Allegri and his men are out in Australia preparing for their pre-season tour whilst the club work hard to bring their summer transfer dealings to a close.
The squad should be complete by the beginning of August and then work begins in earnest on Project Champions League. If you’re a Juve fan, now is the time to start dreaming.
The Torinese are a modest and reserved people. Their propensity for discretion out does that of their Lombardian neighbours in Milan quite comfortably. However, if there’s anything that can make someone this end of the Po betray their unassuming persona and show a talent for self-promotion, it’s Juventus. Today’s ten page pull out on the bianconeri‘s season ahead, published by TuttoSport, is proof of that. But surely now, more than ever, they have good reason to be vocal about their team’s prospects for success.
TuttoSport title their special ‘Juve: The Factory of Dreams’ and inside they make a good case for why this moniker is apt. It’s hard to think of the club as just a bunch of dreamers, though. Looking at what has been achieved in just the last five years, you’d have to say their specialty isn’t dreams per se’ but making them a reality. Indeed, a measure of the club’s progress is that the idea of adding to their two European Cups has passed quite firmly from just a dream into a very real project.
The heartbreak in Germany that has came Juve’s way the last two years, first in Berlin and then Munich, though painful at the time, has served as the confirmation that they can mix with the big boys and needn’t be meek in asserting their plan to take Europe’s top prize. TuttoSport suggest that the bosses on Corso Galileo Ferraris, where Juve have their headquarters, are looking at the next two years to launch a blitz on the trophy. The coming two seasons are therefore ‘all in’ before the project takes another turn in 2018.
— MBenatia5 (@MedhiBenatia) July 22, 2016
It will be two years of typically Torinese hard work and diligence, but even with this more ambitious approach, what makes Project Champions League more than just a dream? Well, let’s start from the impenetrable stone upon which the rest of the team is built; the defense. Looking beyond Buffon, Barzagi, Bonucci and Chiellini for a moment, you see the figures of Dani Alves, Lichsteiner, Evra and Alex Sandro. Four wide players capable of playing at the highest level, and only two spaces for them to fill, meaning two will be watching on from the bench at any one time. Then the defensive might is further enhanced by the arrival of Benatia from Bayern.
Pjanic and Pjaca add some variety further up the field and there may be more players of an attacking disposition to come this window. Wherever they come from, however, their integration into the squad and their adoption of the winning mentality is assured. As the team go through their various publicity engagements in Melbourne, you can be sure they’re not just out for the selfies, but setting about building that unity. This is Chiellini’s twelfth pre-season with Juve and Buffon’s fifteenth. Who better to learn from than they?
In all, there’s an abundance of quality on the pitch, a well-considered plan off it and plenty of experience to make sure it’s all maximised. So if you find yourself chatting to someone from Turin don’t expect them tell you how much they earn but they’ll be more than happy to say how many European Cups Juventus have won. And this time next year they’ve good reason to hope that number will be three.