Happy New Year Juventini! Tonight I want all of you to shrug off those Serie B cobwebs with a nasty dance move on the dance floor. Could be the running man, the robot, or the lawn sprinkler. Whatever your embarassing move of choice is have a blast tonight knowing our Old Lady is where she belongs, (with me jks) Serie A! What a year eh? So much has happened over the past 12 months I shuttered to think where I'd begin. So I did what any college boy with plans for heavy drinking and partying tonight would do, copy and paste. As a result, I found a quick 12-month recap on juventus.com that you may or may not have read already which encapsulates the year pretty well. Have fun out there guys and gals, Happy New Years to you all and I'll see you in 2008!
Juve's 2007, part 1
Enjoy the first: from January to March, from the end of the first part of last season to the start of the decisive run towards the return to Serie A
2007 began differently than 2006, i.e. with two defeats. The first was harmless, in the Berlusconi Trophy, which had been moved from the summer due to other commitments. The second was more onerous. Juve lost at Mantova (1-0, with Kovac scoring an own goal) and ended their unbeaten run which had lasted for 45 official games. It was a tough period, with several players injured, but the team's character compensated for it.
In four days, between the 16th and the 20th, Juve got six points at home, and they were set for first place after the first part of the season. Cesena were beaten (2-1, goals by Del Piero and Trezeguet) in the match that had originally been postponed on December 15 when Alessio Ferramosca and Riccardo Neri died. Bari were also defeated in what was Alessandro Del Piero's day: the Captain celebrated 500 Juve games by scoring a goal. Nedved (two goals) and Trezeguet did the rest for a final 4-2 result. The end of the month of January coincided with the end of the first part of the season. A great effort by Nedved at the last minute prevented defeat at La Spezia (1-1) and allowed Deschamps' men to be in front of everyone else at that stage of the season: not bad for a team that had started out with 17 points' deduction, later reduced to 9.
Here the best goals of January from around the world. Enjoy!
The month of February began with a very negative episode for Italian football. Police Inspector Filippo Raciti was killed during fighting between Catania and Palermo supporters. The League stopped to allow everyone to mull over the tragedy and the second part of the season started with the second game, Juventus travelling to Vicenza instead of facing Rimini at home, devoid of their own supporters due to a ban that was enforced because of the violence. The Bianconeri dominated on the pitch. Palladino and Del Piero scored two goals and the game seemed won, but it wasn't enough as the Veneto team came back to draw 2-2.
Juventus took out their frustration on Crotone. The team from Calabria were trounced 5-0 at the Olimpico. Del Piero got a hat trick, with Nedved and Balzaretti scoring too. The following match at Modena was more difficult. The score seemed set on 0-0, but then Centurioni's own goal paved the way for three precious points to end February on a high.
Here are the best goals of February from around the world. Enjoy!
March saw Juve take the decisive steps toward promotion, with four wins in five matches. First Piacenza were thoroughly beaten 4-0 at the Olimpico, thanks to another Del Piero hat trick and a lighting fast goal by Trezeguet. The Captain stayed in contention for the top scorer position, scoring against Brescia too. But the Martelli Stadium in Mantova – a neutral ground used for the match against the “Rondinelle” – was jinxed for Juve again as a Serafini hat trick gave them their second defeat (3-1).
The defeat was compensated in the best possible way however. Just like in the first part of the season, the two games against teams from Triveneto were favourable and earned Juventus six points. Del Piero and Palladino's cunning move won the game against Treviso. Triestina were beaten much more comprehensively: they went one up but then Juve scored five. Palladino shone again with three great goals; Camoranesi and Bojinov scored the other two. After an international friendly in Liege against Standard (with Trezeguet scoring two goals, but the Belgians prevailed 3-2), there was time for another joy at the end of the month. At Pescara, against a team that were almost doomed, Juve suffered a great deal. Polito saved a Del Piero penalty but then another player of the old guard decided the match: Birindelli, who scored a close range tap-in from a Palladino corner.
After the first three months of 2007, Juve's return to Serie A was getting closer and closer.
Here are the best goals of March from around the world. Enjoy!
Juve's 2007, part 2
Enjoy the second part: from April to June, the end of the run, the return to Serie A, the end of Deschamps' tenure and the beginning of the Ranieri era.
