Leonardo Bonucci wanted to play at the Santiago Bernabéu at some point in his career— now he's getting his chance to do so.
After video montages, guys unable to open little soccer balls, and all the other "fun" that comes along with a Champions League group stage draw, Juventus were pitted against Real Madrid, Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen. It seems to be a theme the past two years — another football giant, a quality team from Eastern Europe, and a Danish side thrown into the group to round things out. But hey, it worked out pretty well last year. Well, that was until Juventus had to get matched up with Bayern Munich, but we won't talk about that anymore.
Obviously this is the glamor matchup of the group and not just because they're the two teams mostly everybody is picking to make it out of Group B and into the knockout stages. The storylines heading into Juve-Madrid Round 1 will be plentiful for us writing folks: Andrea Pirlo against his former coach, Carlo Ancelotti; Antonio Conte matching minds with a guy who used to walk along the Juventus sidelines; Arturo Vidal against one of his many admirers across Europe; Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale's first voyage into the Champions League as teammates.
So much to talk about, so little time!
14 - Juventus and Real Madrid have met 14 times so far - 7 wins each. Show.— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) August 29, 2013
I just can't help but remember the last time Juventus walked into the Bernabéu for a Champions League game...
Felipe Melo's coming back to town, kids.
As they said on dot com, Gala are basically the wild cards in the group. They showed last year they can beat very good opponents on a given night. Although, if that rumored Burak Yilmaz-to-Lazio transfer does go through like some are expecting, Gala might not be as potent as they were a season ago in the Champions League.
Two times Juve have faced Galatasaray in the CL group stage. In 1998-99, that crazy, draw-riddled group and in 2003-04.— Luca Cetta (@l_cetta) August 29, 2013
Like the trip to Donetsk to face Shakhtar last year, the voyage to Istanbul could be decisive in Juventus securing at least second place in Group B. Let's hope that when the fixture list is released by UEFA, it's going to be until the final day of the group stages so that our heart rates go soaring through the freaking roof.
Hey, it wouldn't be the Antonio Conte era at Juventus without a trip to Denmark in the Champions LEague, right?
Much in the same line of thinking as a season ago, this will be looked at as a chance to get the full six points. But as we learned a year ago, that doesn't always go according to plan. I'm pretty sure that Conte won't want to repeat history, especially with the quality of the other two teams in the group.