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Juventus FC
Posted by Sumeet Paul on 05/14/2012

Champions + Unbeaten = Juventus. A simple mathematical formula describing the incredible season experienced by all connected with the Bianconeri. Expectations were modest ahead of the campaign, in what was tipped to be a season of transition under Antonio Conte. However, nine months and 38 games later, the Old Lady has returned to the top of Italian football looking impeccable without defeat. The story of the 2011-12 Serie A season will live long in the memory.

Last weekend’s victory against Cagliari sealed the Scudetto, but with the win over Atalanta on Sunday, Conte and his men secured their place in the history books having gone the entire season unbeaten, the first to do so in the 20-team format of the league. What would have been a memorable day in its own right was compounded by the fairytale send-off of Alessandro Del Piero. A trademark goal marked the end of a glittering career at Juve, a legend bidding farewell to his adoring fans, who provided a fitting standing ovation as he circled the pitch in a lap of honour. While it is the last time we will see the club icon in Serie A action, he may still have a part to play in next weekend’s Coppa Italia final.

Individually, there have been stand-out performers in this Juventus side, but collectively they have all earned the praise and plaudits currently being lavished upon them. From Gigi Buffon and his impermeable defence, to the hard-working and elegant combination in midfield, through to the at times frustrating yet efficient strike force. Despite the number of disappointing mid-season draws, the Bianconeri have proved themselves worthy of the title, and have everything in place to lay the foundations of a new era of success. With the added stress or excitement - depending on which way you see it - of the Champions League next season, the management staff will know they are perhaps one or two signings away from potentially being competitive with the European powerhouses for the foreseeable future.


Del Piero celebrating his last Juve goal? ©PA Photos

As with any season, the highs and lows are remembered in equal measure. However, I’ve picked out five games that were integral on the road to the Scudetto. For those of you who disagree, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below.

1) Juventus 2-0 Milan (Oct 2) – an early season win over a struggling Milan side looking to defend their crown. A brace from Claudio Marchisio, with a little help from Daniele Bonera and Christian Abbiati, was enough to kick-start the memorable campaign.

2) Inter 1-2 Juventus (Oct 29) – the first Derby d’Italia of the season ended in victory thanks to Mirko Vucinic and Marchisio goals either side of a Maicon strike. Early momentum continued.

3) Napoli 3-3 Juventus (Nov 29) – 3-1 down with 20 minutes remaining, not only was this the biggest test for Conte up to that point but perhaps also the biggest threat to the unbeaten record all season. Great determination and unwillingness to surrender to defeat, goals from Marcelo Estigarribia and Simone Pepe ensured Juve returned to Turin with a point.

4) Milan 1-1 Juventus (Feb 25) – Sulley Muntari’s ‘ghost goal’ aside, Alessandro Matri’s equaliser kept the title race evenly balanced going into the final stretch, with a win for Milan perhaps handing them the momentum to surge ahead.

5) Fiorentina 0-5 Juventus (Mar 17) – the game that marked the beginning of an eight-game winning streak, which saw Juve leapfrog Milan into top spot and move ahead of their rivals. Having frustrated throughout the season by dropping points from strong positions, this result saw Juve break free and play a more ruthless style of football. The Bianconeri went on to win ten of their last 11 games.

Having held this position for three seasons, and following the disappointment of the previous two, it is both refreshing and delightful to see the Old Lady return to where she belongs. The argument over whether this is the 28th or 30th title will be left for others to debate; it is perhaps better to see it as the first of many under the stewardship of Antonio Conte. Congratulations to Conte, the squad, the club and all its fans. Let’s hope for a few more memorable campaigns in the not too distant future and a Coppa Italia success next Sunday night.

End of Season Awards:

1) Player of the Season
2) Goal of the Season
3) Game of the Season

Leave your answers below and thanks for all your comments throughout the year. For more Serie A and Juventus news, you can follow me on Twitter @italiafooty

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Comments

Posted by Soadmarley on 05/14/2012

Player of the Season - Definitely Andrea Pirlo
Goal of the Season - Mirko Vucinic's extra time goal against Milan, and in the league Claudio Marchiso's first goal against Parma
Game of the Season - Napoli-Juventus 3:3

Posted by Mohd on 05/14/2012

1. Player of the season: Andrea Pirlo
2. Goal of the season: A. Del Piero Vs Lazio
3. Game of the season: Napoli Vs Juve (3-3)

Posted by Edoardo Davi on 05/14/2012

Player of the season: - Arturo Vidal/Andrea Barzagli

Goal of the season: - Matri against Milan in the San Siro - the importance of that goal was massive - had we lost, Milan would have had the momentum going forward

Game of the season: Napoli Vs Juve (3-3)

