With I Bianconeri fresh from winning a domestic double and reaching the UEFA Champions League final, I've seen a growing number of people wearing or sporting a Juventus attribute in my home country, Indonesia. With that, I'm sure they are also growing all around the world as well.
Winners attract followers but is it the only reason? If you are on the fence or became a fan because of Carlos Tevez or Arturo Vidal, here are the seven reasons why you should become or stay a Juventus fan.
Born in 1897, Juventus is the third oldest club in Italy, after Genoa (1893) and Udinese (1896), and at the end of the 2014-15 season, has won 33 Scudetti, the most in Italy. In second place is Milan, with 18 Scudetti, so Juve is by far the most successful club domestically.
Juventus has also been in the hands of the Agnelli family since 1923 when FIAT owner Edoardo Agnelli bought the club. His sons Gianni, affectionaly known as L'Avvocato, and Umberto became presidents in the 1950s and 1960s and now Umberto's son, Andrea, is the club's president. It makes the family the longest lasting ownership in any sports franchise globally.
Every start of the season, the first team plays the primavera team in Villar Perosa, a village in southwest of Turin where Edoardo had a stadium built, where the players bring their family with them for the friendly match.
There's one interesting story I always remember. Milos Krasic, our newest signing in 2010, missed his flight and as the result, would've missed this annual friendly match. He then chartered a private jet out of his own pocket to make sure he could arrive in time and play.
2. "Fino alla fine"
"Fino alla fine," or "until the end" in English, describes Juve well. The fantasisti make us dream, but grinta, the passion and fighting spirit until the game ends, makes Juve tick.
Why do Juve fight until the end? Giampiero Boniperti, one of Juve's legends, said it best, "Vincere non è importante, è l'unica cosa che conta" or "winning is not important; It's the only thing that matters."
One of the perfect examples is Juventus vs. Fiorentina in the 1994-95 season. Back then, Fiorentina had a superb trident — Gabriel Batistuta and Francesco Baiano supported by Rui Costa. They shocked Juventus by leading two goals to nil when the first half ended. Juve were down, but not out, and in the last 27 minutes, captain Gianluca Vialli led a comeback with two goals in three minutes. Three minutes from time, Juventus scored the game-winning goal.
Fino alla fine.
And who scored the winning goal?
3. It makes us dream
A scrawny 20-year-old forward played in Roberto Baggio's place and he completed that comeback in the 87th minute in the Juventus vs Fiorentina game in the 1994-95 season:
Juve have scored many wonderful goals, but until today, that is still the best Juve goal I've ever seen live.
For me, it's Baggio. Back in the 1980s, it's Michel Platini. For many, it's Alessandro Del Piero. They make us dream.
4. It's a cool name
To me, "Juventus" sounds cool. I'm not Italian, so I do not relate to city names like Milan, Roma, Genoa or others.
I grew up watching Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, and Frank Rijkaard dominate Serie A, the best league at that moment, and the world of football in the 1990s but while my friends flocked to the rossoneri, I was not only attracted to them at all. I loved how they played, but "AC Milan" just sounded wrong to me.
When Baggio joined "Juventus," my fate was sealed. Furthermore, Juventus means "youth" in latin so it adds to an attraction to a young boy (back then) like me.
5. Produces the most World Cup winners
Juventus has produced 24 World Cup winners, the most in the world. They are:
- World Cup 1934 (9): Gianpiero Combi, Luigi Bertolini, Felice Borel, Umberto Caligaris, Giovanni Ferrari, Luis Monti, Raimundo Orsi, Virginio Rosetta, Mario Varglien
- World Cup 1938 (2): Alfredo Foni, Pietro Rava
- World Cup 1982 (6): Dino Zoff, Antonio Cabrini, Claudio Gentile, Paolo Rossi, Gaetano Scirea, Marco Tardelli
- World Cup 1998 (2): Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane
- World Cup 2006 (5): Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Mauro Camoranesi, Alessandro Del Piero, Gianluca Zambrotta
Bayern Munich is second with 23 winners. Interestingly, Real Madrid and Barcelona are only 11th and 12th with 10 and nine winners, respectively. From Italy, Inter Milan is third with 20, Roma is fourth with 17 and Milan is tenth with 10.
6. Competent Management
This is probably the most important reason why Juve has won in the past and is winning so much now in the present. Luciano Moggi, considered one of the best direttori sportivo in Italian football history, made two of the biggest transactions in the world of football:
- In 2001, he sold Zinedine Zidane, the best player in the world at that time, to Real Madrid for €75 million, a then-world record, and replaced him with Buffon, Lilian Thuram and Pavel Nedved. Buffon is arguably the best goalkeeper in the modern era, Thuram is one of the best defenders of all time, and Nedved won a Ballon d'Or. All legends.
- In 2004, he swapped a backup goalkeeper Fabian Carini for Fabio Cannavaro, who went on to lead Italy to win the 2006 World Cup and became arguably the best defender in his period.
After Moggi, Giuseppe Marotta followed it up with crucial transactions himself.
- In 2011, Juve signed Stephan Lichtsteiner (€10 million), Arturo Vidal (€10.5 million) and Andrea Pirlo (free). All were influential and important players during the four-Scudetto run.
- In 2012, Juve signed Paul Pogba for free. Now he is worth at least €100 million.
- In 2013, Juve signed Carlos Tevez for €9 million.
- In 2014, Juve signed Alvaro Morata for €20 million and Patrice Evra for €1.5 million.
Add these seven players — who cost €51 million in total — to Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Claudio Marchisio from the Moggi era, you have one of the two 2014-15 Champions League finalists.
In terms of revenue, Juve grew from around €150 million in the 2010-11 season to more than €300 million in 2014-15. Incredible growth.
These four Scudetti in the last four years and the economic growth are inline with Juve's winning model: Equip the coach with a competitive squad and ensure the balance sheets are kept in order. Helped by Marotta, Fabio Paratici and Nedved, president Andrea Agnelli surrounds himself with a competent management.
7. Continuous succession
While performing on and off the pitch, at the same time the management has also made sure the future is taken care of by signing talented young players.
Liam Brady was sold in 1982 even though he won two Scudetti in his two years with Juve. His replacement? Platini, who went on to win three Ballon d'Or with Juve. He stayed for five years. In 1995, Baggio, one of the best players in Italian football, was sold and replaced by a young Del Piero, who went on the be one of the greatest Juventus players of all time.
For this 2015-16 season, there are eight players in the first team who were born in 1991 or after:
- Defender Daniele Rugani (born in 1994)
- Midfielder Roberto Pereyra (born in 1991)
- Midfielder Stefano Sturaro (born in 1993)
- Forward Kingsley Coman (born in 1996)
- Forward Paulo Dybala (born in 1993)
- Forward Alvaro Morata (born in 1992)
- Forward Simone Zaza (born in 1991)
- From these eight, Pogba and Morata are already starters. Marotta also said that there was a possibility we could add another one or two young and talented players during the rest of this summer mercato. Next year, Domenico Berardi (born in 1994) is likely to join Juve as well.
So, if you are a fan of Tevez or Vidal, these are the seven reasons why you should stay a Juve fan. Dybala and Berardi have a potential to be a stud and become idols. If you are on the fence, these are the seven reasons why you should be a Juve fan. The tradition is rich and the future is bright.