotto, but Buffon threw himself over the ball and got kicked in the head for his troubles. Cristiano Zanetti bravely intercepted a Recoba cutback for Ventola, then Buffon plucked Chino's cross off the striker's head. Buffon fingertipped a Ventola looping header out from under the crossbar on 20-year-old substitute Rubin's cross from the left. Molinaro intervened with a crucial challenge to put the ball out for a corner as Recoba's curling cross was heading straight for substitute Marco Motta at the back post. Juventus had their best chance of the game so far five minutes from time. Del Piero drew Comotto out wide and threaded through for the on-rushing Nedved, but he ballooned over from nine yards. The game seemed to be moving towards a 0-0 finish when deep into stoppages Trezeguet proved he is a striker like no other. A misplaced back-header from Dellafiore looped into the air and Trezeguet hit a fantastic volley from the edge of the area to give Juventus the victory. Juventus delivered a weak performance and were extremely lucky to win. Torino was the best side and the only team who really tried to win the game.
23.09: Iaquinta saved Juventus from defeat in Rome
Alessandro Del Piero missed a penalty, but Vincenzo Iaquinta's last-gasp header gave Juventus a 2-2 draw at leaders Roma. After three rounds Roma were the only side with a 100 per cent record and yet to concede a goal. Juventus needed a result after their terrible 1-0 home defeat to Udinese. Jonathan Zebina continued to sit out a four-match ban and Mauro Camoranesi was injured, but Zdenek Grygera made his debut. Claudio Ranieri really went for it, fielding Vincenzo Iaquinta, David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero in a trident attack. Antonio Nocerino played less than a week after he was hit by a car in Turin city centre. It was Trezeguet who broke through with his 100th Serie A goal. The entire trident combined with Del Piero spreading the play to the right for Iaquinta and the chipped cross in for Trezeguet's header at the near post. Roma drew level with their captain Totti. He had his back to goal, flicked up Mancini's pass to go round Domenico Criscito and opened up his foot to fire into the far corner.
Within six minutes the game had been turned around completely. Mancini chested down Cicinho's long pass and put it in for Alberto Aquilani. Buffon performed an incredible point-blank save, but could do nothing on Totti's follow-up. Nicola Legrottaglie replaced Criscito at half-time, as the former Genoa youngster was involved in both Roma goals. Pavel Nedved was brought down by Cicinho in the penalty area five minutes into the second period. Del Piero stepped up only to balloon the spot-kick well over the bar. Moments later Roma had a great chance to make it 3-1, but Simone Perrotta failed to convert it from close range. During that move Jorge Andrade picked up an injury and made way for Alessandro Birindelli. Buffon performed a stunning double save on Totti's missile of a free kick and the follow-up from Aquilani. But it was Juventus who equalised three minutes from time at the Stadio Olimpico. Iaquinta got in front of Cicinho to head a long Chiellini throw-in looping backwards into the far top corner.
23.09: Nocerino scared after beeing hit by a car
Juventus midfield starlet Antonio Nocerino has spoken publicly for the first time since being run over late on Monday evening. The ex-Piacenza star was hit by a car after attending a friend’s party in the ‘Mamma Mia’ restaurant in Turin. Initial reports suggested that Nocerino had been knocked unconscious, but that has now been discounted. After treatment at the city’s Umberto I hospital, a concussion and some bruises were the extent of the 22-year-old’s injuries. Nocerino told the press that the fear has passed, but he was so scared. Luckily he didn’t lose consiousness and now he is fine. He wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone, but he feels like he's been saved by a miracle. Nocerino still managed to play against Roma on Sunday.
23.09: Del Piero will never play on midifeld again
Alessandro Del Piero has warned Roberto Donadoni that he will never again accept a midfield role for Italy. The striker was fielded out wide on the left in the disappointing 0-0 draw with France and sent to the stands for the next Euro 2008 qualifier in Ukraine. Del Piero told the press that he accepted playing in a different role from his own and he takes the responsibility for his performance. But that was definitely the last time. He spoke to Donadoni about this. It is right that he is used in his position, where he can be decisive, where he has scored goals and where he has done well. That was not the first time Del Piero has found himself pushed out wide for the Nazionale and with Francesco Totti now retired from the international scene, he feels it is time he was allowed to take centre stage. Del Piero added that he really cares about the Nazionale. He would like to see out this era and go to the European Championships. Del Piero will turn 33 in November and is reconsidering his future at both international and club level, particularly his contract renewal at Juventus.
23.09: Mauro Camoranesi ruled out for six weeks
Juventus and Italy will be without Mauro Camoranesi for at least six weeks after tests confirmed a serious thigh strain. The Oriundo limped off during the 1-0 defeat to Udinese and there were immediate fears he could be sidelined for a couple of months. Thorough tests showed he has suffered a right thigh strain and doctors believe he won’t be back on the field for at least 45 days. It is a bitter blow, as Camoranesi had only just recovered from another injury that had kept him out for much of the summer. Specially since his replacement Marco Marchionni has been out injured for quite a while noe.
23.09: Nocerino almost signed for Fiorentina
Juventus midfielder Antonio Nocerino has revealed that Juventus snatched him from under the noses of Fiorentina. The midfielder has just been discharged from hospital following a major scare after being hit by a car on Monday evening but his mind is already on football. Nocerino told the press that this summer he was on a road travelling to Florence to sign with Fiorentina, when he received a phone call. It was Alessio Secco telling who told him to return to the club to take part in their Pinzolo preseason camp. Nocerino’s all-out style has already earned him the heart of Juventus fans, who will have been greatly relieved to hear that he is ok following his accident.
15.09: Foreign teams show interest in Giovinco
Juventus-owned youngster Sebastian Giovinco is becoming hot property with Russian giants CSKA Moscow allegedly preparing a £10m bid. Gifted midfielder Giovinco has represented Italy since the age of 15 and has been a key figure in the Azzurrini side in recent games. Having been an infrequent substitute in Juve’s Serie B triumph last term, the Old Lady opted to loan Giovinco to Empoli for the current campaign and he has already caught the eye. After an impressive performance for the Under-21’s 2-1 victory over the Faroe Islands last Friday, rumours emerged that Russian champions CSKA Moscow are ready to make a huge bid for the talented starlet. Barcelona have also been linked with a move for the Bianconeri’s homegrown ace, but it is widely believed that any offer will be rejected as Giovinco is seen as a foundation block in the club’s future.
15.09: Zoff: Giovinco can become better than Del Piero
Italy goalkeeping legend Dino Zoff has lavished praise on Italy Under-21 star Sebastian Giovinco and believes the 20-year-old is a star in the making. Juventus-owned youngster Giovinco has long been touted as a future Italian international. The 5ft 3in playmaker has represented Italy at every age-group since Under-16 level and is now making a huge splash for the Italy Under-21s. Giovinco, who is currently on loan at Empoli, was again in excellent form for the Azzurrini on Tuesday afternoon as a sublime piece of individual brilliance helped setup Robert Acquafresca’s goal in the 1-0 win against Albania. 1982 World Cup Winner Zoff is certainly excited by Giovinco’s potential. He told the press that Giovinco is the miniature Del Piero. Indeed he believes he has superior fantasy and technical ability to Del Piero. Giovinco’s strongest position is in the hole behind the strikers, a position known in Italy as the ‘trequartista’. But does Zoff think Giovinco’s lack of height will hamper his chances of forging a successful career? Zoff explained that if a player has the ability and class, his size does not matter. Diego Maradona taught us all that. Giovinco has recently been linked with a £10m move to Russian club CSKA Moscow, however it is believed that Juventus regard him as an untouchable asset and unavailable for sale at any price.
15.09: Future Juve stars: Here are the players to follow
Juventus have 18 players on loan or in co-ownership with other Serie A and Serie B clubs. All except for Manuele Blasi and Marcelo Zalayeta are talented youngsters. But which players have so much talent that they one day can return to Juventus? Juventus have only one goalkeeper on loan and that is Antonio Mirante. He will play for Sampdoria this season and is considered to be one of the most talented goalkeepers in Italy. Juventus have only two defenders on loan to other clubs, but neither Piccolo or Zammuto will ever be good enough to return to Juventus. On the other hand Juventus have many talented midfielders on loan. Paro(Genoa), Marchisio(Empoli) and De Ceglie(Siena) will all be first team regulars in Serie A this season after their good season with Juventus in Serie B. These three players could one day return to Juventus. The club also has three other midfielders on loan to Serie B clubs: Venitucci, Bianco and Luci. Good attackers have never been a problem for Juventus and the club now has 8 attackers on loan to Serie A and Serie B clubs. The most talented of them all is Giovinco(Empoli). He could not only return but also become a star player for Juventus in the future. Other very good and talented attackers are Paolucci(Udinese), Volpe(Livorno) and Volpato(Empoli). Juventus also have three strikers on loan to Serie B clubs: Lanzafame, Maniero and Guzman. The club to follow this season is definitively Empoli as Juventus have loaned them four players: Piccolo, Marchisio, Volpato and Giovinco.
15.09: Juventus accept Zebina's four-match ban
Juventus will not appeal against Jonathan Zebina’s four-match ban for slapping a cameraman. The French defender was dismissed for dissent in the 3-2 victory at Cagliari in Week 2 and on his way off the field was involved in an argument with a cameraman. The touchline brawl degenerated and Zebina slapped the media figure before he was hauled away by members of the Juventus staff. Juventus director Blanc told the press that they respect the sentence. When you are a professional, you must know that provocation is part of this job. Juventus will deal with the matter in-house without making it public. They have already met with the player and will do so again. As far as they are concerned, they respect the sporting justice system and the sentence. The four-match ban leaves Juventus short on options at the back, but this is not the first time that Zebina has run into trouble.
15.09: Jean-Alain Boumsong ruled out for two months
Juventus are counting the cost of last Friday’s friendly with Real Zaragoza as stopper Jean-Alain Boumsong is facing two months on the sidelines. Juventus were beaten 2-1 by the La Liga side in a surprisingly competitive match to mark the Spaniards’ 75th anniversary. Boss Claudio Ranieri had much more to worry about than the defensive lapses that allowed the hosts to triumph as Raffaele Palladino, Antonio Nocerino and Boumsong all limped off. While ex-Piacenza star Nocerino looks likely to return to training within the week after picking up a slight knock and Palladino is already back in action, Boumsong has sustained a much more serious thigh injury. Initial estimates suggest that the French international will be out of action for the next eight weeks, which will come as a blow to Juventus after his accomplished performance in Spain. Juventus look likely to turn to a back line of Alessandro Birindelli, Jorge Andrade, Domenico Crsicito and Giorgio Chiellini for the Week 3 clash against Udinese.
15.09: Juventus could buy Serbain defensive starlet
Serbian defensive starlet Branislav Ivanovic is set for a January move to Juventus, according to Press reports. The 23-year-old Lokomotiv Moscow ace came to the fore at the summer’s European Under-21 Championships in Holland where he earned a place in UEFA’s Team of the Tournament. Juventus are likely to look to strengthen their back line in the winter transfer window as their new-look defence has been far from convincing so far. Ivanovic is rated so highly largely due to his ability with the ball at his feet, which is remarkable for a centre-back. Rumours suggest that Juventus have agreed a fee of just under £6m for the ex-OFK Beograd man and are preparing a five-year contract to keep him in Turin until 2012.
15.09: Juventus chase young Ecuadorian striker
Some of Europe's top clubs are chasing Basel's Ecuadorian striker Felipe Caicedo. The 19-year-old was snapped up by the Swiss side a couple of years ago and he has since broken into their first team and the full Ecuador side. And it was his performances during the recent Copa America that really caught the attention of a series of scouts. Leading clubs from Italy and Spain are now said to be gearing up for a battle to secure a deal for Caicedo. Reports from Italy suggest that Milan, Juventus, Fiorentina, Udinese and Palermo are impressed by the teenager and are ready to make a move. However, South American sources claim La Liga is where Caicedo will end up with Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Sevilla all said to be keen. Caicedo is currently contracted to Basel until 2010 and would cost any interested party around 6million euros.
05.09: Will Ballack join Juventus on loan in January?