Posted by Peter Hunter on 05/14/2012

1. Player of the season: Vidal (adapted so quickly from foreign football)

2. Goal of the season: Marchisio vs Parma


3. Game of the season: Juve 3-0 Napoli

Posted by decina on 05/14/2012

1. Vidal or Pirlo, neither could be what they were without the other this season.
2. pepe's bicycle
3. Juve 2-0 milan

Posted by Mike on 05/14/2012

Player: Vidal/Pirlo/Barzagli (can't decide which)
Goal: Marchisio v Bologna in the Coppa
Game: 3-3 vs Napoli

Posted by Ramon on 05/14/2012

1) Player of the Season: Pirlo, the undisputed regista of Juve's game all season;

2) Goal of the Season: Del Piero against Inter at Juventus Stadium (2-0). I think that, more than any other, this goal - coming in a Derby d'Italia immediately after the 5-0 thrashing of Fiorentina - cemented the winning streak that ultimately clinched the scudetto. That it was scored by Pinturicchio was the icing on the cake.

3) 3-3 at Napoli: The resilience shown by Juve against a Napoli side that still looked like a contender for the scudetto was proof that Juve was in it to win it.

Posted by glenn mifsud on 05/14/2012

lets hope that after a few years from now they wouldnt lose it as they lost the 2006 title.juventus have been linked to corruption for quiet some time now.please remember the journalist brain granville who discovered corruption in the cup winners cup juventus won against Leeds.has the italian coach remarked a few days ago when asked if juve deserved to be given back the 2006 league they lost..he just said that juve only won 22 to 23 leagues maximum.

Posted by Bert on 05/14/2012

1. Vidal- involved with Everything Juve did
2. Vucinic against Milan
3. vs. Napoli in the Coppa Italia final this weekend!

Posted by Tony on 05/14/2012

1.Pirlo - The maestro in midfield for Juve, could not have done it without him!
2. Vidal vs Napoli - Magnificent footwork to get passed the defender and puts in beautifully into the right side of the net. Artwork!
3. Juve 3-3 Napoli - They showed all clubs in Serie A they were not going to lie down for anyone!

Posted by Emcito on 05/14/2012

1) Pirlo
2) Del Piero v Atalata
3) Juve 3-3 Napoli

Posted by Emcito on 05/14/2012

wait i change my best goal to either one of Caceres goal v ac milan in the coppa italia, but if we are only looking at league goals it is most definatly del piero v atalanta...i will never forget that goal and the tears it brought to my eyes as he scored and then later subbed off.
we love you forever Alessandro del Piero

Posted by Chris Tan on 05/15/2012

1. Vidal, came almost out of the blue to take serie A by storm
2. Pinturicchio's goals aganist Lazio & Inter..extremely vital to secure those maximum pts at home
3. Napoli vs Juve, the Bianconeri had looked dead & buried..till the magnificent fight back.

Posted by Garnik on 05/15/2012

1. Pirlo. Vidal is 2. Barzagli is 3.

2. Marchisio vs Parma, first game of the year.

3. Milan 1 - 1 Juventus. The Muntari game.

Posted by Gianpiero on 05/15/2012

I would like to add the game at Palermo on a sunday night (Palermo-Juve 0-2) Milan went +7 on Juve that afternoon.
Game of the season? All 38 of them!!!
Forza Juve
Unbeaten!!!

Posted by Ferdinando on 05/15/2012

Just remember Juve is the most corrupt club in the history of Calcio. When the upcoming investigations are completed, they'll lose this title too. What upsets me most is that Juve is a good team and really doesn't need to be fixing matches to be challenging at the top. I love that they grow Italian players and build their squad around them, but there is just no need to cheat. Win a title clean, and I'll congratulate them.

Posted by Arsen on 05/15/2012

1) Andrea Pirlo
2) Vidal vs Parma - the first game of the season
3) vs. Inter (2012)...

Posted by Gianpiero on 05/15/2012

Ferdinando,you have no clue of what u sayng.If you follow CALCIO for the past 6yrs you should know that Juve still has not been proven guilty of NOTHING but been the Greatest team in Italia and been owed by one of the Greatest family in Italia took the decision to be relegated to Serie B without a fight.
Thats all Juventus is guilty of!!!
Why don't you go back to read you comic books now.
Forza Juve

Posted by Forza Juve on 05/15/2012

Ferdinando, don't be a sore loser...
Farsopoli was a witch hunt, with all telephone calls from Inter swept under the carpet. And there was NO match fixing and at that time it was LEGAL to talk to the people Moggi was calling...
Again, go root for Inter, Milan or whatever but salute our 30 scudetti

Posted by Tim on 05/16/2012

Player of the season: Buffon
Goal of the season: Vucinic's strike in overtime of the second leg of the Coppa Italia
Game of the season: Juventus 3 Napoli 3

Posted by Simon Phukan on 05/16/2012

So happy to see old lady back on top of Italian league....and what a season this has been...it will remain in the memory for ever...and what a fitting farewell for Del Piero...Amazing...This is Juve...FORZA JUVE..

