Juventus have won the Scudetto for five seasons running and are now eager to add European silverware to their cabinet, as the signing of right-back Dani Alves from Barcelona demonstrates.
Alves has penned a contract until summer 2018 with an option for a further 12 months. The former Sevilla player, 33, announced his decision to leave the Camp Nou earlier this month, bringing to an end his trophy-laden eight-year association with the Blaugrana.
“It was the right moment for a change – I want to win in Italy and Europe with Juve,” said the Brazilian international, who helped Barcelona defeat the Bianconeri in the 2015 UEFA Champions League final.
It was Alves’s third victory in the competition and the Turin club are certain his experience – not to mention his energy and skills on the right flank – can help in their quest for a trophy they have not lifted since 1996. The Old Lady have had great success with free transfers in recent times. Will Alves be the next?
2011/12: Andrea Pirlo
“Milan decided I was no longer useful to them so I chose Juve,” Pirlo said after leading Juventus to the Scudetto in 2012. Many believed his best days were over when the midfield maestro, a double UEFA Champions League winner with Milan, switched to Juventus. Pirlo, however, shone in black and white, collecting four Serie A winners’ medals before joining New York City in July 2015.
2012/13: Paul Pogba
Juventus paid only a nominal compensation fee to Manchester United to acquire the then teenager. Four years and as many Scudettos later, the French international is widely considered one of the best midfielders in the world. He is currently looking to further cement his status with hosts France at UEFA EURO 2016.
2013/14: Fernando Llorente
The Basque forward hit 16 league goals during his first term at Juve after arriving from Athletic Club. His minutes were limited in the 2014/15 campaign following the capture of compatriot Álvaro Morata, though Llorente still landed a second Scudetto, registering seven goals, and was part of the squad that reached the European Cup final in Berlin. He departed for Sevilla on a free last August and scored against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
2014/15: Kingsley Coman
Llorente’s strike meant Juve had to settle for second place in Group D behind Manchester City. Consequently, they were paired with Bayern München in the round of 16 and, once again, the Bianconeri were punished by one of their former players – Coman netting one and creating another in a 6-4 aggregate victory for Bayern. The winger, a graduate of the Paris Saint-Germain academy, had made 15 Serie A outings when Bayern agreed a two-year loan worth €7m last summer. Bayern will have to pay a further €21m if they want him permanently.
2015/16: Sami Khedira
Juventus lost two key midfielders last summer in Pirlo and Arturo Vidal yet still managed to retain the Italian title. The erstwhile Stuttgart and Real Madrid man was integral to that achievement, notching five goals in 20 matches, and was never on the pitch during any of Juve’s five league reverses. As a sign of his importance, Massimiliano Allegri’s team were 2-0 up in Munich in the last 16 when the Germany player was forced off midway through the second half. Bayern eventually prevailed 4-2 after extra time.