Breathing in football and Alpine air in Turin

Having profiled Basel, Champions Matchday continues its look at some of the clubs and cities hosting forthcoming rounds by shining the spotlight on Turin, home to Juventus.

The Mole Antonelliana stands proud above Turin against the Italian city's Alpine backdrop
The Mole Antonelliana stands proud above Turin against the Italian city's Alpine backdrop ©Claudio Divizia

The capital of the Piedmont region is known for its cars and café culture, but Turin is also home to two top-flight clubs with proud histories and has been synonymous with footballing excellence for more than a century.

Roots
Juventus were formed in 1897. The name means 'youth' in Latin and signifies the founders' resolve that their club should have a global appeal. They won the Scudetto – the first of 30 – in 1905, with Swiss textile magnate Alfred Dick as their president. He then left to form Torino FC in 1906. The teams contest Italy's oldest derby, known as the 'Derby Della Mole' after Turin's iconic Mole Antonelliana building.

Colours
Juventus originally played in pink but decided to change their kit after the jerseys faded through constant washing. One of their players, Englishman John Savage, contacted a friend in Nottingham who, being a Notts County FC supporter, shipped out black-and-white striped shirts to Turin. Juve have worn those colours since 1903. In September 2011, they marked the opening of their new stadium with a friendly against Notts County, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

The Juventus Stadium opening ceremony
The Juventus Stadium opening ceremony©Getty Images

Best European campaign
The Bianconeri won their first European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1985, with Michel Platini's penalty the only goal in the final against Liverpool FC. Eleven years later, Juve rose again to triumph against Louis van Gaal's reigning champions AFC Ajax in Rome's Stadio Olimpico. Marcello Lippi's side were inspired by a young Alessandro Del Piero, captain Gianluca Vialli, Didier Deschamps and Antonio Conte. Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid CF were both beaten en route to the final, where Fabrizio Ravanelli gave the Bianconeri an early lead. Jari Litmanen took the game to a shoot-out, in which midfielder Vladimir Jugović scored the decisive spot kick for the Italian team.

Shrine
Juventus had four homes in their first 12 years and have had another five since: Stadio di Corso Sebastopoli, Corso Marsiglia Camp, Stadio Olimpico di Torino (now occupied by Torino), the massive Stadio delle Alpi and now the 41,254-capacity Juventus Stadium. The new arena hosted the 2014 UEFA Europa League final, in which Sevilla FC beat SL Benfica on penalties.

Alessandro Del Piero
Alessandro Del Piero©Getty Images

Local hero
Signed from Calcio Padova 1910, Del Piero became what Italians call a 'bandiera' (flag) for Juve. He has played more matches (705) and scored more goals (289) than any other Bianconeri player. Del Piero was so adept at curling shots into the top corner that these goals became known as 'alla Del Piero'. A paragon of fair play, the Juve No10 was compact with a deadly right foot and could dribble out of trouble and conjure a goal from nowhere.

Inspirational coaches
By far Turin's greatest son on the managerial front, Vittorio Pozzo was the shrewd authoritarian who led Italy to FIFA World Cup glory in 1934 and 1938. Pozzo also managed AC Milan and Torino and was at the meeting when Juve's local rivals were founded. An excellent linguist, he worked as a journalist for La Stampa and was good friends with the innovative Austrian trainer Hugo Meisl. The coach who established Juve as a European powerhouse is Giovanni Trapattoni who, between 1976 and 1986, landed six Scudettos, the UEFA Cup, the European Cup Winners' Cup and the European Cup.

Obscure object
Cars. The city of Turin and Juventus are inextricably linked with Italy's automobile industry and specifically FIAT, which is an acronym of Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino. In 1923 Edoardo Agnelli, son of FIAT's founder, replaced poet and scholar Corradino Corradini as president of Juve. The club then appointed their first official manager, Hungarian Jenő Károly, and signed their first foreign superstar, dynamic Hungarian winger Ferenc Hirzer. The Agnelli family's involvement in the club continues to this day: Andrea Agnelli is the current chairman.

European record: Juventus
European Cup (1985, 1996), European Cup Winners' Cup (1984), UEFA Cup (1977, 1990, 1993), Super Cup (1984, 1996).

Must-see sights
1. Mole Antonelliana
2. Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile
3. Palazzo Reale
4. Duomo di Torino (home of the Turin shroud)
5. Piazza Castello

Champions Matchday is the official magazine of the UEFA Champions League and is available in print or free to download in digital format. You can follow the magazine on Twitter @ChampionsMag.

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