Juventus are being linked with a sensational loan swoop for unsettled Chelsea star Michael Ballack when the transfer window reopens in January. The German midfielder’s time at Stamford Bridge seems to be running out after he was excluded from Jose Mourinho’s squad for this season’s Champions League. Since arriving in London from Bayern Munich, Ballack has struggled to get to grips with English football and has been hampered by an ankle injury that held back his pre-season preparations. As Mourinho has chosen not to gamble on Ballack making a swift recovery, the suggestion in the peninsula is that he will spend the second half of the campaign with Juventus, who are lacking depth in midfield. While such talk is little more than gossip at this stage, sources suggest that Ballack is set for crisis talks with his agent Michael Becker within the next few weeks.
05.09: Good injury news for Salihamidzic and Juventus
Hasan Salihamidzic’s thigh injury is not as serious as previously thought, revealed Juventus after in-depth tests. The former Bayern Munich man pulled up clutching the back of his right thigh during Sunday’s 3-2 win at Cagliari. There were fears he had suffered a strain that would keep him out of action for at least three weeks, but doctors gave a far more reassuring diagnosis. The official Juventus website confirmed it was only an elongation of the muscle without damage to the fibres, so Salihamidzic should be back in action after the break for international duty next weekend. Vincenzo Iaquinta skipped that Serie A match due to a stomach bug and has now recovered, while Alessandro Birindelli and Zdenek Grygera are also progressing well. The only long-term injury now is Marco Marchionni, who fractured his foot during a pre-season test. He has been freed from the cast and is wearing a special guard for another 10 days before beginning rehabilitation. It is believed the former Parma and Empoli starlet will be out of action for another six weeks.
04.09: Zebina will be fined for his aggression
Jonathan Zebina is in for a ban and a hefty fine from his own club after slapping a cameraman at the Stadio Sant’Elia. The Juventus defender was sent off for dissent in the 3-2 win at Cagliari and, on his way off the field, got into an argument with a member of the television crew on the sidelines. The row got physical and Zebina was caught on camera slapping the man on the face before he was pulled away down the players’ tunnel. The Disciplinary Commission will give its verdict on Tuesday, but in the meantime there are reports that Juventus will come down hard on the Frenchman. Ranieri commented that it was a very ugly scene. It was the latest in several tense moments in the new Serie A season, as in Week 1 Catania boss Silvio Baldini kicked Parma colleague Domenico Di Carlo up the backside during a touchline brawl. Baldini has been suspended until September 30 for unprofessional conduct. Federation President Giancarlo Abete commented that the Baldini and Zebina incident are negative images that have to be removed from the sport. They were not an example to be set and these things should not be happening.
04.09: Alessandro Del Piero wins Golden Foot award
Alessandro Del Piero beat the likes of Luis Figo, Thierry Henry and David Beckham to win the 2007 Golden Foot award. The trophy is organised by the World Champions Club in Monaco and every year a shortlist of nominees is put up for public vote. The winner must be over the age of 29 and stand out for their sport results, for their personality and for the esteem of the public and football experts. Juventus captain and World Cup winner Del Piero beat out competition from the other nine nominees in the public vote with 30,199 preferences. Roberto Carlos came second, followed by Beckham and Milan legend Paolo Maldini. The other contenders were Marcos Cafu of Milan, Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro, Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs, Barcelona’s Thierry Henry, Raul of Real Madrid and Inter star Figo. As the 2007 winner, Del Piero will leave his footprints on the Champions Promenade, a football walk of fame on the seafront of the Principality of Monaco. Footprints already in place belong to Gerd Muller, Mario Kempes, Paolo Rossi, Romario and Hristo Stoichkov. This is the fifth edition of the trophy and Serie A has dominated, as previous winners were Roberto Baggio in 2003, Pavel Nedved in 2004, Andriy Shevchenko during his Milan career in 2005 and current Rossoneri star Ronaldo last term.
04.09: Ranieri is optimistic after last gasp win
Juventus boss Claudio Ranieri thinks that Juventus are in the title race after a dramatic victory over Cagliari on Sunday. Juventus were made to the sweat at the Stadio Sant’Elia as they needed a last-gasp Giorgio Chiellini goal to steal a 3-2 victory. However, the Cadetti champions maintained their 100 per cent record this term after a 5-1 rout of Livorno and a Coppa Italia triumph away to Parma and Ranieri has stopped talking down the positive start. Ranieri told the press that whoever wears this shirt and the boss in charge has to think about winning the Scudetto. They are a side in the making. They have lost some great champions, but they are on the way and they have such hunger to win. Their objective is to regain those titles that were taken way from them and show that they earned them on the pitch. The introduction of Argentine winger Mauro Camoranesi seemed to turn the game in the visitors’ favour and Ranieri concluded his post-match interview by praising the Oriundo. Ranieri explained that Camoranesi totally changed the game. However one must not forget that Juventus really had to struggle to beat a weak Cagliari side and that Juventus has lost every pre-season friendly against the good teams. The first big test will be when they face Roma away in Week 4.
01.09: Juve still has 31,3 Million Euros to spend
The transfer market closed on Friday night and Juventus didn't either buy or sell any more players on the last day of the transfer market. It was believed that they would sell either Boumsong or Legrottaglie, and it was hoped that they would buy a world class central defender. But this didn't happen. This summer Juventus had a transfer budget of 50 Million Euros. After buying players for 52,3 Million Euros and selling players for 21,0 Million Euros, Juventus still have 31,3 Million Euros to buy players for if they wish during the winter market. Here you can see the complete list of what Juventus payed and received for evey player during the transfer market.
13,0 Million Euros: Tiago (Lyon)
11,3 Million Euros: Iaquinta (Udinese)
10,0 Million Euros: Andrade (Deportivo)
9,0 Million Euros: Almiron (Empoli)
4,5 Million Euros: Criscito (Genoa)
3,5 Million Euros: Nocerino (Piacenza)
1,0 Million Euros: Molinaro (Siena)
0 Million Euros: Salihamidzic (Bayern Munich)
0 Million Euros: Grygera (Ajax)
0 Million Euros: Vanstrattan (Verona)
= 52,3 Million Euros
4,5 Million Euros: Miccoli (Palermo)
3,5 Million Euros: Paro (Genoa) Co-ownership
3,0 Million Euros: Balzaretti (Fiorentina)
2,3 Million Euros: Kapo (Birmingham)
2,0 Million Euros: Zalayeta (Napoli) Co-ownership
1,5 Million Euros: Paolucci (Udinese) Co-ownership
1,2 Million Euros: Blasi (Napoli) Co-ownership)
1,0 Million Euros: Gastaldello (Sampdoria)
1,0 Million Euros: De Ceglie (Siena) Co-ownership
0,5 Million Euros: Volpato (Empoli) Co-ownership
0,4 Million Euros: Piccolo (Empoli) Co-ownership
0,1 Million Euros: Bettega (Siena)
0 Million Euros: Kovac (Dortmund)
0 Million Euros: Tudor (Hajduk)
0 Million Euros: Bojinov (Fiorentina)
0 Million Euros: Giannichedda (Livorno)
0 Million Euros: Tacchinardi (Brescia)
= 21,0 Million Euros
52,3 Million Euros - 21,0 Million Euros = 31,3 Million Euros spent
30.08: Juventus beat Parma and advance
Claudio Ranieri made a triumphant return to the Tardini, as Juventus knocked Parma out of the Coppa Italia 3-1. The Coach, who saved Parma from almost certain relegation last season, took the opportunity to test out the new midfield partnership of Sergio Almiron and Tiago Mendes. Juventus missed several players in the Coppa Italia match. Nicola Legrottaglie also went off injured at the break and substitute Jean-Alain Boumsong replaced him. The deadlock was finally broken on 62 minutes and the scorer Christian Molinaro had been on the field for just 120 seconds. Molinaro took the left-wing position and thumped in another of his trademark long-range strikes. Then Almiron curled in a free kick to double Juve’s advantage at the Stadio Tardini. Moments later the referee pointed to the spot for Jonathan Zebina’s foul on Igor Budan and Castellini converted to keep the game open. It remained so until eight minutes from time, when Hasan Salihamidzic’s shot from the edge of the area took a vicious deflection to leave Pavarini stranded. Juventus went through to the last 16 with a 3-1 victory, where they will face Empoli.
27.08: Juve make last attempt to sell Boumsong
French defender Jean Alain Boumsong is no longer considered necessary at Juventus, but is struggling to find a new club after already rejecting an offer from Lyon. According to Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri, having both Nicola Legrottaglie and Jean-Alain Boumsong would be one too many. The summer transfer window is about to end and the Frenchman in particular has received some offers, which he considers inadequate, to move away from Juventus. According to the Portuguese press, there are now negotiations going on between Juventus and Benfica for the surplus-to-requirements defender. The Lisbon outfit have already presented an offer, but sporting director Alessio Secco will not give Boumsong away for less than 3.5 million euros. The option of a loan deal is not being considered, because the player stated very clearly that he does not want to lose any of his salary and will only leave on a permanent move. Meanwhile, Shakhtar Donetsk have also come up with an offer worth 4 million euros a season to make the player move to Ukraine. But it seems that Boumsong's will is still to prove himself at Juventus. He wants to be in control of his future. The chance of moving to Lyon has passed, the possibilities of moving to Barcelona were always very small, and now, at 28 years of age, the player is at a crossroads in his career. There are five more days of the transfer window left for him to decide.
27.08: My Serie A predictions
Inter, Milan, Roma.
The top three teams of last season seem on the paper to be in a league of their own. Inter had no rivals in the Serie A last season, while Milan won the Champions League. Roma has made good signing buying Juan, Cicinho, Esposito and Giuly. One of these three teams will win the Serie A.
The best among the rest:
Juventus, Lazio, Fiorentina, Palermo, Sampdoria, Udinese.
All of these five sides have good teams, but no one of them including Juventus are strong enough to be title contenders. Juventus are still far away from their former glory days. Lazio had a good season last year, while Udinese has signed Italian Starlet Quagliarella. Fiorentina have lost Toni, but still has a strong side. Palermo hopes that Miccoli will be a success, while Sampdoria has a great attack after buying Bellucci, Caracciolo, Montella and Cassano. These five teams will battle for the last Champions League spot and the two UEFA cup places.
No man's land:
Atalanta, Empoli, Genoa, Livorno, Napoli, Torino.
These six teams are too good to be relegated, but too weak to challenge the best Italian clubs. Napoli and Genoa are newly promoted and will need a couple of years to be competitive. Livorno and Empoli will have more difficulties this season than they had last year. Torino and Atalanta will also save their spots in the top flight without too many problems.
Battle against relegation:
Parma, Cagliari, Catania, Reggina, Siena.
The three relegated teams this season will probably be among these five contenders. Reggina has lost Rolando Bianchi and Parma have lost Giuseppe Rossi, so without their top goalscorers they will struggle hard to survive. Cagliari have sold all their best players, while Catania and Siena probably are the weakest teams of them all on the paper. All these five teams rescued their Serie A spot in the last game of last season.
26.08: Convincing start by attacking Juventus
David Trezeguet had a hat-trick and Vincenzo Iaquinta a brace as Juventus demolished Livorno 5-1 on their top flight comeback. Juventus returned to Serie A with a new face after their Calciopoli-imposed exile. For their debut they were without the injured Alessandro Birindelli, Marco Marchionni and Zdenek Grygera, so Domenico Criscito fought fitness concerns to start. After some poor pre-season performances, Tiago Mendes was dropped in favour of Under-21 international Antonio Nocerino. The first real chance came on 25 minutes, as Giorgio Chiellini went on a solo run and Trezeguet turned his marker inside the area, but Marco Amelia turned the shot over the bar with an outstretched foot. Juventus finally broke through on 29 minutes, as a corner kick was manoeuvered for Del Piero's swinging cross from the left and Trezeguet was allowed a free header from six yards. Amelia flew to palm a Del Piero free kick out of the near top corner, but after the break Sergio Almiron failed to make the most of two promising opportunities.