1) Player of the Season - Pirlo (but I loved Vidal and Marchisio this season)
2) Goal of the Season - Del Piero's gols against Inter (ensured both the Derby D'italia belonged to Juve this season)
3) Game of the Season - Milan 1 - Juve 1 (the game had everything a fan need)

Posted by Ferdinando on 05/16/2012

I didn't write my comments out of any sort of bias against Juve. As I said, Juve is a great team. I think their success is necessary for the good of the Nazionale and Serie A.

If there was no basis for any of the allegations brought against Juve, why would the league intentionally shoot itself in the foot by sending them down?

The fact must be noted though that Conte is now being implicated in the latest scandal. So while nothing is proven, there is a large cause for concern.

Other teams are just as corrupt. There were others that had points deductions in the scandal that sent down Juve. But again, Juve was the only one sent down. Again I ask, why would the league hurt itself by hurting it's top team?

So I'm not singling Juve out. And I'm certainly not being biased. I honestly hope I'm wrong. A strong Juve is good for all of Italia. I hope all our teams do well in Europe so we can regain our league status among the elite.

Forza Italia!!

Posted by malik on 05/17/2012

Player- Vidal
Goal- Pepe's bicycle kick!
Game Napoli3-3

Posted by Jim on 05/17/2012

What a great season! Now it is time to look on to the next. I am hearing there is a strong possibility of Cavani coming to Juve for De Cegile and either Matri or Giovinco. Personally I would love to see Cavani/Giovinco in Juve colors, because they would make one of the most formidable striking duos in the world. Also, I would love Elia to stay. I think he compliments the existing midfield well. Does anyone else have transfer news or thoughts?

As always, Forza Juve!!

Posted by Jack on 05/18/2012

Player of the Season: Top 3 Buffon, Barzagli, Pirlo.

Goal of the Season: Vucinic v Milan, Coppa S-Final.

Game of the Season: Juventus v Milan (2-2 AET)

Posted by Fabz on 05/21/2012

Ferdinando = the type of moron who loves to hear his own voice, you write so much but you know nothing, the scandal they allege conte to be involved in was when he was at siena, it has nothing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Juventus you dumb human being, go and write poetry somwhere else, just because you write a few long paragra[phs it doesnt mena you know anything because you dont, you get on here which is a article on Juventus's unbeaten season and the editor asks for people opinions on 3 questions and you bring you dopey match fixing suggestions here, guess what? your dumb. maybe go and read that its just a "allegation" and even if its proven its from his time at siena you retard.

Posted by Ollegio on 05/30/2012

Player of the Season: Andrea Pirlo
Goal of the Season: Pepe (Napoli 3- Juventus 3)
Game of the Season: Juventus 3- Napoli 0

Forza Juve!

Posted by Ollegio on 05/30/2012

Cavani would be a great signing. I would like to see Juventus attract new talent into the league instead of getting players from other Italian teams. Higuian would be a nice addition, as would RVP (of course). I think that they should grab Dzeko if he can't get playing time at City. Conte expects everyone to play hard all the time. He doesn't treat starlets differently. That is one of the reasons why Krasic and Elia haven't fit in. It also makes me question if Giovinco can come back and play at Juve.

Posted by Adrian on 06/06/2012

Player: Pirlo
Goal: Del Piero vs Inter. This was the game that meant most to Juve fans who see Inter as being instrumental in all our troubles of the past 6 years. The roof came off its hinges when that goal was scored.
Game: vs Fiorentina ( 0-5). Milan were 7 points ahead before this game started and the Viola are by tradition the biggest Juve haters. What better way to send 2 clear messages at the same time.
Re the comment by Glenn Mifsud. First of all take some spelling lessons. Brian Glanville's story was based on hearsay and Zeman has a huge chip on his shoulder and is a well known Juve hater.
Re comment by Fernando: What are you talking about ??
Maybe both these comments belong on an Inter blog !!

Posted by Juventini on 07/09/2012

Is this blog ever coming back?

There is SOOO much worth discussing. Normally that would be new signings, strategies and pre-season predictions.

But right now there is a match fixing scandal, and accord to Italian media Conte is going to jail? Juve has already identified a short-list of coaching replacements?

This needs discussion!

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About
David Young After watching his first Serie A game as a youngster, Sumeet Paul has been an avid fan of Italian football ever since. Offering in-depth and opinionated views, coupled with a humourous element, he has a strong desire to become involved in sports writing. Pairing up his life's two greatest loves; football and talking, he would appreciate any feedback and general football conversation, you can email him at sumeetpaul7@googlemail.com or you can follow him on twitter @italiafooty

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