Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Juventus, there have been reports of his impact on the club from Turin and not just on the field. Within a day of his signing, the club had 2.2 million new followers on various social media accounts. They have bagged bigger sponsorship deals with Adidas and Jeep and the valuation of the club has only gone up.
You could be forgiven to think that this is a rare occurrence for the Bianconeri. Countless great players have plied their trade for Juventus, especially before the Calciopoli scandal which led to the relegation of the club. Michel Platini, Pavel Nedved and Zinedine Zidane are just some of the Ballon d'Or winners to have been part of their roster.
Among such an illustrious list of players to have played for the club, some gained fame elsewhere. Let's have a look at some of those names on the list which may have gone under the radar:
#5 Edwin van der Sar
As the Chief Executive Officer of Ajax, van der Sar has played a key role in the club's rise in the last couple of years. The groundwork for this success was laid well in advance by working closely with Marc Overmars, the Sporting Director since 2012. Considered one of the best goalkeepers of all time, he is the second-most capped player for the Netherlands. He was a key component of one of the meanest defences England has ever seen along with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
His Ajax roots and success at Manchester United after being signed from Fulham at the tender age of 34 are known to all. However, from July 1999, he was the starting goalkeeper for the Old Lady for 2 seasons. In 88 appearances, he kept 41 clean sheets.
Van der Sar is unequivocal about his period in Turin. It didn’t meet his expectations.
"In the two years, we finished in second place both times. And I wasn’t able to reach the level that I wanted to, for myself. And for the team. That’s why my time in Turin was, in my eyes, disheartening."
The difference in playing style did not help as the defence was deep and he was asked to 'just shoot it long'.
The arrival of Buffon in 2001 brought an end to his time in Turin. Although it wasn’t a very successful time athletically, Van der Sar can put his Juve time into perspective.
"Turin is a nice city. And it was our first adventure abroad as a family. My son went to school there and learned Italian. Of course, it’s a shame how it went, but every football player has a club or a period of time in his career where things didn’t work out. For me, that was Juventus."