As Juventus and ACF Fiorentina prepare to meet in the UEFA Europa League, UEFA.com reflects on a rivalry featuring a 'Divine Ponytail' and a would-be Trappist monk.
Some 400km separate Florence and Turin, so games between Juventus and ACF Fiorentina are not technically derbies – but their rivalry is one of the biggest in Serie A. As the pair go head to head in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, in a repeat of the 1990 UEFA Cup final won 3-1 on aggregate by Juve, UEFA.com selects five unforgettable matches between the Bianconeri and the Viola.
18 September 1960: Juventus 3-2 Fiorentina aet, Coppa Italia final
Juventus's hopes of securing a first league and cup double had all but evaporated when, trailing 2-1, Omar Sivori was sent off at Milan's San Siro. John Charles had other ideas. The Wales forward had broken the deadlock with a thunderous right-foot strike from outside the box in the first half before goals from Miguel Ángel Montuori and Dino da Costa turned things round. A trademark header from 'gentle giant' Charles forced extra time, where a Giampiero Boniperti shot deflected in off a defender to give Juve an unlikely victory.
11 May 1969: Juventus 0-2 Fiorentina, Serie A
After a friendly prior to the 1968/69 campaign, Argentinian coach Bruno Pesaola famously said of his Fiorentina side: "If this team doesn't win the Scudetto, I'll become a Trappist monk." The ecclesiastical world's loss was football's gain as the Viola did indeed lift their second Scudetto, clinching it with a game to spare with this triumph in Turin. "Fiorentina are a truly great side," said magnanimous Juve coach Heriberto Herrera after a match won by goals from Luciano Chiarugi and Mario Maraschi. "They won the Scudetto playing top-class team football and were the most consistent side all season, no doubt about that."
6 April 1991: Fiorentina 1-0 Juventus, Serie A
Roberto Baggio was booed on his first return to the Stadio Artemio Franchi since joining Juventus following the 1990 UEFA Cup final – but the ill-feeling would not last. With the visitors trailing to Diego Fuser's free-kick, the 'Divine Ponytail' won a penalty then declined to take it himself. The task fell to Luigi De Agostini, who promptly missed as the Viola held on. "I trained with [Fiorentina goalkeeper Gianmatteo] Mareggini for years and he knew how I took penalties," Baggio reasoned. As he departed the pitch he saluted the home fans and they responded in kind. "It was natural," Baggio noted. "They booed me during the game but they love me."
4 December 1994: Juventus 3-2 Fiorentina, Serie A
After a nine-year wait, Juventus landed another Scudetto in 1994/95 under Marcello Lippi and many pinpointed this 3-2 comeback success as the turning point. Francesco Baiano and Angelo Carbone registered for the Viola in the first period but Juve responded with three in the last 17 minutes. Gianluca Vialli got two in quick succession before Alessandro Del Piero netted the winner two minutes from time, volleying a long ball first time into the top corner with the outside of his foot. "I scored many goals in my career but maybe that one was the most beautiful," said Del Piero.
20 October 2013: Fiorentina 4-2 Juventus, Serie A
Another fightback, this time with Fiorentina the beneficiaries, brought Juve's sole Serie A defeat this season. Antonio Conte's men went into the interval leading 2-0 thanks to Carlos Tévez's penalty and a nice finish from Paul Pogba. However, Giuseppe Rossi slotted in a 66th-minute spot kick and levelled ten minutes later. Soon the Viola were in front through Joaquín before Rossi completed his hat-trick on 81 minutes. "An epic game, a memorable win – the match ball is already in my trophy cabinet," said Rossi.