Juventus were on a roll and took a decisive leap forward in April, thanks to a series of wins against promotion rivals, which confirmed the Bianconeri's predominance. After an unexpected draw at home against Albinoleffe – coming from behind thanks to a great Balzaretti goal -, the Olimpico’s law applied again to Napoli, who were beaten 2-0 just after Easter, with goals by Camoranesi and Del Piero. A few days later, Juve won again, away at Lecce. Camoranesi was one of the stars of the match once more with a superb goal. Marchionni and Zalayeta scored the others in a 3-1 win.
Another home draw came against Rimini (0-0 despite several chances), but Juve made the decisive step before the end of the month, with two convincing wins: the first at home against rivals Genoa, 3-1 with goals by Nedved, Chiellini and Trezeguet, the second an away win at Verona, with the only goal scored by Boumsong with a header.
Here are the best goals of April from around the world. Enjoy!
Juve made it three wins in a row at the beginning of May - on the 1st, Juve fans celebrating alongside the world’s workers. The 2-0 win at Frosinone (with two Zalayeta goals) was another important step toward promotion, just like the point earned in the insidious away game at Cesena. It ended 2-2 after an exciting match, Juve scoring with big names Trezeguet and Nedved within seconds of each other. Promotion was near and Juve got even closer by winning against Bologna at home. Four players were the stars of that match: Del Piero, who got two goals, Trezeguet, who scored the third, Buffon, who made two miracle saves when the result was still in doubt, and young talent Giovinco, immediately proving a favourite with Juve fans.
Juventus were almost there. They only needed one more win to return to the top division, and win they did on Day 19. There was no contest against Arezzo, managed by former Juventus player Antonio Conte, as Juve were too determined to get the result they needed: in the end they won 5-1 with Del Piero and Chiellini scoring two each, and Trezeguet getting the other one. Celebrations could finally begin. Didier Deschamps completed his 10-month mission but surprised everyone by quitting right after the following match, a home win against Mantova (2-0, with goals by Trezeguet and Nedved).
Here are the best goals of May from around the world. Enjoy!
It was up to Giancarlo Corradini, deputy Manager for many years, to guide the team through the remaining two matches, which were stripped of any meaning. And they were certainly unmemorable, as they were both defeats, but with promotion already secured. First at Bari (1-0), and then at home against Spezia, who were battling to avoid relegation. The guests won 3-2 in the end (Trezeguet and youngster Bianco scoring) but didn't ruin the celebrations for Juventus’ return to Serie A, with the team receiving the Serie B trophy on the pitch, and Del Piero winning the top scorer award.
But the future had already begun. Three important announcements had been made on the eve of the last game: Claudio Ranieri signing on as the new Manager, and Zebina and Buffon renewing their contracts. In January three new signings had already been announced: Grygera, Salihamidzic and Criscito - and then in late June other players were signed up: Iaquinta, Tiago, Almiron, Nocerino and Molinaro. Plus vital player Trezeguet also renewed his contract. But more excellent news would arrive in the next few days.
Here are the best goals of June from around the world. Enjoy!
Juve's 2007, Part 3
Enjoy the third: from July to September, the first steps of the team until Ranieri success in the derby.
The Juventus which officially began the new (pre) season on July 1 was already widely ready. Camoranesi Nedved and swore loyalty and the market is facing record arrivals of Andrade and two young goalkeepers: Vanstrattan in Novembre. When the withdrawal for Pinzolo came around - 11 days - Ranieri and his staff had virtually the entire team available. A valid group that, before the championship, experienced a record number of outbound transactions.
The first training session will demonstrate immediately the thinking of the new coach: ball on the ground, and quick touches and an atmosphere being of the utmost importance to the group. Prospects emerging from the first season are witnessed. In a Juve in search of natural automation are beginning to see a few things beyond the results. Tests with Mezzocorona and the Chinese National Olympic walkways were for the public. The Anglo-German tour with matches vs Newcastle, Hamburg and Sunderland, gave the opportunity to return the smell of Europe.
Here are the best goals of July from around the world. Enjoy!
Returning from England with good feelings - and the bad news of the injury to Marchionni - the team starts to compete with those that are rivals in the league: Inter, Milan, Rome and Naples. Tournaments and exhibitions which support the continued progress and are launching messages to everybody, especially after the 5-2 trimming to Rome.
The best appetizer came against Livorno on August 25. A return to A with bang: Tuscans beaten 5-1 with triplet Trezeguet and two of Iaquinta. A net success repeated a few days later in Italy Cup. Parma is conquered with a 3-1 victory thanks to goals scored by newcomers: Molinaro, Almiron and Salihamidzic.