In the second hal Vincenzo Iaquinta also took over from Del Piero. Juventus were then awarded a penalty. Pavel Nedved chipped a cross back for Iaquinta, who was hauled back by Grandoni. With Del Piero off the field, Iaquinta took the spot-kick himself and just squeezed the ball under Amelia's hand. It was Iaquinta's first official goal in a Juventus jersey. Juventus made it 3-0 in curious circumstances. Nedved found space on the edge of the area and unleashed a right-foot shot that took a decisive deflection off teammate Iaquinta. The former Udinese striker knew little about it, but took the credit anyway. Livorno fell to pieces and 60 seconds later Iaquinta threaded through for Trezeguet to stroke the ball past Amelia with the inside of his left foot. In stoppages Trezeguet completed his hat-trick tapping in at the end of a fine individual move by Nocerino. Livorno got a consolation goal with the last kick of the game. Former Bologna midfielder Massimo Loviso smacked a long-range right-foot drive in at the near post.
26.08: Ranieri is not entirely happy with performance
Ranieri's Juventus shot back into Serie A with a 5-1 win, but the Coach was still not entirely happy with the performance. Ranieri told the press that the team continued to believe in itself and played its usual style. It wasn’t easy because Livorno are strong defensively and then try to hit you on the break, but Juventus stayed calm and waited for the right moment to pounce. Juventus made a few too many mistakes, though. There were a few uncertainties in defence. They were condemned in the pre-season friendlies because they were unable to take their chances, but that wasn’t an issue this time. David Trezeguet netted a hat-trick and substitute Vincenzo Iaquinta bagged a brace. Ranieri explained that it is always wonderful for a tactician to deal with so many quality forwards. He took Del Piero off because he had international duty midweek and he wanted to keep him fresh.
26.08: Cobolli Gigli would be happy with fourth place
Juventus President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli has admitted that the Old Lady’s chances of winning the Scudetto are slim. There are mixed opinions around the peninsula as to how Juventus will readjust to life amongst the elite. After a pre-season of highs and lows, most Juventus players and officials agree that Champions League qualification is the limit of their realistic aspirations and it would seem that the club’s chief agrees. Cobolli Gigli told the press that their objective for the season is to get an automatic Champions League spot. But he must admit that fourth place would be fine. The Scudetto is only a dream this season. The new recruits are yet to gel and have looked a little uncertain in friendlies, but the Juventus chief doesn’t seem too worried yet. The team is how Claudio Ranieri planned it, and clearly it takes time for a side with so many new players and youngsters.
26.08: Statistics: Juventus has history against them
Juventus fans have certainly been accustomed to seeing their side fight for the Serie A title in recent times, but history will be against them in 2007-08. If Juventus are going to be crowned champions of Italy this season, they are not only going to have to punch above their present weight, they must also re-write history. Although Juventus have won more Scudetti than any other side in the peninsula, they will also start the new campaign in the knowledge that no outfit in the calcio archives has ever won promotion to Serie A and immediately gone on to win the title. Should that happen, it would arguably be their greatest ever triumph in their success-filled existence. The last time a newcomer made a serious assault at the Italian championship was back in 1977-78. Vicenza had won promotion alongside Pescara and Atalanta to win their place amongst the best. Inspired by Paolo Rossi, who won the Capocannoniere crown with 24 goals, Vicenza sensationally ended the term in second place just five points behind Juventus. While winning the League as a promoted club at the first attempt remains a taboo in Italy and Spain, Juventus can take heart from the fact that this has been achieved in England five times.
25.08: Serie A: Juventus-Livorno preview
Claudio Ranieri concedes he’s as curious as anyone to see how Juventus perform in tonight’s Serie A debut against Livorno. Ranieri told the press that it’s a totally new side and the first time is always something of a dress rehearsal. It is new for everyone concerned, as it’s a big club coming from Serie B. Didier Deschamps walked out just hours after securing promotion last season and Ranieri was given the task of leading them into their first post-Calciopoli campaign. The pre-season friendlies have been disappointing, particularly in defence. Against Livorno they will be without the injured Alessandro Birindelli, Marco Marchionni, and Zdenek Grygera. Ranieri is still optimistic and told the press that he is convinced the defence will do well and that they will get off to a strong start. To grow a tree it is important to have water and sunshine. If you begin with snow and cold, it all becomes more difficult. Livorno have also struggled during the summer, especially after losing star striker Cristiano Lucarelli. Ranieri is expected to use a 4-4-2 system with Jonathan Zebina, Jorge Andrade, Doemico Criscito and Giorgio Chiellini at the back. Pavel Nedved and Hasan Salihamidzic take the flanks in support of Alessandro Del Piero and David Trezeguet. Following poor performances in friendly tests, new signing Tiago Mendes could be dropped in favour of Cristiano Zanetti or Antonio Nocerino.
25.08: Grygera has been ruled out for a month
Juventus will be without defender Zdenek Grygera for at least a month due to a thigh strain he suffered on international duty. The Czech starlet pulled up with a left thigh strain during his side’s international friendly against Austria on Wednesday. On returning to Turin for tests, it was discovered Grygera would be out of action for around three to four weeks. It is a blow for Coach Claudio Ranieri, who already has Alessandro Birindelli, Marco Marchionni and the not 100 per cent fit Domenico Criscito on the treatment table. It is hoped Under-21 international Criscito can recover in time for Saturday’s Serie A opener with Livorno. Grygera moved from Ajax in the summer on a free transfer, having also played for Petra Drnovice and Sparta Prague in his career.
25.08: Still an uncertain future for Giorgio Cheillini
Unsettled Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini is still in limbo as the Old Lady await a suitable offer. The talented Tuscan sees his future away from Turin after a fraught summer that saw the 23-year-old argue with new boss Claudio Ranieri. Chiellini has been regularly linked with Manchester City and there have also been rumours that Liverpool have made an approach, but no side has matched Juve’s asking price. Now, with Juventus preparing to start the season at home to Livorno on Saturday, Chiellini’s agent Davide Lippi has explained that his client has fallen victim to his own value. The agent told the press that there have been offers, but they haven’t reached the figure that Juventus have put on him. So all they can do is wait for a development, but at present there is no news. It is clear that the club rate him very highly and they expect them to treat him as they should. Ranieri looks likely to select Chiellini for the season opener and there is a strong possibility that the left-back’s future lies with Juventus.
25.08: Official: Blasi and Zalayeta sold
Napoli have completed the co-ownership signings of Juventus duo Manuele Blasi and Marcelo Zalayeta. The Partenopei have been seeking reinforcements over the last fortnight to add to the four new recruits who have already arrived this summer as they prepare for their return to Serie A. Juventus sporting director Alessio Secco has admitted that the Old Lady have agreed to sell a 50 per cent share in the two fringe players to the Stadio San Paolo outfit. Whispers suggest that Blasi will pocket a £750,000 signing-on fee, while Uruguayan hitman Zalayeta is set to receive the slightly smaller sum of £675,000. Both players had small chances to earn a firt team spot at Juventus as they were both blocked by many talented players.
25.08: Juventus Primavera lost Youth Cup Final
Juventus Primavera side lost the first ever Champions Youth Cup Final to Manchester United in Malaysia. The Primavera side had only conceded one goal in five games for this tournament in Kuala Lumpur, but eventually succumbed 1-0 to a Brandy strike. The Italians were unlucky in an even match, as Daud had struck the crossbar in the first half and a late surge failed to break through the United defence. Juventus Coach Vincenzo Chiarenza told the press that they did more than they expected to when they came out here. They played on level terms with very prestigious sides, beating Paris Saint-Germain, Inter and Milan. In the final you could tell that the two teams were tired and an individual moment of skill would decide the game. Unfortunately that fell to them, but if Daud’s free kick had gone in rather than ricochet off the bar, perhaps Juventus would have won. At the end of September Juventus will challenge Inter for the Italian Primavera Super Cup.
19.08: Juventus fans get your hopes down!
Juventus fans get your hopes down! After concluding their worst pre-season ever, Juventus have clearly showed that they can't compete for the Scudetto this season. Juventus lost six of their eight friendlies in pre-season, something that had never happened to the club in modern times. Juventus lost two times both against Inter and Milan, and they lost against Newcastle and Hamburg. They only managed a draw against Sunderland and the only team they beat was Roma. The problem is that Juventus have spent their money bad. Several Italian football experts have commented that Juventus should have spent their moeny on three star players instead of six average players. The players Juventus have bought are not stars, most people agree that you won't win either the Scudetto or the Champions League with these players. So instead of buying Cannavaro, Lampard and Toni, who had all been offered to Juventus, the directors preferred to buy six average players. And the big problem is that five of these have already been a huge dissapointment.
Andrade has made several defensive errors and many wonders if he is the new Boumsong. Grygera has been pale and has had a poor pre-season. Salihamidzic has done nothing special and Iaquinta has missed several incredible chances. The biggest dissapointment of them all is Tiago, who also is the most expensive player Juventus have bought. He has already lost his place to new wonderkid Nocerino after delivering some horrible performances. Almiron is the only new signing who has done well. Luckily and strangely, the three players that Juventus have brought back from their loan spells, are the only new arrivals that have really impressed. Molinaro, Criscito and specially Nocerino have done very well in the pre-season friendlies. So a message to all Juventus fans, GET YOUR HOPES DOWN! Inter, Milan and Roma are in a league of their own. Juventus will have to fight for fourth place against teams as Fiorentina, Palermo, Lazio, Udinese and Sampdoria. Even that can be hard if Ranieri doesn't do something with the terrible Juventus defence.
19.08: Del Piero will soon renew his contract
Alessandro Del Piero’s contract renegotiations will not drag on, assures Juventus President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli. The captain’s current deal expires in June 2008 and it is reported Juventus only want a one-year renewal. Cobolli Gigli told the press that Del Piero is a fundamental figure for Juventus and they will work to reach a positive conclusion for all concerned. Alex was in fine form during the Trofeo Berlusconi match, even if Milan won 2-0. Cobolli Gigli commented that he is not happy to have lost, but he saw a good Juventus who were toned and sharp. He thinks the squad is there and the comments around him have been positive. They have a long way to go, but they’re on the right track. The transfer columns are always filled with links to Juventus, but talk of a bid for Arsenal’s Gilberto Silva and other players are shot down ny the Juventus President.
19.08: Boumsong is refusing to leave Juventus
Juventus defender Jean-Alain Boumsong has reportedly turned down an offer to join Olympique Lyonnais on loan. The Frenchman is not a part of Coach Claudio Ranieri’s plans, but is refusing all proposals to leave Turin. He had already shot down the chance to go to Spain for Valencia and it is now reported Boumsong has also slammed the door on his homeland. Lyon are looking for a new defender to replace Cris, who will be out for six months with a knee ligament injury. Boumsong has another three years left to run on his Juventus contract, worth £1.6m per season, and has no intention of accepting a loan spell elsewhere. If Juventus are to clear him out of their ranks, it will have to be a permanent move and so they hope to reignite negotiations with Valencia. The 27-year-old former Newcastle United and Glasgow Rangers man arrived in Italy in 2006, when Juventus were demoted to Serie B. He had a fractious rapport with the fans and made several defensive errors.
19.08: Ranieri is the only one who is satisfied
Claudio Ranieri acknowledges Juventus are a work in progress only a week away from the start of the Serie A season. His team disappointed in a 2-0 defeat to Milan for the Trofeo Berlusconi, Pippo Inzaghi netting both goals. Ranieri commented that they did very well in the first half-hour, then Inzaghi’s goal cut them down. The team battled until the end, but they are under construction. This side is a work in progress and his initial impressions are good. However, once again there were evident problems in defence, where Jorge Andrade and Domenico Criscito left Inzaghi unmarked for the first goal. Ranieri commented that there are certainly some things that need to be worked on in central defence, but they were tested here by the performance of some exceptional players who constantly tried to find any tiny space to attack. Between the Trofeo TIM, Trofeo Birra Moretti and Trofeo Berlusconi, Juventus have struggled to match up to the San Siro sides, but Ranieri’s confidence is certainly not slipping. He says that their objective is to finish in the top four. They want a place in the Champions League. At the moment the squad is fine as it is and he has not requested any new signings.
19.08: Worst pre-season ever: Juve lost six of eight
Juventus have concluded their worst pre-season ever by losing six of eight friendlies.
