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Juventus's French favourites

Published: Tuesday 22 July 2014, 15.25CET
Following Patrice Evra's move to Juventus this week, UEFA.com looks back on a long history of French influence at the Bianconeri that stretches back over a century.
by Fabio Balaudo
from Turin

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Published: Tuesday 22 July 2014, 15.25CET

Juventus's French favourites

Following Patrice Evra's move to Juventus this week, UEFA.com looks back on a long history of French influence at the Bianconeri that stretches back over a century.

On Monday, Patrice Evra agreed to become the 18th French player to wear the famous Juventus jersey. The former Manchester United FC full-back is the latest name on a list of stellar footballers who have crossed the Alps to Turin in order to represent the Old Lady.

The Bianconeri's connection with French football dates back to 1911, with the arrival of forward Arthur Meille. The link between the club and near-neighbours France is as tight as ever to this day, as the arrival of Evra and the presence of Paul Pobga – considered 'the next big thing' in French football – demonstrates.

UEFA.com remembers six French stars who have helped Juventus shine in the past.

Michel Platini (1982-87)
Nicknamed 'Le Roi' (The King), the talented attacking midfielder – and now UEFA President – won the Ballon d'Or two times during his Juventus stint, helping the club to claim the European Champion Clubs' Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and the European Super Cup in the process. "I spent my best days at Juve," said Mr Platini. "Juve means history for me, a history made of unforgettable moments."

Didier Deschamps (1994-99)
An energetic midfielder who used to play in the holding position, Deschamps shone at Juve under Marcello Lippi, winning the UEFA Champions League in 1996, one UEFA Super Cup and three Scudettos. The current France coach also sat on the Bianconeri bench in 2006/07, helping them to an instant promotion back to Serie A. "The fighting spirit of that team [in the 1990s] was unbelievable; every time we put on that jersey we just wanted to win," he remembers.

©Bongarts

Zidane takes on Hamburg

Zinédine Zidane (1996-2001)
Another Juventus stalwart in the Lippi era, 'Zizou' assumed Platini's mantle at Juve, performing his playmaking role with a mixture of skill and physical strength before leaving for Real Madrid CF. A Ballon d'Or winner in 1998, Zidane said: "Once you wore the Juventus shirt, you become a 'Juventino' forever. My winning attitude comes from Turin."

David Trezeguet (2000-2010)
The club's most prolific foreign marksman with 171 goals in all competitions, Trezeguet is considered a Bianconeri legend thanks to his predatory instincts in the box. A rapacious, cold-blooded centre-forward – almost unbeatable in the air – he was the linchpin of the Juventus attacking line for a decade, frightening opponents in both Italy and Europe. He said: "When you play at this club, you know that second or third spot is useless. Only victory counts."

Lilian Thuram (2001-2006)
A classy, graceful defender, Thuram shone at Juventus under both Lippi and Fabio Capello. His partnership with Fabio Cannavaro in the heart of the back line – they had been team-mates at Parma FC earlier in their careers – is still remembered with fondness.

Patrick Vieira (2005-2006)
After nearly a decade spent at Arsenal FC, Vieira played a single season with Juventus before leaving for FC Internazionale Milano. However, his influence in midfield soon helped him to become a fans' favourite. "We can win everything, we have a complete team and all the players are at a good level," he said of a Bianconeri side that exited the UEFA Champions League at the hands of the Gunners.

Last updated: 23/07/14 20.20CET

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