Here are the best goals of August from around the world. Enjoy!
Even the month of September was a great part. The Bianconeri win in Cagliari. Camoranesi inspires, Del Piero, Trezeguet and Chiellini sign the goal of 3-2, Buffon does the rest. After two days, the league leaves room for national commiments and Juventus enjoys full points.
After the break, the test of Zaragoza brought forward the unfortunate injury of Boumsong. But redemption comes one week after. Against Rome, Juventus put forth its trident and proved its character. Ranieri also loses Andrade (long stop), but in the end drew with Iaquinta. It's a 2-2 draw worth much more than the one point brought home.
The confirmations arriving punctually in the seven days following. The month ends with two races in Turin that yield six points. The first won against Reggina, wiped away by the goal from Legrottaglie, Salihamidzic, Trezeguet and Palladino. The others arrive as preferred by fans: at the end of the derby with Torino, won the in 90 'with another feat of Trezeguet under the curve Scirea.
Here are the best goals of September from around the world. Enjoy!
Juve's year, part 4
Enjoy the fourth and final part: from October up until today, from the draw in Florence to the win against Siena just before Christmas.
The derby win at the end of September could have been followed by another one, equally as prestigious. At Fiorentina, Ranieri's men played one of their best games, dominating over Prandelli's team. Iaquinta opened the scoring and the hosts only equalized in the 90th minute, when they were awarded a penalty, converted by former Juve player Mutu: the final draw result was a bit of an insult for Juventus.
Another break for the National team qualifiers (Juve taking advantage to play a friendly against Young Boys, drawing 1-1, with Olivera scoring) and when the Bianconeri got back on the pitch they weren't going to let themselves be caught off guard again. Gasperini's Genoa were a tough team to face, but Juve won thanks to man of the day Alessandro Del Piero. The Captain scored after renewing his contract and a few hours before the birth of his son Tobias.
There were highs and lows at the end of the month. At Napoli, Del Piero scored again, but then something weird happened. Two dubious penalties were awarded to the home team and Juventus suffered the second defeat of the season. It was somewhat undeserved, but they were able to redeem themselves just a few days later. In the mid-week round, it was up to Trezeguet to make Juventus’ fans smile again: a hat trick against Empoli and Juve were back on track.
November was the most eagerly awaited month, at least since the calendar had been released, as the match against Inter Milan was scheduled for the 4th. In front of a passionate Olimpico crowd, the Bianconeri proved equal to the Nerazzurri and didn't let Cruz's opening goal get them down. In the second half, Camoranesi, back from injury, found the equalizer that made all Juve fans happy. One week later, another draw coming from behind. At Parma, Juve went down 2-0 but never gave up. Tiago created the chances, Legrottaglie and Iaquinta scored the goals: it ended 2-2 and the Calabria-born striker also had a goal disallowed in the last minutes of the match, making the team regret not winning the game; it truly would have been an extraordinary feat.
After the final break, with Italy making everyone happy by qualifying for the 2008 European Championships (all the other national teams featuring Bianconeri players qualified too), Juventus restarted by scoring five goals again. Palermo were never in the match and were destroyed by goals from a fired up Del Piero (who got two), Trezeguet, Iaquinta and Marchionni.
So we come to the last month of the year. It started with the last classic match in the calendar, the away game at AC Milan. At the Meazza, the Bianconeri would've deserved more than the final 0-0 draw, if only because Trezeguet hit the post in the opening minutes. But Juve were flying and before the Christmas break they would give three early presents to their fans.
First off it was Atalanta who went down at the Olimpico, beaten by a great Nedved goal, on the day of his 300th game in Serie A. Then it was Lazio's turn to lose; Del Piero was on World Cup form on the day and Juventus won away from Turin again at last. The last win of the year came against Siena: 2-0 with goals by “Brazzo” Salihamidzic and Trezeguet, more than ever top scorer in the League.
2007 ends with Juventus flying high in the League's top positions: they're currently third, one point behind Roma and eight behind Inter Milan. And also with great news just before the New Year's Eve celebrations: the birth of Louis Thomas Buffon, perhaps the latest in a generation of future Juventus players. Let's hope that 2008 can give us all plenty of satisfaction still.
Here's one last clip of all of Juventus' goals from this season Serie A campaign thus far!
GET READY FOR THAT TRANSFER WINDOW!!!!
BUON ANNO RAGAZZI E FORZA JUVE!!!!!!!!!!!!