Pippo Inzaghi’s brace handed Milan the prestigious Trofeo Berlusconi in a 2-0 victory over old rivals Juventus at San Siro. The 17th edition of this friendly tournament at San Siro was without the injured Kaka, Ronaldo, Tiago Mendes and David Trezeguet. Alessandro Del Piero had a fantastic chance when he ran on to Pavel Nedved’s pass and put two defenders on the ground, but Kaladze bravely flung himself at the shot. Antonio Nocerino’s strike was also deflected off target. An Andrea Pirlo free kick fell to Inzaghi, who was closed down by a desperate Domenico Criscito tackle, and Oddo hit a first-time finish over. Buffon was not so prepared soon after, as Inzaghi’s splendid glancing header at the near post turned in Massimo Ambrosini’s cross from the left. The Juventus defence made a mess of this situation, as Jorge Andrade and Criscito lost sight of SuperPippo in his first start since the Champions League Final in Athens. Del Piero’s confidence was at an all-time high, as he repeatedly dribbled past sets of Rossoneri defenders, including a nutmeg on Oddo. Both Coaches made changes at the break. Claudio Ranieri appears to have abandoned the experiment of Tiago Mendes alongside Sergio Almiron, as it proved very disappointing, so he fielded the former Chelsea midfielder with Nocerino instead. Within 58 seconds Milan had doubled their lead with Inzaghi yet again. A corner kick was flicked on by Gilardino to the back post for Inzaghi to come sliding in. Later on Nedved’s volley at the back post whistled just wide when he only had the goalkeeper to beat and he turned another effort off target. Juve’s best opportunity came in the final minutes, as Tiago unleashed a fierce strike that Dida fingertipped over the crossbar. The Brazilian goalkeeper also plucked a Nedved attempt out of the air.
15.08: Juventus lost both against Inter and Milan
Juventus continued their terrible pre-season losing two more games against their biggest rivals. Inter defeated Juventus on penalties in the opening game of the prestigious Trofeo TIM at San Siro. Just days after clashing in the Trofeo Birra Moretti tournament, the two historic rivals met again for another 45-minute match. This time the competition was at San Siro. Juventus played well in the beginning and had some good chances, but the match ended goalless after 45 minutes and went to penalties. Toldo saved Criscito’s first kick and all the other penalty shooters scored to give Inter the victory. In the second game Alberto Gilardino’s goal sent Juventus to their second defeat of the Trofeo TIM. Again Juventus started well and had some good chances, but it was Milan who opened the scoring. Gennaro Gattuso filled in for Andrea Pirlo with a classy slide-rule pass that sent Alberto Gilardino clear and he buried the delicate finish past Gigi Buffon. Kaka nearly made it 2-0 soon after, as his precise low strike nutmegged Cristiano Zanetti and Buffon was at full stretch to fingertip it round the far post. In the last game Inter beat Milan 1-0 and won the tournament. These to Juventus defeats means that Juventus have had their worst pre-season in many years. So far Juventus have lost against Newcastle, Hamburg, Milan and two times against Inter. They only managed a draw against Sunderland, and earned their only win against Roma. 1 win, 1 draw and 5 defeats make the fans really worried. Juventus desperately need defensive reinforcements.
14.08: Tiago may lose his place to Nocerino
Juventus boss Claudio Ranieri has spoken in defence of under-fire midfielder Tiago Mendes. Juventus have struggled to gel in pre-season but a stunning comeback saw Ranieri’s men crush Roma 5-2 on Saturday and silence the harsh critics. The primary concerns this summer have related to the new-look defence and also the awkward performances of Portuguese midfielder Tiago Mendes. Many experts are now claiming that youngster Antonio Nocerino may replace Tiago Mendes after superb early performances. The young Italian midfielder is believed to become the new Gattuso and has played extremely good this summer. Ranieri told the press that Tiago is not a problem. He has played in Portugal, England and France and he isn’t used to italian preparations, but he’s working hard and soon he hopes to see the real Tiago. As to the defence Ranieri claims that there is still work to be done to improve the defence because it is a whole new unit.
14.08: Buffon hopes for Champions League spot
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has stated that he believes the Bianconeri can compete for a Champions League spot this season. The Serie B champions make their return to the top flight after a year’s absence, but the World Cup winner is sure they can immediately fight for the top positions, although he is aware of the difficulties. Buffon told the press that if they managed to qualify for the Champions League he believes that would be a clear indication of what Juve’s future might be. He insists that there would be nothing scandalous if they were to end the next campaign in third or fourth place. As for the Scudetto, he believes Inter are favoured in the race. They were already close to perfection and now they have strengthened the side further, although perfection doesn’t exist in football and they can only play 11 men at a time.
14.08: Alessio Tacchinardi has signed for Brescia
Ex-Juventus star Alessio Tacchinardi has returned to Italy for a surprise move to Serie B side Brescia. The midfielder had spent the last 18 months on loan at Villarreal, but terminated his contract with Juventus by mutual agreement this summer. Brescia have now confirmed he has signed a two-year contract for them with an option for a third. Tacchinardi was presented to the Press on Saturday afternoon and began training with the squad the same day. Now 32, he was once the bright new hope of Italian football and was snapped up by Juventus in 1994 from Atalanta. Tacchinardi spent the next 11 seasons in Turin, but lost his place in the side under Fabio Capello. He returns to Italy for a stab at Serie B football with Coach Serse Cosmi at the Stadio Rigamonti.
14.08: The Lega Calcio has cancelled Vanstrattan move
The Lega Calcio has ruled that goalkeeper Jess Vanstrattan’s contract at Juventus is illegal and will be cancelled. Newly-relegated Serie C outfit Verona appealed against the Old Lady’s approach for the Australian custodian after he quit the Stadio Bentegodi in controversial circumstances. Vanstrattan left the Scaligeri in June when he asked for his contract to be rescinded so that he could return home citing personal reasons. The Gialloblu agreed to his demands, but were furious when he signed a deal with Juventus just weeks later and claimed that negotiations had taken place while they still owned the 25-year-old. The Lega Calcio has upheld Verona’s claim so Vanstrattan is no longer a Juventino.
14.08: Juve still try to sell Legrottaglie, Boumsong
Juventus have become proactive in their bid to shed Nicola Legrottaglie and Jean Alain Boumsong from their roster. Juventus have offered the under-utilised Legrottaglie to Olympiacos. The 30-year-old has been surplus to requirements in Turin practically since joining the club as a hot prospect from Chievo in 2003. Back then he was considered a future Azzurri defensive star, but his stock has since nose-dived and successive loan spells at Bologna and Siena failed to reignite his career. Aware of the fact that Olympiakos are on the market for a defender, the Bianconeri management have taken the initiative of trying to convince the historic Athenian side that Legrottaglie has what it takes to succeed in the Greek league. There is no word on whether Olympiakos are likely to take the bait, but they are looking for a defender with Serie A experience as Fiorentina received an inquiry from them over the weekend concerning the availability of their Danish defender Per Kroldrup. Meanwhile, Olympique Lyon are set to revive their interest in Juventus defender Jean-Alain Boumsong. A knee injury suffered by new Lyon captain Cris has forced the French giants back into the market for a replacement, with Boumsong high on their shopping list. Also in Lyon sights is AC Milan defender Dario Simic.
14.08: Blasi has to choose between Monaco and Napoli
Manuele Blasi is not part of Ranieri's plans, but has not yet decided his future despite attracting the interest of many clubs. Manuele Blasi has less than three weeks to find a new team as the former Fiorentina player has no future at Juventus. The midfielder is wanted by some clubs both in Italy and abroad, with Napoli and Monaco leading the chase for the Italian player. However, according to the latest speculation, Blasi has not yet decided in which team he will be playing next season. The Juventus player will be in Monaco to discuss a possible loan transfer with the French club, but Blasi would prefer to remain in Italy. For this reason, Napoli are seriously taking into consideration the idea of signing Blasi on a co-ownership deal, a solution which would please Juventus.
14.08: Ranieri satisfied with Juventus comeback
Claudio Ranieri was clearly satisfied with Juventus’ comeback on Saturday to crush Roma 5-2 in the exciting friendly. Ranieri told the press that he is impressed with the performance and the character of the squad after going 2-0 down to fight back for such a great win. They know these are summer games that count to a certain degree. He is not euphoric after this result, just as he was not depressed after they lost in England. The opening 25 minutes did not bode well for Juventus, as Roma were in total control and a series of defensive errors risked conceding even more. However, it was a forced change that made the difference, as Alessandro Birindelli went off with a knee injury. Ranieri moved Hasan Salihamidzic to right-back and sent Antonio Nocerino out to the right flank with Cristiano Zanetti partnering Sergio Almiron in central midfield. This proved to be a crucial development and from then on the team was more balanced and creative, with Nocerino possibly Man of the Match. With his current form and the poor performances of new signing Tiago Mendes so far this summer, it is increasingly likely the Under-21 international will take his spot.
06.08: Ranieri defends himself from criticism
Juventus boss Claudio Ranieri insists that Juve's pre-season preparations are on schedule. Juventus have struggled in pre-season and have picked up two defeats and a draw as the new-look side is yet to gel. With enormous Press scrutiny ahead of the Old Lady’s return to Serie A the pressure is evident, but Ranieri sees early loses as inevitable teething problems. Ranieri told the press that the set-backs that they have encountered were to be expected, because in order to grow you need weaknesses to emerge early on so you can address them. The main focus of recent criticisms has been the defence which has looked disorganised and uneasy at times. Ranieri responded that it’s just normal that the defence will take a while to get used to each other. The midfield needs to help more with the defending as when Tiago Mendes and Sergio Almiron play together in the middle of the park they both have a tendency to go forward. Juventus lost against both Newcastle and Hamburg, but managed a suffered 1-1 draw against Sunderland in the last game of the European tour. Juventus must now prepare for the Birra Moretti trophy on August 8 where they will face Napoli and Inter in 45-minute matches.
06.08: Secco: Chiellini will stay at Juventus
Juventus sporting director Alessio Secco has denied that Giorgio Chiellini is set for a summer switch to Manchester City. The defender is reportedly on the verge of joining Sven Goran Eriksson’s new outfit in a £7m move after being a target for Liverpool as well earlier this summer. His future in Turin was thrown into doubt following his public complaints about the fact that he felt neglected by the Serie B champions. Secco told the press that Chiellini is part of the club’s plans and will stay here at Juventus. As for their transfer campaign, he can only reiterate what was already said recently. Juventus have made the signings they want, but they will keep on assessing the various opportunities that arise. Reports in the Italian Press over the weekend claimed that Chiellini and Domenico Criscito might leave Juventus shortly, making room for Manchester United’s Gabriel Heinze.
06.08: Ivanovic is the new defensive target
Juventus are interested in signing the Serbian Under 21 national team captain Ivanovic in order to bolster a defensive department which seemed far from perfect in these early pre-season friendlies. The Lokomotiv Moscow full-back, who can also play as a central defender and even a midfielder, impressed during the past European Championships, where he attracted the interest of various clubs, including Juventus. The Bianconeri have sent one of their representatives for the Moscow tournament, where Ivanovic even scored against Real Madrid. Originally the trip was planned for the end of August, but now Juventus have decided to accelerate things up following the latest disappointing team's performances. According to the latest reports, Juventus have already agreed a deal with the player and will give Lokomotiv Moscow 3.5 million Euros in order to sign the Serbian defender.
06.08: Serie A draw: Juventus start against Livorno
Juventus President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli admits he’s looking forward to the November showdown with rivals Inter. The 2007-08 Serie A fixture list has been drawn up and the much anticipated clash between the clubs that have so bitterly argued over the Calciopoli scandal was set for November 4 and the return on March 22. The other major dates for the Juventus supporters upon their return to the top flight are also in the winter months. They face Roma on the weekend of September 9, rivals Torino on September 30 and Milan on December 2. Juventus were included among the five seeds for the draw along with Inter, Roma, Lazio and Milan, despite the fact they had just been promoted from Serie B. The first game of the season is at home against Livorno.
06.08: Giannichedda has signed for Livorno
Ex-Juventus midfielder Giuliano Giannichedda has completed his expected move to Livorno. The 32-year-old became a free agent on July 22 when he was released by Juventus. Despite playing regular first team football for six seasons at Udinese and four campaigns with Lazio, the Frosinone native never managed to hold a place in the Juventus side. Since arriving in Turin in 2005, Giannichedda made only 22 appearances, mostly as a substitute, and looked highly unlikely to play any role this term.
