Juventus and Fiorentina meet again
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
UEFA Europa League final hosts Juventus know their round of 16 opponents only too well, with ACF Fiorentina the side they beat to win the second of their three UEFA Cups.
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Juventus will hope the UEFA Europa League visit of Serie A rivals ACF Fiorentina augurs well, as the hosts of the 2014 showpiece take on the side they beat to win the UEFA Cup 24 years ago.
• The sides know each other well from Serie A – where they met on Sunday, the Bianconeri triumphing 1-0 – and also contested the final of the 1990 UEFA Cup. Dino Zoff's Juventus prevailed 3-1 on aggregate against Francesco Graziani's Viola, winning 3-1 in Turin before a 0-0 draw in the return leg, staged on neutral territory in Avellino.
• The teams in Turin on 2 May 1990 were:
Juventus: Tacconi, Napoli, De Agostini, Bonetti, Bruno (Alessio 46), Galia, Aleinikov, Marocchi, Rui Barros, Schillachi, Casiraghi.
Fiorentina: Landucci, Dell'Oglio, Battistini, Volpecina, Di Chiara, Dunga, Kubík (Malusci 87), Pin, Buso, R Baggio, Nappi.
• This is the 29th all-Italian match in UEFA club competition; the previous 28 fixtures have yielded 15 home wins and five away victories.
• The finals against Juventus were Fiorentina's only previous encounters with Serie A opponents in European competition.
• Juventus have met Italian opponents in 11 previous UEFA games with the record W3 D4 L4 (W3 D1 L1 at home). These results also include a 0-0 draw against AC Milan in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League final at Old Trafford – Milan won 3-2 on penalties.
• Since August 2004, only one team has beaten Juventus in 35 European games in Turin: FC Bayern München, who won 4-1 in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage, and then 2-0 in the 2012/13 quarter-finals. Juventus's record during that run is W20 D13 L2.
• That latter loss to Bayern is their only defeat in nine European games at their new Juventus Stadium, and the only UEFA match at their new home in which they have failed to score.
• Fiorentina came through the group stage unbeaten (W5 D1), having eliminated Grasshopper Club on away goals in the play-offs. They are one of six qualifiers from the group stage who remain unbeaten after eight games, along with PFC Ludogorets Razgrad, FC Salzburg, Sevilla FC, Olympique Lyonnais and AZ Alkmaar.
• Fiorentina last reached the round of 16 in this competition in 2007/08, beating Everton FC on penalties en route to a semi-final exit, also on spot kicks, against Rangers FC.
• Despite prevailing in the 1961 European Cup Winners' Cup final, Fiorentina share with FC Barcelona and Hamburger SV the unusual distinction of having lost finals in all three major UEFA club competitions: the European Cup (1957, v Real Madrid CF), European Cup Winners' Cup (1962, v Club Atlético de Madrid) and UEFA Cup (1990, v Juventus).
• Fiorentina left-back Manuel Pasqual celebrates his 32nd birthday on the day of the match.
• Fiorentina midfielder Alberto Aquilani – who spent 2010/11 on loan from Liverpool FC at Juventus – can make his 50th UEFA club competition appearance in Turin. Aquilani and Fiorentina team-mate David Pizarro played alongside injured Juventus striker Mirko Vucinić at AS Roma from 2006 to 2009.
• Pablo Osvaldo – who scored the 2,600th UEFA Europa League goal in Juve's 2-0 win at Trabzonspor AŞ last time out – played for Fiorentina from 2007 to 2009. The forward was sent off for an over-exuberant celebration after scoring a late winner for the Viola against Juventus in March 2008.
• Giorgio Chiellini joined Juventus in 2005 following a season at Fiorentina.
• On loan from AC Milan, Fiorentina forward Alessandro Matri is up against his old side having left Juventus in the summer after two and a half seasons in Turin.
• Juventus forward Fabio Quagliarella played for Fiorentina in Serie C2 at the start of his career, scoring his first league goal while on loan from Torino FC in autumn 2002.
• Juventus reserve goalkeeper Marco Storari played for Fiorentina on loan from AC Milan in 2008/09, though he played in just one league game and another in the Coppa Italia; both ended in 1-0 defeats.
• Spain and Italy are the best represented nations in the round of 16 with three clubs apiece.
• As debutants, Ludogorets and Fiorentina have never lost a UEFA Europa League match (excluding qualifying), and are the only two of the competition’s 156 participants to lay claim to that distinction.
• Juventus's Andrea Pirlo has made 123 UEFA club competition appearances, more than any other outfield player in the round of 32.
• Juventus Stadium will stage this season's UEFA Europa League final. Juventus can thus become the third side since the UEFA Cup was first decided with a one-off match in 1997/98 to compete in the showpiece at their home arena. Feyenoord triumphed in Rotterdam in 2002/03, but Sporting Clube de Portugal lost the 2004/05 final in Lisbon.
• Juventus (1977, 1990, 1993) are one of six former UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League winners in the round of 16, along with Tottenham Hotspur FC (1972, 1984), Sevilla (2006, 2007), Valencia CF (2004), SSC Napoli (1989) and FC Porto (2003, 2011).
• Juventus are one of three sides who have won the competition three times, along with FC Internazionale Milano (1990/91, 1993/94, 1997/98) and Liverpool FC (1972/73, 1975/76, 2000/01).
• Antonio Conte has led Juventus to back-to-back Italian titles since taking charge at his old club in 2011. The 44-year-old started out as a midfielder at home-town team US Lecce, then represented Juventus from 1991 to 2004, winning five Serie A titles, the 1992/93 UEFA Cup and the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League among a host of other trophies. He returned as a coach after spells in charge of US Arezzo, AS Bari, Atalanta BC and AC Siena.
• Conte is the only coach left in the competition who won the UEFA Cup as a player.
• Fiorentina coach since June 2012, Vincenzo Montella is best remembered as a striker for AS Roma, where he was known as L'Aeroplanino (the Little Aeroplane) because of his modest stature and trademark goal celebration. He won the 2000/01 Serie A title and two Coppa Italias with Roma before moving on to coach their youth team. After holding the reins at the Giallorossi and Calcio Catania, he led Fiorentina to fourth place in his first term in charge.