Up until the final few days of group stage play at Euro 2016, no Juventus player had suffered a loss. Then, because the reigning tournament champion slipped up late and Antonio Conte made about 80 starting lineup changes, Spain and Italy had to go and ruin that wonderful undefeated record. So now we can't say that Juventus' representation is undefeated as we head into the knockout phase of the tournament. What a shame that is.
(Yes, we're going to technically counting Álvaro Morata as a Juventus player because even though Real Madrid have taken up the buyback clause option, he is still on Juventus' payroll until the end of the month.)
No matter what, though, all of the 12 Juventus players that started out at the tournament are still there. Six of the 16 countries still alive at Euro 2016 still have Juventus representation. That's pretty cool, if you ask me.
But now is the portion of the game where if you play poorly for 90 minutes, your run at the tournament may very well be over. It's the knockout rounds, and while Juventus' representation is still at 100 percent right now, it could be completely different come the arrival of next Tuesday when all of the Round of 16 games have been played.
Who's got the best chance of going through to the quarterfinals?
Who are we going to be sitting here talking about as playing for a spot in the semifinals four days from now?
And, maybe most of all, who will be sitting here and just feeling good about the fact that they aren't injured after another highly-competitive international fixture?
Here's the rundown of those Juventus players who have seen their stay at Euro 2016 extended into the weekend.
Switzerland vs. Poland
Player(s) involved: Stephan Lichtsteiner
When: Saturday, June 25, 14:00 CET
Chances of Switzerland advancement: Based purely on points accumulated, Poland's seven-point haul would have been the best in three other groups. That's pretty good — especially since it's the same amount of points as what Germany, one of the favorites to win the tournament, finished with to top the group. Switzerland, however, didn't lose a group stage game, but didn't blow anybody away, either. One of the biggest things the Swiss will have to do if they want to advance to the quarterfinals is find a way to score goals, having found the back of the net just twice in the three group stage games. Switzerland's defense, led by Capitano Lichtsteiner, allowed just one goal in the draw against Ukraine, so that means the defense is getting its end of the equation done. But you gotta score goals to move on, and that's something Switzerland hasn't done yet on a consistent basis.
Croatia vs. Portugal
Player(s) involved: Mario Mandzukic
When: Saturday, June 25, 21:00 CET
Chances of Croatia advancement: Honestly, it depends on which Portugal team shows up. If the frustrating and disappointing Portugal side that did a whole lot of nothing in its first two games is the one that faces Croatia, then we'll be seeing more of Mandzukic and Luka Modric's lovely hair. If it's the Portugal that was actually able to find the back of the net in the group stage finale against Hungary, then Croatia are in for one hell of a game.
France vs. Ireland
Player(s) involved: Paul Pogba, Patrice Evra
When: Sunday, June 26, 14:00 CET
Chances of France advancement: Based purely on talent that will be stepping onto the field, it's France in a landslide. Ireland will surely be flying pretty high and with confidence after the win over Italy a few days back. France, however, will look to show that the team that played in the group stage wasn't exactly the team that a lot of folks were thinking could win the whole damn thing in the build up to the opening game. (One that France won, by the way.) Like the team as a whole, Pogba has shown flashes of his immense talent. France will certainly need Juventus' No. 10 to be on top of his game in the same way he was in the group stage finale against Switzerland.
If France doesn't go through against Ireland? Holy smokes, the reaction to it is going to be a whooooole lot of trouble for Didier Deschamps as well as Pogba and the other star players on the France roster.
Germany vs. Slovakia
Player(s) involved: Sami Khedira
When: Sunday, June 26, 18:00 CET
Chances of Germany advancement: Pretty, pretty good. Germany hasn't been super impressive in terms of their goal-scoring record at the tournament thus far, but they're one of two teams to not allow the opposition to score a goal in their three group stage games. Germany has created a ton of opportunities in front of goal — they're third in the tournament in terms of shots per game — and it's seemingly about converting those if they want to make a deep run despite being on the loaded side of the bracket. Because Germany wasn't in the same kind of position as Italy on the final day of the group stage schedule, pretty much the same starting lineup was rolled out for the three games. No rest for the defending world champs, that's for sure.
Italy vs. Spain
Player(s) involved: Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Stefano Sturaro, Simone Zaza (and, technically, Álvaro Morata until the end of the month)
When: Monday, June 27, 18:00 CET
Chances of Italy advancement: I think it's safe to say that this Spain side isn't at the same level as it was when it walloped Italy in the 2012 final. But it's also safe to say that this Italy squad isn't even as close talent-wise to what the roster looked like when they lost to Spain four years ago. What does all of this mean? Well, outside of the fact that both teams are kind of in a weird transition phase, I don't know. As expected, Italy has been pretty good defensively with the Juve back four holding things down. Everywhere else, it's not exactly the same. And if Antonio Candreva, who has trained separately from the group the last couple of days, is missing out injured, Italy's best player at the tournament not named Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci or Chiellini won't be on the field against a still very talented Spain side.
Spain are almost certainly the favorites in this one, but Italy has also done pretty well in this tournament when they've been thought of as the clear-cut underdogs. Just see the 2-0 win over Belgium as a prime example of that.