30.07: Heinze could replace Chiellini this week
It is claimed that Giorgio Chiellini will leave Juventus this week, making room for Gabriel Heinze. The Bianconeri are completely revamping their defence, which was the weakest performing part of the squad in Serie B last year. Chiellini is on the verge of completing a £7m move to Sven Goran Eriksson’s Manchester City. While United continue their legal battle with Liverpool over Heinze, a way out of the mess for Sir Alex Ferguson would be to sell the Argentine overseas. Juventus are eager to pick up the want-away defender and Manchester United would be more than happy to help put a spanner in the works for Liverpool. Heinze would only cost £6.8m and cannot continue to drag out this transfer saga with the Premiership set to start soon. Other options for the weal Juventus defence include Arsenal’s Philippe Senderos, Stuttgart’s Fernando Meira and Serbian Under-21 international captain Branislav Ivanovic.
30.07: Agent: Chiellini wants to sign for Man City
Giorgio Chiellini’s agent has revealed that the Juventus defender is hoping to join Manchester City this week. The former Azzurrini full-back was linked with Liverpool in recent weeks and seems set to leave the Serie B champions after stating that he felt neglected by the club. Reports in Italy last week suggested that he had become a target for Manchester City, as Sven Goran Eriksson hoped to add the defender to the Italian contingent formed by Rolando Bianchi and Bernardo Corradi. His agent told the press that Chiellini would be thrilled to play in the Premier League with City, but everything depends on Juventus, on the final price and on their will to let him leave or not. Manuele Blasi has also been paired with an English move, as the Bianconeri are reducing their squad, but Lippi does not believe that Eriksson’s team will be his next destination.
30.07: Juventus will be seeded in the Serie A draw
Despite spending last season in Serie B, Juventus will be seeded in Tuesday’s 2007-08 Serie A fixtures draw. The Bianconeri may be among the newly promoted sides, but they are still being treated as one of the giants of the sport. It is reported that the Lega Calcio has decided to put Juventus in the seeds for the draw set to take place on Tuesday evening. Traditionally the teams are seeded so that the big clubs do not face each other in the first three rounds of the campaign. Being among the new boys, it was very likely that the opening game of the Serie A season would have been a bitter grudge match between Juventus and Inter. To avoid this possibility, Juventus will be seeded along with Milan, Roma and Lazio for the draw in Rome. According to the ‘Corriere dello Sport’, the seeding of Juventus was in fact requested by the other major clubs, who do not want the risk of facing Claudio Ranieri’s side immediately.
30.07: Juventus suffered a 2-0 defeat against Newcastle
Juventus suffered a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United in their first significant friendly of the season, but Juventus had plenty of chances. Although the Bianconeri are much further behind in their training schedule with Serie A kick-off a month away, they maintained a lot of the possession and had good chances with Vincenzo Iaquinta, Pavel Nedved, David Trezeguet and Marco Marchionni. However, it was Newcastle who struck twice thanks to an Albert Luque penalty kick for Jonathan Zebina’s challenge on James Milner. Youngster Andy Carroll came on as a substitute for Luque and within five minutes had pounced on the loose ball punched away from an Obafemi Martins shot, his first senior goal for the Magpies. Just before the break there was some desperate defending from the home side to deny both Marchionni and Nedved’s follow-up. Former Chelsea midfielder Tiago Mendes also wasted a very promising opportunity with a weak volley from Marchionni’s cross. Shay Given was kept busy in the second half by beating away a powerful finish from the inspirational Marchionni and was given a scare by Trezeguet. Nedved really should have scored when Raffaele Palladino’s cut-back found him unmarked in the closing stages, but their early pre-season preparations have inevitably affected Juve’s sharpness. All in all, Ranieri can be satisfied with the performance against a side that is ready to start a Premier League campaign in a matter of days.
25.07: Blasi and Chiellini could join Man City
Juventus players Manuele Blasi and Giorgio Chiellini could join the growing Italian colony at Manchester City. The arrival of Sven Goran Eriksson at the City of Manchester stadium has seen a huge influx of new players, including £8.8m signing Rolando Bianchi from Reggina. The agent of the two players revealed that he has a meeting planned with Juventus to discuss the future of Giorgio Chiellini and Manuele Blasi. Manchester City are interested in both players and he will meet Juventus to see if these operations are possible. Italian Under-21 international Chiellini has already hinted at a switch to City, but former Perugia midfielder Blasi is a new addition to Sven’s Serie A shopping list. The agent continued by saying that both Chiellini and Blasi would be happy to play in the Premier League with City, but it all depends on Juve. They like English football and the fact Eriksson is at Manchester is another reason to go, but they still need to see the price-tag and whether or not Juventus are prepared to sell them.
25.07: Official: Piccolo and Marchisio join Empoli
Juventus are reducing their squad and sending out several youngsters who helped them emerge from Serie B last season. Empoli have taken Claudio Marchisio on loan and Felice Piccolo in a co-ownership deal. Defender Felice Piccolo didn't have much luck at Juventus last season. He played some games when Juventus had several defenders injured, but he didn't make a good impression. He will now try to convince at Empoli. Midfielder Claudio Marchisio had an excellent season with Juventus in Serie B. The midfielder captured a place in the team and played many good games. He is considered to be one of the most promising Juventus youngsters and the heir of Pavel Nedved. Marchisio will definitively return to Juventus after getting some more experience with Empoli. Juventus fans will now have pay attention to Empoli this year, as two other Juventus youngsters have joined the Tuscan side. Attacker Rej Volpato has been sold in Co-Ownership to Empoli while wonderkid Sebastian Giovinco has been loaned out to Empoli. Four Juventus youngsters in the same Serie A side is certainly exciting.
25.07: Official: Giannichedda terminates contract
After Alessio Tacchinardi, Giuliano Giannichedda has also announced he’s terminating his contract with Juventus. The former Udinese and Lazio player told the press that this is a bit of a sad day for him. He is nearly 33 years old and would like to play on for a while longer. The club was very kind and on Tuesday he became a free agent. The Bianconeri are completely revamping their squad for the return to the top flight and have brought in midfielders Tiago Mendes, Hasan Salihamidzic and Sergio Almiron. This leaves precious little space for the old guard and following Tacchinardi’s decision to walk away on a free this week, Giannichedda has made a similar choice. He never quite got a chance to shine in Turin, as his first campaign in 2005-06 was marred by injury, then the Bianconeri were demoted as part of the Calciopoli scandal. Giannichedda added that he arrived here in an invincible Juventus and his only regret is that his Champions League experience was so brief. The future is uncertain for Giannichedda, who has three Italy caps to his name, but he has been linked with Livorno and his old club Udinese. He played at the Stadio Friuli for six seasons from 1995 to 2001.
25.07: Philippe Senderos is the new Juventus target
Juventus could be ready to make a £3m offer for Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos. Giorgio Chiellini could be on his way to the Premiership with Manchester City and the Serie B champions are eyeing the Gunners’ man to strengthen their defensive department.
The Mirror claims that Senderos has emerged as a serious target for the Italian giants, as the Bianconeri have prepared a £3m offer in the belief that the 22-year-old is eager to leave England. The Swiss international joined Arsenal in 2003, but has since been plagued with injuries and fallen behind William Gallas and fellow countryman Johan Djourou in the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium. Senderos is highly rated by Juventus Coach Claudio Ranieri, who believes that he could adapt perfectly to his plans for the coming season’s return to Serie A. The defender would join a recent exodus from Arsenal after captain Thierry Henry’s move to Barcelona, with following Fiorentina target Freddie Ljungberg’s decision to join West Ham this week.
22.07: Juventus is still the most loved team
The newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has reported the results of a recent survey in Italian football. From this survey it emerged that Juventus is still the most followed team in Italy. Not even the demotion to Serie B football pushed the Old Lady's fans away, as according to the latest survey about fans, the Juventus supporters have 17.4% of the Italian population siding with them. In second place we find Milan with 12.4% and then Inter with 11%. The rest of the teams are far away, with Napoli finishing in fourth place but with just a bit more than half of the Nerazzurri fans. One curious fact is that the team which has been most abandoned by its supporters is Inter, which is probably due to the club failing to win a lot in the past 20 years. Another European survey showed that Juventus is the third most loved team in Europe. Only Real Madrid and Barcelona have more fans according to the survey.
21.07: Ranieri: Chiellini behaved like a child
Juventus Coach Claudio Ranieri has slammed Giorgio Chiellini’s recent outburst to the Press. The former Under-21 captain, who has been linked with a move to Liverpool, complained that he felt neglected as Juventus had only focused on renewing the contracts of their star names. Ranieri told the press that Chiellini damaged the group. Ranieri believes the unity of the group is sacred and with his words the player damaged it. Ranieri can understand his concerns, but these things must remain in the family. Chiellini acted hastily. Ranieri explained that Alessandro Del Piero must be a role-model. If Chiellini, who has not won a World Cup, is disappointed what should Alex say? What will happen if Chiellini wins something? Ranieri also said that Chiellini behaved like a child. Chiellini is worried about losing his place in the team after the arrivals of Grygera, Andrade, Criscito and Molinaro in the Juventus defence.
21.07: Tacchinardi terminates his Juventus contract
Alessio Tacchinardi has terminated his Juventus contract after 11 seasons, so he is now a free agent. A statement on the official club website read that they wish Alessio all the best for his career and thank him for his support in the success of the team. The decision came after the midfielder had spent the last 18 months on loan at Spanish side Villarreal. In his Juventus career Tacchinardi won five Scudetti, the Champions League, Intercontinental Cup, European Super Cup, Coppa Italia and four Italian Super Cups. He managed 404 appearances in 11 seasons, but Juventus opted not to keep him after the arrival of Tiago Mendes and Sergio Almiron.
21.07: Ecuadorian claims he will join Juventus
Red Star Belgrade midfielder Segundo Castillo has unexpectedly announced that he will be playing for Juventus next term. The Ecuador international’s comments were made to the Serbian Press and came completely out of the blue as the 25-year-old has never been linked wih the Old Lady. The midfielder was quoted saying that he will be playing for Juventus next season. He eplained that next Wednesday he will be signing a four-year deal with the Bianconeri. Castillo impressed at Red Star last season as he hit eight goals and helped them secure the Meridian Superliga title. He is set to return from Venezuela this weekend having been in Ecuador’s squad for their First Round Copa America dismissal. The Italian press is amased by this rumour and Juventus have not confirmed anything.
21.07: Trezeguet wants to take back what Inter stole
David Trezeguet says this season will give Juventus the chance to bring back what was taken from them, the Scudetto. The Frenchman was one of several top stars who stayed with the club after their demotion to Serie B and the removal of the 2005 and 2006 titles in the Calciopoli scandal. Trezeguet told the press that they lost two Scudetti despite proving on the field that they were the best. Now they want them back. That is the only thought in their minds. They want to bring back what was taken from them. They have to at least try, as when you are Juventus then second or third place is worth nothing. Juventus have been off the Serie A stage for a year, but now they are back with Coach Claudio Ranieri and a host of new signings including Jorge Andrade, Tiago, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Sergio Almiron and Hasan Salihamidzic. Trezeguet explained that they have a very competitive squad and above all an extremely strong desire to prove themselves. Inter and Milan are a step above because they have been together for longer, but their determination can compensate for that. The Scudetto is possible.
21.07: New signing Andrade believes in Scudetto
Jorge Andrade has just arrived, but believes he can win the Scudetto in his first season at Juventus. The Portuguese defender told the press that he is in a club that is considered to be a giant on the world stage. There is no player who wouldn’t feel proud to play for this team, for its history, tradition, trophies and the importance it has in football. He can certainly say this is a big step up in his career. His transfer from Deportivo La Coruna has been completed and he passed a medical at the club’s pre-season training camp. Although the Bianconeri are back in the top flight after their demotion in the Calciopoli scandal, Andrade is hopeful they can become the first Italian side ever to win the title straight after promotion. Andrade explained that Juventus are a natural candidate for the Scudetto. Coming back from Serie B is, if anything, extra motivation. They have everything needed to challenge Inter, Milan and Roma. The defence was the weak link in Juve’s squad last season and new Coach Claudio Ranieri personally requested Andrade.
