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Old Lady sits pretty

Published: Thursday 26 June 2003, 22.57CET
Club history: Turin giants Juventus FC are Italy's most successful club.
 
 
 
Published: Thursday 26 June 2003, 22.57CET

Old Lady sits pretty

Club history: Turin giants Juventus FC are Italy's most successful club.

Over the next few weeks uefa.com will be charting the history of all clubs through to next season's UEFA Champions League from the third qualifying round onwards. Here we look at Italy's most successful side, Juventus FC.

Dominant force
Since their formation in Turin in 1897, Juventus FC have won a record 27 league championships, nine Italian Cups and ten international trophies to establish themselves as the dominant force in Italy. They and Internazionale FC are the only clubs never to have been relegated from Serie A since its creation in 1930.

Golden age
Juventus's first title arrived in 1905, but the Old Lady had to wait until 1926 for the next. Indeed, it was only after the Agnelli family became associated with the club that Juve embarked upon the first golden age in their history, the team winning five successive Scudettos between 1931 and 1935. Torino Calcio then rose to prominence before Juve clinched the title in 1950.

Star performers
Giampiero Boniperti was the star man of the 1950s when the Bianconeri topped the table in 1952 and 1958. Then John Charles and Omar Sivori helped the club claim the first two championships of the next decade. Yet there were disappointments along the way too: Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final defeats in 1965 and 1971 sandwiching the Scudetto success of 1967.

Championship haul
The 1970s was another stellar decade. Championships were won in 1972, 73, 75, 77 and 78 while Juve finally broke their European duck by beating Athletic Club Bilbao in the 1977 UEFA Cup final - the victory coming four years after they lost the European Champion Clubs' Cup final to AFC Ajax. A UEFA Cup Winners' Cup followed in 1984 when FC Porto were despatched 2-1. All the while Dino Zoff proved an immovable object in the Bianconeri goal.

Platini prowess
As with the 1960s, so Juve landed the first two championships of the 1980s. Italy's Paolo Rossi was signed and foreign flair added in the form of Zbigniew Boniek and Michel Platini. Unbelievably, midfield player Platini topped the Serie A goalscoring charts three years running, and it was he who lifted the club's first European Cup in 1985. That triumph, however, was overshadowed by the death of 39 Italian fans before the game against Liverpool FC in Brussels.

European Cup
After another title in 1986, Juve were usurped as Italy's leading club by AC Milan. They recovered, though, to win the UEFA Cup in 1990 and new heroes were found in Roberto Baggio and Gianluca Vialli. Another UEFA Cup arrived in 1993, before the club's 1995 championship win paved the way for a second European Cup a year later, as Juve beat Ajax on penalties in Rome.

Mixed fortunes
Juventus then looked set to rule European football. They reached the next two Champions League finals but lost both - against BV Borussia Dortmund in 1997 and Real Madrid CF in 1998, seasons in which they were again supreme in Serie A. Another set of back-to-back titles followed in 2002 and 2003, though the latter campaign was to end in disappointment. While Juve reached a fourth Champions League final, they suffered their third defeat in the showpiece - going down on penalties against Milan.

Last updated: 01/07/03 20.24CET

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