A few short days ago, Juventus celebrated an anniversary. It won’t go down as one of the club’s greatest accomplishments. In fact, it is the kind of anniversary that nobody around here wants to see be forced upon Juventus again.
You see, it was 10 years ago plus a few days that Juventus earned promotion back to Serie A after a year of forced purgatory in Italy’s second division. A lot has happened since we saw Alex Del Piero and Gigi Buffon rocking pink shirts with black lettering spelling out “BastA” across their chests. From a positive return to Serie A under Claudio Ranieri to back-to-back seventh-place finishes, things weren’t always so glamorous as they are now. Not by a long shot. But these days, Juventus is the dominant force in Italy once more — and it was reaffirmed on Sunday afternoon in Turin.
The latest accomplishment came to fruition on a sunsplashed Sunday afternoon at Juventus Stadium. For the sixth straight season, the Serie A champions reside in Turin. First-half goals from birthday boy Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala paved the way for a post-halftime fiesta at J-Stadium in a 3-0 win over relegation battlers Crotone.
Six straight. Record set.
Scudetto No. 35 is here. Officially official.
A season in Serie B. Some tough seasons a relatively positive return. But now, complete domination. Not a bad way to finish out a decade’s worth of games. And there’s still a chance that it can become even better.
- Coppa Italia — check!
- Scudetto — check!
- Champions League — TBD.
With the Scudetto and second part of the possible treble now officially done and out of the way, all the attention will now turn to what’s going down in Cardiff on June 3. Juve still have one more Serie A fixture left, but with the Scudetto now theirs, the season finale is now a “Please don’t get hurt” situation rather than something where Juve actually need to get points to hold off the competition.
Would we like them to win the Serie A finale? Of course.
But when it comes to treble-related matters, it’s now focus on getting through the league finale unscathed and then gearing up for what could be even more history in what has now officially been a historic Juventus campaign.
That couldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for what has come before them. One title after another the last six years. From the rebuilding job that Antonio Conte did to Max Allegri making this squad his own. Juventus has done a whole lot of winning this season and the previous five before it. That’s the beautiful thing about this run of six straight Scudetti. Lots of wins, lots of title celebrations and lots and lots of confetti getting shot out of cannons.
A domestic double sounds pretty good once more. But a treble? Now that’s what dreams are made of, my friends. And Juventus’ dream is close to becoming reality.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- In the lead up to this game I watched Italy and Uruguay play at the Under-20 World Cup. There was plenty of Juventus-related reasons to watch. My main takeaway was that Rodrigo Bentancur is quite skinny yet quite good. Just hope he fills out a bit.
- One more U-20 note: It’s so nice to see Rolando Mandragora out there and playing heavy minutes. He’s obviously looked upon to be a huge part of the Azzurrini’s success at the tournament since he’s their captain, but knowing that he’s overcome a long, long time on the sidelines for most of the season, just seeing him out there playing is a great sign for his future.
- Fashion thought: During an afternoon game with lots of sunshine, Crotone’s road kits aren’t the best when it comes to seeing all 11 players at once. Maybe things will get better for them next season no matter if it’s in Serie A or Serie B.
- I will be having dreams about Dybala’s free kick that he scored on. Good thing he’s getting locked in on free kicks again. Rumor has it there’s a pretty important game coming up in about two weeks where another free kick like that could mean Juventus wins another trophy.
- Dybala-related question: Is that good?
- Mandzukic has obviously sacrificed a good number of goals for the chance to play on a regular basis this season since Allegri switched to the 4-2-3-1 (and subsequent 3-4-1-2). He’s not the main target man anymore, but he’s maybe more important now than he was based on what his role has become. He was playing as forward and had as many scoring chances as I can remember him having in a good amount of games. And it’s fitting that the guy who has not had the kind of season he’s had in the past when it comes to goals scored recorded the goal that clinched the Scudetto.
- Alex Sandro celebrated his call-up to the Brazil national team with a goal. Pretty, pretty good week he’s having, I’d say.
- The movement and pace on the corner kick by Dybala that led to Sandro’s goal ... my goodness. That left foot is absolute magic, I tell ya.
- Juventus win the Scudetto. Gigi Buffon gets a clean sheet. Couldn’t have asked for anything better than that.
- SIAMO NOI, SIAMO NOI. Sing it loud, sing it proud, dammit. Another year of bragging rights at the office for everybody here.