21.07: Del Piero wants to end his career with Juventus
Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero expects to sign a new contract that will see him complete his career with the Bianconeri. The Old Lady have delayed discussions with the 32-year-old forward in order to concentrate on holding on to Pavel Nedved, David Trezeguet and Mauro Camoranesi, but the talismanic Juventino claims there are no hard feelings. Del Piero told the press that he is not worried and he is not angry that the club has given priority to other situations. He doesn't think he is going to go anywhere. He wants to stay in Turin. Alex’s current contract expires within the year, but after 14 years at Juventus it is highly unlikely that he would consider moving, especially given his status at the club.
21.07: Transfers: Ten new players for Juventus
Juventus have been the most active team in Europe during this transfer window. The Italian giants have bought ten new players. Ranging from talented U-21 Internationals like Molinaro, Criscito and Nocerino, to experienced players like Salihamidzic and Andrade. The Juventus fans are very curious about the new midfield duo Tiago and Almiron. They also expect much from Grygera and Iaquinta. Here are the ten new arrivals so far:
Vanstrattan (G, Verona), Molinaro (D, Siena), Grygera (D, Ajax), Criscito (D, Genoa), Nocerino (M, Piacenza), Salihamidzic (M, Bayern Munich), Iaquinta (A, Udinese), Almiron (M, Empoli), Tiago (M, Lyon), Andrade (D, Deportivo La Coruna).
01.07: Official: Kapo sold to Birmingham City
Juventus have sold midfield flop Olivier Kapo to Birmingham City for £3m, announced the Premiership club. The 27-year-old Frenchman had arrived on a free transfer from Auxerre in 2004, but failed to make an impact with Juventus. Kapo made just 14 Serie A appearances in 2004-05 without scoring a single goal for the Turin giants. He was then loaned out to Monaco and Levante, but has now been released from their books to join Birmingham. The 27-year-old has signed a three-year contract with an option for a further two seasons. Juventus are currently trying to sell some of the players they have previously loaned out.
01.07: Official: Matteo Paro sold in co-ownership
Juventus youngster Matteo Paro has been sold to Genoa in a co-ownership deal. The 24-year-old midfielder who scored the Bianconeri’s first ever Serie B goal during last season’s 1-1 opening day draw with Rimini, will leave Turin in search of regular first-team football. It had been expected that he would join Empoli as part of the terms of the deal that saw Sergio Almiron move the other way. However, Paro made it clear that he would rather join newly-promoted Genoa and work with Gian Piero Gasperini. The tactician was youth Coach at Juventus when Paro came through the ranks and then helped launch his career by taking him on loan at Crotone in the 2004-05 campaign. After Almiron and Tiago were bought it was unlikely to be space for Paro in Turin. But many fans thinks it's sad that many of the youngsters who brought Juventus back to Serie A now are beeing sold. Paro was the youngster which played most games for Juventus last season.
01.07: Official: David Trezeguet renews his contract
David Trezeguet has completed a sensational U-turn and signed a four-year contract extension with Juventus. Trezeguet told the press that he is proud to have tied his name to Juventus. He has now taken an important decision for his career and his life. This is a club which has given him a lot and he wants to keep on winning with them. In the last two weeks he has appreciated the effort of the Board and the respect they have towards him. This is an attitude which has led him to forget their past misunderstandings and look to the future. Trezeguet has been at Juventus for seven seasons, scoring 140 goals, and was ready to leave after the last Serie B game against Spezia. Juventus boss Claudio Ranieri will now be able to count on a first class attack with Trezeguet, Alessandro Del Piero, Raffaele Palladino and the newly-signed Vincenzo Iaquinta. Trezeguet’s renewal could soon be followed by those of Mauro Camoranesi and Pavel Nedved after reports they are close to extending their stays at the Stadio Olimpico.
01.07: Stuttgart wants to report Juventus to FIFA
German club Stuttgart have threatened to report Juventus to FIFA after an alleged illegal approach to Mario Gomez and Fernando Meira. A Stuttgart spokesman told the press that this is a scandalous procedure. Their players were approached. It was insolent and they will refer the matter to FIFA. The Bundesliga champions were furious when defender Meira and forward Gomez were reportedly contacted with regards to a summer move. Yet Juventus have denied they contacted the players personally and even that they are interested in these two candidates. Gomez is said to be worth around £17m, while Meira could go for £13.4m, but Stuttgart have no intention of negotiating with Juventus. This is not the first time Juventus have caused controversy in Germany, as in the past Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge accused Luciano Moggi of mafia style tactics to pursue Robert Kovac and Willy Sagnol.
01.07: Fabrizio Miccoli could join Palermo
Reports in the Italian Press claim that Fabrizio Miccoli could be close to joining Palermo in a £3.5m deal. The 27-year-old was expected to be recalled to Juventus following his two-year loan spell at Benfica after new Coach Claudio Ranieri stated that he was counting on the ‘Romario del Salento’. The former Italian international was initially mentioned as part of an exchange deal for Andrea Barzagli, but the latest rumours suggest that £3.5m will be enough to see Miccoli join the Rosanero. The versatile forward joined Juventus in 2003, but his relationship with the giants turned sour after Fabio Capello’s arrival on the bench a year later. He then moved to Fiorentina in 2004 on loan, where he scored 12 Serie A goals before switching to Portugal in 2005. Miccoli was also a reported target for Napoli, but talks between Palermo sporting director Rino Foschi and the player’s agent on Thursday seem to confirm that the Isolani are the striker’s next destination.
01.07: Juventus and Barcelona battle to buy Lampard
Juventus boss Claudio Ranieri is ready to battle Barcelona for Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, according to reports in England. The 29-year-old was already paired with Juventus after the arrival of Claudio Ranieri, as his career was revitalised by the Italian during their time together at the Blues in 2001. The Sun claims that Barcelona are willing to make a £12m offer for Lampard, who has yet to agree an extension to his contract at Stamford Bridge despite months of negotiations. The England international is contracted to Chelsea until 2009 and he could extricate himself from the deal for just £9m with the help of a new FIFA ruling. Ranieri is following the player closely and Juventus had allegedly guaranteed that everything will be done to lure Lampard to the Stadio Olimpico.
22.06: Official: Almiron and Tiago join Juventus
Midfielders Sergio Almiron and Tiago Mendes have officially joined newly promoted Italian giants Juventus. The duo underwent their medicals in Turin this week and have, as expected, completed their moves to Turin after agreeing five-year contracts. Almiron has joined Juventus from Serie A minnows Empoli, while the Portuguese ace has landed from Lyon. Almiron started his career with Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina and moved to Italy in 2001 when he joined Udinese. He switched to Tuscany in August 2004 after playing for then Serie B side Verona. Almiron told the press that he is here to prove his value and he is ready to face any difficulty. He will do his best, as he has always done in the past. This is a new starting point in his career and he had been waiting for this moment for some time. Almiron has cost the club something in the region of £6.5m. Tiago, who was also being chased by Milan, joins Juventus after winning three straight League titles in the last three years, one with Chelsea and two with Lyon. He told the press that he is here to win more trophies and he is happy with his choice. He added that Juventus are a great European club. Playing for them was a dream and now it has come true. Lyon have sold Tiago for £9.3m. The international, who played an important role in the Portugal side that reached the semi-finals of last summer’s World Cup, joined Lyon in 2005 after spells with Sporting Braga, Benfica and Chelsea.
22.06: Official: Robert Kovas has signed for Dortmund
Defender Robert Kovac has left Juventus after signing a two-year contract with Borussia Dortmund. The 33-year-old was expected to join Dinamo Zagreb earlier this week, but the player could not agree on terms and the transfer failed because of his wage demands. Kovac will move to the Bundesliga outfit on a free transfer and returns to Germany after previous spells with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. Kovac told the press that he is looking forward to the new challenge at BVB. From a competitive point of view, the task in Dortmund is very attractive and he is happy to be back in the Bundesliga next season. Kovac started his career with Nürnberg in 1995 before moving on to Bayer Leverkusen a year later. He then appeared for Bayern from 2001 until 2005 when he joined Juventus and was part of the Croatia squad for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and Euro 2004.
21.06: Official: Molinaro and Nocerino return
Juventus have secured the full ownership of left-back Cristian Molinaro and Under-21 midfielder Antonio Nocerino. Juventus already owned 50 per cent of Nocerino and Molinaro’s contract, but reached an agreement to buy out the remaining half from Siena and Piacenza. Molinaro enjoyed an excellent season and was a reported summer target for Roma. The 23-year-old, who started his career with Salernitana, joined the Tuscan outfit in 2005 via Juventus and scored one goal in 56 Serie A appearances during his time at the Franchi. He will replace Federico Balzaretti. Antonio Nocerino starred for Piacenza this term, scoring six goals in 37 Serie B games and taking them to the verge of the promotion play-offs. The midfielder is preparing for the Under-21 Olympic play-off against Portugal and has also played for Avellino, Catanzaro, Genoa, Crotone and Messina. Nocerino has signed a three-year contract with Juventus and Piacenza received just over £2m for the remaining half of his ownership. It is expected that both youngsters will be in the Juventus squad next season.
21.06: Official: Balzaretti sold to Fiorentina
Juventus have completed the sale of Federico Balzaretti to Fiorentina. Balzaretti will move to Fiorentina after making it clear that he was keen on leaving the Old Lady since he was told that his services were no longer needed. The 25-year-old, who joined Juventus from Torino in 2005 after the Granata’s bankruptcy and scored two goals in Serie B last season, has signed a four-year contract with Fiorentina. Juventus will profit from the player’s departure seeing as he had arrived on a free transfer. Meanwhile, Juventus defender Robert Kovac was also expected to leave to join Dynamo Zagreb, but the move has collapsed because of the player’s wage demands.
21.06: Official: Juventus have sold four players
Juventus has made it official that four players have left Juventus for good. Midfielder Simone Bentivoglio, who was at loan to Modena, has been sold to Chievo. Juventus have completed the sale of Andrea Gasbarroni to Parma after his spell at the club this season. Ukraine midfielder Viktor Boudianski has been sold to Ascoli. While attacker Giuseppe Sculli has been sold to Genoa. Bentivoglio and Boudianski had been on loan to other clubs for a couple of seasons, while Gasbarroni and Sculli had been on loan to other clubs for many seasons.
19.06: Official: Iaquinta has finally signed for Juve
Juventus have completed their expected swoop for Udinese striker Vincenzo Iaquinta. The 27-year-old has been linked with Juventus for some time and has today completed an £8m move. The World Cup winner told the press that he believes he has the right age to realise this dream. He likes pressure and he cannot wait to start this new adventure. He has grown up year-on-year and after seven seasons in Udine the moment has arrived to make a jump in quality. He now needs to test himself with a challenge that only a great club like Juventus can offer, in Italy and in Europe. Iaquinta, who has signed a five-year contract in Turin, scored 14 goals in Serie A last term and may have been brought in to replace David Trezeguet at the club. Juventus director general Jean-Claude Blanc told the press that Iaquinta is an important player, another World Cup winner who will help to write history at this club. He is a professional who they welcome and a player who will add experience and quality to a squad which is enthusiastically hoping to offer fans the satisfaction they deserve. There is no doubt that this is another forward step in making a competitive squad on their return to Serie A. Born in November 1979, Iaquinta arrives after his development at the Stadio Friuli. He has also enjoyed spells at Padova and Castel di Sangro.
19.06: Almiron just days away from move to Juventus
Sergio Almiron could be just days away from completing his move from Empoli to Juventus. The switch has been on the cards for some time now and a transfer will reportedly be finalised at some stage on Wednesday. Empoli sporting director Giuseppe Vitale is set to meet with Juventus counterpart Alessio Secco in the middle of the week to complete negotiations. The midfielder is expected to be signed for around £5m in an agreement which will see Matteo Paro move to Tuscany in a co-ownership deal. The Argentine has reportedly already accepted a four-year contract worth around £1m a year in terms of salary. Almiron, born in Santa Fe in November 1980, moved to Italy in 2001 when Udinese swooped while he was with Newell’s Old Boys. He joined Empoli in August 2004 after spending the previous campaign on loan at then Serie B side Verona.
