Juventus has been a club steeped in greatness and tradition since its 1897 inception.
With 36 Italian league titles and 13 Coppa Italia crowns to its name, Juventus are Italy’s most trophy-laden club. Continental success, meanwhile, manifests itself through European Cup/Champions League triumphs in 1985 and 1996.
Such remarkable and consistent success over a 100-year period wouldn’t have been possible if the Bianconeri hadn’t boasted some of the greatest to step foot on a football field. The Old Lady has produced 22 World Cup winners for the Azzurri and developed six Ballon d’Or victors.
These imperious figures regarding player talent ensure that selecting a Juventus all-time greatest XI is a horrendously difficult process. Nevertheless, the team at Old Juve have tried their very best, and here’s what we’ve come up with.
Goalkeeper & Defenders (By Jyotirmoy Halder)
GK – Gianluigi Buffon
With 322 clean sheets in 682 games for Juventus and more than 150 games in the Italian colours, who could have been a better pick for this goalkeeping berth than Juventus’ very own Gianluigi Buffon.
Signing for the Bianconeri in June 2001 for a sumptuous transfer fee of €52 million, Buffon was tasked with replacing a big name in Edwin van der Sar, who had already joined Fulham. He made his debut for the Old Lady next month, and the rest remains history. Elected to be the Serie A Footballer of the Year in 2017, Gianluigi Buffon has had always been an inspirational figure around the Piedmontese club, winning ten Scudetti, seven Supercoppa Italiana titles, and five Coppa Italias so far.
A reliable body between the sticks for Juventus, Buffon deserves all the praise for his loyalty to the club, even in its darker days. The Tuscan-born custodian is a living legend in Turin and fascinatingly continues to prove his class at the age of 43.
RB – Lilian Thuram
You must remember the 6ft-tall Frenchman Lilian Thuram, who is considered one of the greatest full-backs to have ever played.
The right-back was the embodiment of greatness at the position, playing around 204 matches for the Bianconeri across all competitions.
However, following his departure in the aftermath of Juventus getting relegated to Serie B due to the Calciopoli scandal, Thuram experience some backlash from the fans. With Juve, Thuram won two Serie A and Supercoppa Italiana titles.
CB – Giorgio Chiellini
Just like Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini is believed to be reaching the twilight in his illustrious Juventus career.
But, it is safe to say that football would never forget that mischievous grin on the edge of his lips, those juvenile nudges on the back of the forwards, and especially those flying dash towards the referees to explain his innocence.
Now 36, Giorgio Chiellini doesn’t think and has never had thought twice before throwing his body in the line of fire — a reminiscence that will keep Juventini warm in the future. Having won a plethora of titles and earned around 530 appearances, the current captain of the Juventus football club is nothing short of an absolute legend.
Even though Juventus enthusiasts have had witnessed many dogged, no-nonsense defenders dominating the Italian soil with the crest of their beloved club pressed on their chests, choosing someone else other than Giorgio Chiellini would be completely unethical and criminal.
CB – Gaetano Scirea
Lauded to be the greatest defender to embrace the Juve shirt, Gaetano Scirea spent fourteen years (1974–1988) at Juventus, making over 500 appearances for one of the most renowned Bianconeri sides in the 20th century.
Scirea’s supremacy at the northern Italian club adds seven Serie A, two Coppa Italia, one European Cup, UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup to his name. With Italy, he won the World Cup in 1982. H
e was celebrated for his canny on-field comprehension of the game. Perhaps it was his ability to keep his head cool in the most ferocious situations that had never earn him a single red card in his whole professional career.
LB – Antonio Cabrini
Has there ever been a better left-back than Antonio Cabrini at Juventus? No, we don’t think so.
A traditional full-back with trustworthy defensive attributes and relatively greater offensive prowess, Cabrini was another fabulous figure representing Juventus football club in that Gaetano Scirea-period. Having joined La Vecchia Signora in 1976, Cabrini, however, won one less Serie A title than Scirea.
Plying his trade in what was deemed to be the golden era for Italian football, he kissed the golden frame of the World Cup in 1982. After bidding farewell to his professional career, he, who was famous for his nickname “Bell’Antonio”, spent five years as the coach of Italy women’s national team before leaving them in 2017.