Like so many of Juventus Women’s most important players, Laura Giuliani has been there since the start. She returned to Italy to join up with the Bianconere’s new project, teaming with so many of her Italian women’s national team teammates to come to Turin and go on what has been quite the impressive four-year run atop Serie A Femminile.
While some of those other Italians have signed contract extensions in recent weeks, Giuliani has not. And there’s a very good reason for that.
Juventus Women announced on Monday that Giuliani, their starting goalkeeper from Day 1 of the project, along with Brazilian winger Maria Alves will be leaving the club when their contracts expire this summer. Giuliani, one of the more underrated goalkeepers in Europe, is expected to sign on a free transfer with AC Milan and is the second big name to leave Juventus after this title-winning season following the departure of manager Rita Guarino.
First Guarino. Now Giuliani. Possibly Barbara Bonansea and a few other players, too. I said it when Guarino’s departure was announced and I will say it again here: Last summer was all about keeping the squad together, having roster continuity be the biggest thing the Juve women have going for them and adding a couple of pieces at most. This summer will be different from last in the sense that important players will have to be replaced and a new manager will have to come in and attempt to pick up where Guarino left off.
But no matter who is managing the Juve women next season, losing Giuliani is a big deal. And knowing that she is going to arguably Juventus Women’s biggest rival for the Scudetto in Milan, a team that finished in second place in the standings. (Although, it was a 14-point gap between first and second place, so that just tells you how dominant Juve were this season.)
It will be weird seeing Giuliani lining up against Juventus next season knowing just how much she has accomplished during her four years in Turin. She was one of the cornerstones of one of the start of this project and proved to be a consistent contributor on the best defense Serie A Femminile has had the last four years.