19.06: Fabrizio Miccoli is at Claudio Ranieri's disposal
Fabrizio Miccoli has noted that he is ready to leave Benfica for an Italian return, even if he’s unsure of whether he will be playing for Juventus or Napoli. The 27-year-old has spent the last two years on loan in Portugal from Juventus, but will be back in Serie A action next term. Miccoli told the press that they treated him like a king in Lisbon, but now he is ready to return to Italy. He spent two wonderful years at Benfica and they almost won the title, giving him the opportunity of playing for one of the best clubs in the world. But he still has three years left on his contract with Juventus and he is at Claudio Ranieri’s disposal. However, if he is told that he is not included in their plans then he is ready to look for an alternative solution. Ranieri has recently claimed that he’d like to have the ‘Romario del Salento’ at his disposal next season, but Napoli have been strongly linked with him. The former Italian international moved to Portugal in 2005 after Fiorentina opted not to keep him despite the fact that he scored 12 goals in Serie A during his one-season loan there.
19.06: Juventus want to sign Portuguese youngster
Reports in Italy suggest that Juventus are close to signing Portuguese Under-21 star Vitorino Gabriel Pacheco Antunes. The 20-year-old defender was one of the protagonists of last season, helping his side Pacos de Ferreira earn their first-ever UEFA Cup qualification thanks to an unexpected sixth-placed finish. Felipe Scolari also gave him his senior debut in the 1-1 draw in Kuwait and Antunes will be one of the players facing Italy in the Under-21 Olympic Games play-off on Thursday. The player’s performances have attracted a number of clubs, but Juventus seem to be favoured in the race to sign the youngster, who admits that he would favour a move to the Old Lady. Antunes told the press that he would be thrilled with the opportunity if it was given to him. He is ready to take a step up. Antunes is also a reported target for Vicenza, but they consider the player’s £1.4m price excessive and have offered Juventus a co-ownership deal, which the Bianconeri are allegedly taking into consideration.
19.06: Del Piero: Don't lose Trezeguet and Camoranesi
Alessandro Del Piero has admitted that losing David Trezeguet and Mauro Camoranesi would be a massive blow to Juventus on their Serie A return. The Bianconeri have been in contract talks with both internationals, but it does seem as if they will be leaving the Turin giants. The Frenchman has made it clear that he wants out before his contract expires in June 2008, while Camoranesi wants a bigger salary before he puts pen to paper on an agreement until 2009. The Juventus captain told the press that if Trezeguet and Camoranesi were to leave then they would be in big trouble. However, it does seem that the Bianconeri will have a new look to them next season with or without the duo, even if the captain has urged the club to spend wisely. Del Piero told the press that he has his own idea on how he would plan the next transfer campaign. If it is true that Juventus have a £35m budget, then he would target two or three players who would allow them to improve their quality, rather than spend the entire amount on one big name. Club chiefs have spoken about a five-year plan to get the outfit back to where they were before Calciopoli, but Pinturicchio is eager for success and told that they can’t afford to take that long.
19.06: Ranieri wants to sign Riquelme or Tiago
Claudio Ranieri has more power to decide Juventus transfer policy and has requested Juan Roman Riquelme or Tiago. Predecessor on the bench Didier Deschamps resigned following a row with director of sport Alessio Secco over the players that were being signed for the return to Serie A. One of the first names on the list is 28-year-old Argentine creative midfielder Riquelme. Although still owned by Villarreal, he has spent the last few months in Argentina with his old club Boca Juniors following a row with Coach Mauricio Pellegrini. He is leading Boca towards Copa Libertadores glory and the loan spell expires on June 30. Juventus are also keen on securing the services of Lyon midfielder Tiago, who has admitted he would favour a move to Turin. The Portuguese star recently admitted that his time with the French champions might be near its end and has been paired with both Milan and Juventus. Tiago, who started his career with Sporting Braga before joining Benfica in 2002 and appearing for Chelsea in 2004-05, is highly considered by Coach Claudio Ranieri. Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas has set a £14m price tag on Tiago’s head, but reports suggest he might be willing to reconsider that request if Mauro Camoranesi were to be included as part of the deal.
10.06: Trezeguet caused controversy in his last game
David Trezeguet caused controversy in probably his final Juventus game by making an offensive gesture towards the President. The Frenchman is currently renegotiating his contract, which expires in 2008, but has been barred from going to Inter. After he scored in the game against Spezia this afternoon at Turin’s Stadio Olimpico, Trezeguet made a very clear gesture towards the VIP section where President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli was seated. He made a number 15 with his fingers, the goals he has scored in Serie B this season, and then a gesture that in Italian means “I’m out of here.” This has done nothing to calm the tension between club and striker, who is now 99 per cent certain to walk away despite their return to Serie A and the arrival of Coach Claudio Ranieri. Trezeguet has reportedly received offers from Inter, Olympique Lyonnais, Marseille, Barcelona and Arsenal. Juventus have confirmed they do not want to release him to another Italian side, for fear of strengthening their rivals as they did when Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Patrick Vieira joined Inter. As for the game, Juventus suffered their second consecutive loss as Spezia won 3-2 in Turin. Trezeguet and Bianco scored the goals for Juventus.
10.06: Iaquinta and Almiron could soon be announced
Sergio Almiron and Vincenzo Iaquinta could be announced as Juventus players over the next few days. The deal for the Udinese striker has been known for some time and only details remain between the two clubs. Cobolli Gigli has told the press that soon they will make official the signing of a major Italian champion. Former Bianconeri Coach Didier Deschamps also admitted as much just days before his departure, noting he had not requested nor required the services of Iaquinta. New boss Claudio Ranieri is more enthusiastic about the arrival and is also close to capturing another Serie A star. Empoli midfielder Almiron has been linked with Inter and Milan, but it looks as if Juventus have won the race for the Argentine talent. It’s reported that a deal has been struck that would see Juventus youngsters Matteo Paro, Sebastian Giovinco and Rej Volpato loaned out to Empoli along with a cash bid.
10.06: Kovac has agreed a deal with Dynamo Zagreb
Juventus defender Robert Kovac has agreed a deal with Dynamo Zagreb, according to the Croatian club. Dynamo general manager Zdravko Mamic told the press that next season Kovac will play for them. He still has two years left on his contract with Juventus, but he is no longer appreciated by them, so he has agreed a move with them that they will sign next week. The 33-year-old international is set to put pen to paper on a three-year deal with Zagreb and according to the local media will earn £1.3m per season. Kovac joined Juventus as a free agent from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2005, but failed to impress due to poor form and a series of injuries. He only notched up 18 appearances in his first campaign and 17 in Serie B this year. It will be the first time the Croatian international has played in that country, as he was born in Berlin and spent his entire pre-Juventus career in Germany.
10.06: Buffon has signed a new contract with Juventus
Buffon has silenced the speculation over his future by signing a contract extension with Juventus until 2012. The goalkeeper was seriously pondering a move away from Juventus following their Serie A promotion, but he’s been tempted to stay by the club’s hierarchy. Buffon told the press that it was an important day for him. He has now written a new page in his career and his life. It’s a decision which is coherent to last year’s and it confirms his commitment to this team, club and the fans who have never stopped showing him their affection. The former Parma No 1, wanted by both Milan clubs, had warned that he would walk if the club couldn’t fight for major honours next season. Buffon explained that the project which was presented to him is a convincing one because he believes that they can aim for the sporting targets which have been identified. Juventus have spent most of the last year trying to keep hold of the planet’s best shot-stopper and they are obviously delighted with this development. Director general Jean-Claude Blanc is now hoping that Buffon’s decision to remain will be seen as an important signal for players and fans alike.
10.06: Zebina signs contract extension with Juventus
Jonathan Zebina became the first man to commit his future to Juventus following their promotion to Serie A. The Frenchman’s previous agreement was due to expire in 2009, but he’s now put pen to paper on a deal which will run until 2011. Zebina told the press that he is honoured to have extended his contract with Juventus. To wear the Bianconeri jersey for another four years is a great achievement and he is sure to reach important results in Italy and in Europe. The former Cagliari stopper, who was rumoured to have a frosty relationship with former boss Didier Deschamps, joined Juventus on a free transfer in 2004 after following Coach Fabio Capello out of Roma. Juventus sporting director Alessio Secco was also happy that the full-back, who has had his injury problems over the last 24 months, is going nowhere.
10.06: Quagliarella is a new Juventus transfer target
Fabio Quagliarella could become Juventus’ next transfer target, according to the latest reports in Italy. The Sampdoria hitman impressed in Serie A this year by scoring 13 League goals, including several spectacular strikes. The versatile attacker ended the season with a sensational brace in Italy’s 2-0 win over Lithuania in their Euro 2008 qualifying match on Wednesday, only his third appearance for the Azzurri. Quagliarella, who is co-owned by Sampdoria and Udinese, was bean heavily linked with Inter over the past few months, but the Nerazzurri decided to turn their attention to Cagliari star David Suazo. Juventus might now decide to make a move for the 23-year-old, especially if Milan confirm the £17m price tag on Alberto Gilardino’s head. Juventus are looking to strengthen their striker department seeing as David Trezeguet is yet to renew his deal with the Old Lady, who might decide to cash in on the French international.
10.06: Zaragoza defender Milito wants to join Juventus
The new Juventus is shaping up as Zaragoza star Gabriel Alejandro Milito makes it clear he wants a move to Turin. Juventus have already been tracking the defender for several months, but the arrival of Coach Claudio Ranieri and Gianluigi Buffon’s decision to remain significantly bolstered their appeal. According to Spanish newspaper ‘As’, Milito has already gone to Zaragoza Coach Agapito Iglesias that he is determined to join Juventus. The club is willing to release the centre-back colossus, but not for the £10.8m offer put forward so far by Juventus. Milito has a contract with Zaragoza until 2010 and the release clause is for £20.4m, but they are ready to negotiate with a new bid. An Argentine of Italian origin, his brother Diego Milito has already played in Italy for Genoa.
04.06: Official: Ranieri is the new Coach
Claudio Ranieri has been presented as the new Juventus Coach this evening after he signed a three-year contract on Monday. Juventus needed to replace Didier Deschamps on the bench and the former Parma Coach had become the first name on the club’s list after parting company with the Ducali. Ranieri succeeded in guiding Parma to safety after being handed the job in February, with the club in a seemingly hopeless position, and seemed set for a move to the Premiership with Manchester City. However, the former Chelsea tactician has instead put pen to paper on an agreement which will keep him in Turin until 2010. Juventus declared that Ranieri is a man of international experience and vision, able to embody the aims of the mid-team development plan approved by the Board of Directors. President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli confirmed on Sunday that he believed Ranieri was the right man to guide the team in Serie A next season.
The President told that it was very important that Ranieri is appreciated by the major stars in the squad, referring to Gianluigi Buffon’s vote of confidence for Ranieri. The Coach started his coaching career in 1987, before leading Cagliari from Serie C1 to Serie A between 1988 and 1991. He then moved to Napoli, where he ended the season in fourth place, and Fiorentina, where he won the Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup in 1996. The 55-year-old tactician then led Valencia from 1997 to 1999, winning the Copa del Rey in 1999, and Chelsea from 2000 to 2004, guiding the Blues to a Champions League semi-final before being replaced by Jose Mourinho. He then returned to Valencia for a second spell on a three-year contract, but was sacked after only six months following the Spanish side’s exit from the UEFA Cup. After two years working as a television commentator for Sky Italia, Ranieri replaced Stefano Pioli on the Parma bench this winter, leading them to Serie A safety on the final day of the season.
04.06: Ranieri: You just can't say no to Juventus
Claudio Ranieri has spoken for the first time as Juventus boss following his appointment. Ranieri was unveiled to the media this evening, just hours after he signed a three-year contract, and he immediately explained his decision to join Juventus rather than move to Manchester City as was widely expected. Ranieri told the press that you just can’t say no to this club. When Juventus call there is little to think about. There was a project to start from scratch at Manchester City, but they haven’t yet been bought by a new owner and the weeks were passing by. The Juventus negotiations came about in a surprising manner. It was like a bolt out of the blue as he didn’t expect it. Ranieri explained that he had read his name in the newspapers and he asked himself whether it was true. Then there was the first call and that was pleasing.
You simply just can’t say no to a club like Juventus. The Old Lady turned to Ranieri following the departure of Didier Deschamps and he’s looking forward to the task following their return to Serie A. Ranieri explained that it’s a great challenge, tough and electrifying. Juventus need to work hard and get back to the positions which Juventus deserve to be in. When asked what his side could realistically achieve next term, Ranieri insisted that it will take time to rebuild the club following Calciopoli. He explained that the club have told him they want to be back to the very highest levels in five years, he will work to make that happen sooner. The squad will be a mix of champions and youngsters with great potential. The former Chelsea and Valencia man also urged the supporters to demonstrate a certain degree of patience. The fans should stay calm as he will make them proud of what Juventus will do in the future. They will always be compared to the old Juventus, but they don’t exist anymore.
04.06: Vialli scared Juventus with his salary requests
Whispers in Turin are suggesting that Gianluca Vialli was in a position to become Juventus boss until he made his wage demands. The former Juventus striker is understood to have made a good impression with Bianconeri bosses during talks, but his alleged salary requests scared officials. Reports this evening claim that Vialli, a former Chelsea and Watford tactician, wanted a starting wage of £1.4m a season, rising to £2.1m over time. It’s understood that Ranieri has been netted for around £570,000 a season with various bonuses included as part of his agreement. Meanwhile, Juventus goalkeeper Buffon has responded positively to the capture of Ranieri this evening. He told the press that he thinks he’s the right choice. He doesn't directly know Ranieri, but he is a man with the right image. He has experience abroad, he knows how to deal with the media and he’s proven his capabilities in difficult situations.
03.06: Ranieri will probably be the new Coach
Juventus are reportedly attempting to hire Claudio Ranieri after failing to lure Marcello Lippi back to the club. Claudio Ranieri has confirmed he has not yet spoken to Manchester City, fuelling reports he is on the verge of signing for Juventus. The Coach has now been freed from Parma after rescuing the club from an almost certain relegation and is in demand from top sides. Although the link with Manchester City stretches back some weeks, the offer from Juventus has come as a very tempting package to replace Didier Deschamps. With Juventus returning to Serie A after Calciopoli and looking to strengthen the squad, it is an intriguing challenge for the former Fiorentina and Chelsea boss. Ranieri told the press that he would like to come to England, but saying there are also some important questions in Italy. Juventus hope to announce their new coach in the next days, with Vialli seeming to be the number one contender to Ranieri.
03.06: All the players owned by Juve: Who will return?
This season Juventus have had 21 players on loan to other clubs. These players range from promising youngsters to former stars like Tacchinardi and Miccoli. Here you can see how all these players haved done in the 2006-2007 season. For which club they have played, how many games and goals they had and what their loan status is. As usual some of these players will be called back to Juventus, some of them will be loaned out again, while others will be sold. Rumours tell that 4 or 5 players from the list will be called back and play for Juventus next season.
03.06: Iaquinta is close to completing his move
Udinese insist that Vincenzo Iaquinta is very close to completing his Juventus move. The Friuli club is set for a clearout after their disappointing campaign with several top stars on their way to pastures new. Vincenzo Iaquinta will remain in a Bianconeri jersey, but this time in Turin. Udinese confirmed that they are discussing his transfer with Juventus. The talks are at an advanced stage and they hope they can be concluded successfully. Meanwhile, the list of clubs seeking Sergio Almiron’s signature has grown, as Palermo could pip Juventus and Inter to the post. Empoli have confirmed they will sell the Argentine midfielder this summer after his exploits helped take the club to an historic first UEFA Cup qualification. The 26-year-old Argentine moved from Newell’s Old Boys to Udinese in 2001-02 with a brief spell at Verona before joining Empoli in 2004.
03.06: Juve are on the verge of signing Sissoko
Juventus are on the verge of signing Liverpool midfielder Mohamed Sissoko for £8.5m, reports in Italy claim. The 22-year-old has been on the club’s wish list for some time as they look to strengthen their squad in view of their return to the top flight. The young Mali international, who was asked for by previous Coach Didier Deschamps last November, is considered by many as the new Patrick Vieira. Juventus turned their attention to Sissoko after they missed out on Werder Bremen ace Torsten Frings last month. Stories in the peninsula suggest that Sissoko has reached an agreement with Juventus, who will now meet Liverpool officials to finalise the move. Juventus are understood to have tabled an offer of just under £9m and the Champions League finalists are ready to do business. Sissoko, who was born in France, faces stiff competition for a starting shirt at Anfield given the presence of Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard in their squad. Liverpool have also agreed to sign Brazil U-20 captain Lucas Pezzini in July.
03.06: Juventus ready to sell Balzaretti to Fiorentina
Federico Balzaretti admits he is in negotiations with Fiorentina after Juventus decided he was no longer needed. The defender confirmed that there has been contact between Juventus and Fiorentina, but he doesn't know anything more precise than that. He knows that the directors have put him on the market and he will not be the one to decide his own future. A lot will also depend on the choices made by the new Coach. When Juventus pick their next tactician, they will all have a clearer idea of the situation. While first choice Marcello Lippi has rejected the opportunity to return to Turin, the club is reportedly now tracking Claudio Ranieri to lead them in the top flight. As for Balzaretti, the former Torino star is not mourning his imminent departure from the Stadio Olimpico. Balzaretti told the press that if Juventus don’t want him anymore, then Florence would be an ideal destination. He would gladly accept the Viola jersey. Balzaretti is likely to make the journey alongside teammate Valeri Bojinov, who is still owned by the Tuscan outfit.
29.05: Who will be the new Juventus Coach?
Marcello Lippi warns he does not want to end his sabbatical just yet, so the list of names to lead Juventus extends to Gianluca Vialli, Walter Novellino and others. Following Didier Deschamps’ resignation, the future is up in the air for the Bianconeri. Back in Serie A after their promotion and mathematically securing the Serie B title with a 2-0 win over Mantova, all the focus is already on next season and the newspapers tipped World Cup winner Lippi to return for a third spell on the Turin bench. Another option that has been suggested is that Lippi would become the technical director with his former captain Antonio Conte, currently in charge of Serie B side Arezzo, as the tactician. The other candidates to lead Juventus back into Serie A following their year in the wilderness are also former fan favourites. Ex-Chelsea boss Vialli is currently a pundit on Sky Italia television, Claudio Gentile has been out of work since he was sacked from the Under-21 squad and Walter Novellino will quit Sampdoria. Ciro Ferrara has also been mentioned. The latest rumours suggest that Francesco Guidolin would be an ideal candidate. He will be free of ties after taking Palermo to the UEFA Cup. Lazio tactician Delio Rossi has been heavily linked to Juventus in recent weeks, but Biancocelesti President Claudio Lotito is at pains to point out he has a contract until 2009. Rumours are going wild these days so Benitez, Houllier, Rijkard, Eriksson and Capello have also been mentioned.
29.05: Deschamps explains why he resigned
Former Juventus Coach Didier Deschamps has broken his silence to explain why he resigned on the same day as winning the Serie B title. He told the press that he has had a very difficult season despite the excellent results achieved with his players and staff. Then he analysed the situation and decided to hand in his resignation on Wednesday evening. The reports of his decision to quit emerged late Friday night and Juventus had released a statement denying there had been a formal resignation on Saturday. However, on Saturday evening the club announced it had terminated his contract by mutual consent. Deschamps explained that the problem was not that he wanted to decide on everything, it was a number of different factors. It is true that he had difficulty this year and wanted to know how they were going to be organised next season. A Coach needs to work in a relaxed atmosphere and, looking carefully at the situation, he made this decision that he considers to be in his best interests. There were well-known clashes with director of sport Alessio Secco and Deschamps publicly criticised the club’s transfer strategy. Yet he took Juventus back into Serie A despite a nine-point penalty in the wake of their demotion in the Calciopoli scandal. Deschamps commented that he is satisfied, happy and proud to have taken Juventus back into football’s elite. He feels that he has in part been able to give back what this club gave to him when he was a player.
29.05: Lippi denies receiving offer from Juventus
Marcello Lippi has rubbished claims that he is all set to be named as the new Juventus boss. The World Cup winning boss is said to be the club’s No 1 target after Didier Deschamps had his contract terminated by mutual consent on Saturday night. Lippi was rumoured to be wanted as first team Coach or as a technical director, where he would supervise the work of a younger tactician such as Antonio Conte, Ciro Ferrara or Gianluca Vialli. But Lippi, who has been on a sabbatical from the game since leading Italy to Germany 2006 glory, insists he’s not about to commit himself to Juventus for a third time. Lippi told the press that Juventus haven't even asked him. He has already said that he will not start working again for a few more months. The latest stories are groundless. Especially as if the club want him then they would need to ask him directly. Juventus general director Jean-Claude Blanc was quoted as saying that the club had been in touch with Lippi, in which they had given him 10 days to think about their offer. However, Juventus went to great lengths to dismiss the authenticity of the alleged quotes by posting a statement on their website. Meanwhile, Juventus have announced that Giancarlo Corradini, who was Deschamps’ assistant, will sit on the bench for the last two matches of the season against Bari and Spezia.
29.05: The Juventus Ultras defend Didier Deschamps
Juventus’ split with Coach Didier Deschamps has infuriated sections of the Ultras, who suggest the club has been shameful. For several weeks there has been strong speculation over Deschamps’ future on the bench and the official confirmation arrived that he had terminated his contract “by mutual consent.” It is widely believed the reason was that he disagreed with the transfer strategy put into action by director of sport Alessio Secco, publicly criticising potential new signings such as Giandomenico Mesto and Vincenzo Iaquinta. The fans made their support for Deschamps clear during Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Mantova at the Stadio Olimpico and went further when 100 of them applauded him outside the hotel where the squad was staying. The Ultras group released a statement bitterly reprimanding the club for their treatment of the former midfielder. The statement read that they believe in Deschamps. They believe that the club mistreated him and can only thank this man. He is the great Didi, a real man, professional and Juventino. The Ultras ask the owners to take serious action against the current Board of Directors, who are shaming them on the world stage and muddying 109 years of glorious history. The supporters also made it very clear they would not accept the return of Fabio Capello, who was rumoured to be making a comeback by the Spanish media. Instead the Italian Press suggests that World Cup winner Marcello Lippi will be the one to come back to Turin, bringing Real Madrid defender Fabio Cannavaro with him.
20.05: Only 40 fans celebrated promotion in Turin!
Incredible but true, only 40 Juventus fans turned up in Turin to celebrate the promotion! When Juventus won then Serie A in 2005 the streets of Turin were filled with 500 000 celebrating fans. When the Italian TV networks counted the number of fans celebrating in the streets of Turin on Saturday they counted 40! The Juventus Ultras had encouraged all the Juventus fans to not celebrate the promotion. They are extremely dissapointed with the season, as Juventus gave away 10 draws and 2 defeats in a weak league. They are also protesting against the work of director Alessio Secco, who is not managing to renew the contracts and not managing to buy new players. The Juventus Ultras also thought it was wrong for a big club like Juventus to celebrate a promotion. The fans are usually used to celebrate much more important titles. Saturdays lack of enthusiasm in the streets of Turin was a warning to the Juventus directors that the fans are not satisfied. A simple promotion is not enough. The fans want star players like Buffon, Camoranesi and Trezeguet to stay, and they want immediate signings of star players. They won't accept statements about that Juventus will be strong in five years, they want Juventus to be competitive next season.
20.05: Juventus are finally back in Serie A
Juventus are finally back in Serie A. The victory against Arezzo secured automatic promotion despite a nine-point penalty a year after their Calciopoli demotion. It was achieved against an Arezzo side Coached by former Bianconeri hero Antonio Conte. Del Piero was the first to break through with an angled drive set up by young talent Marchisio. On 33 minutes it was 2-0 for a thoroughly efficient Juventus squad. Bremec fumbled a corner kick and it was child’s play for Chiellini to nod in. In the last minute of the first half Arezzo finally had something to show for their fine performance when Floro Flores beat Buffon on the counter-attack. Chiellini had scored just once all season, but got his head to Del Piero’s free kick after the restart to complete his brace. Captain Del Piero put the result beyond doubt with Juve’s fourth of the game, getting his head to Marchionni’s cross. Floro Flores was the last to let go and hit the upright, but it was too late for Arezzo to spoil the Juventus celebration, as Trezeguet got in on the act with a powerful right-foot volley. Still, the Juventus Ultras refused to celebrate the promotion. They are extremely dissapointed with the season, as Juventus gave away 10 draws and 2 defeats in a weak league. They are also protesting against the work of Alessio Secco, who is not managing to renew the contracts and not managing to buy new players.
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Copyright: Danilo Paparazzo