Juventus' team of the decade
- The Bianconeri have had a phenomenal decade, but who makes it into their best team of the 2010's?
Attacking Midfield: Paulo Dybala
The Juventus future of Argentina’s Paulo Dybala might supposedly be up in the air right now – he narrowly missed out on a summer move to Tottenham, according to reports – but there’s no denying that he’s easily been one of their most effective attacking outlets over the last decade since joining the club from Palermo in the summer of 2015.
Used primarily as a supporting forward in his debut season, Dybala scored 6 goals in his first 16 games for the club, meaning the Argentine was second only to the great Roberto Baggio in terms of his goalscoring rate: a goal every 151 minutes. He ended that season as the Old Lady’s top goalscorer, with a total of 23 in all competitions.
Dybala has since dropped into a slightly deeper role as a forward-lying playmaker – the role which I’d have him play in this team – with his most productive season coming in 2017/18 with a total of 22 league goals as well as five assists. The Argentine was named in Serie A’s Team of the Year for three seasons running, too.
Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo
The legend that is Cristiano Ronaldo has only played for Juventus for one full season following his dramatic €100m move from Real Madrid, but how do you not put him into their team of the decade? Sure, the Portuguese superstar failed in his attempt to help Juve to a Champions League victory, but in practically every other area, he delivered the goods.
‘CR7’ ended the 2018/19 campaign with a total of 28 goals in 43 appearances across all competitions – averaging a goal every 1.5 games. Belying the theory that he was past his prime, the Portuguese showed no issue adjusting to Serie A, as he was named the league’s Most Valuable Player and was also name in the Champions League’s Squad of the Season.
It didn’t come as a surprise to see Ronaldo win his first Scudetto either, given Juventus’ general domestic dominance, but given his previous form and his continuing goalscoring exploits, to see him lead The Old Lady to that elusive Champions League trophy in the future wouldn’t shock anyone.
Forward: Gonzalo Higuain
Juventus have had numerous world-class forwards playing for them over the past decade, and there could definitely be an argument for naming Mario Mandzukic or Carlos Tevez in this team. But how do you look past a man who plundered 32 goals in all competitions in his debut season for the club – the highest total of any Juve player in a single season this decade?
Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain was brought to the Allianz Stadium by Max Allegri in the summer of 2016, after his ridiculous goalscoring exploits for Napoli in the previous season saw him score 36 goals in just 35 league games. The club did pay a huge fee for him - €90m – but with a return of 32 goals, it was largely paid back.
Higuain not only led Juventus to another Scudetto that season, but he also took them all the way to the Champions League final – scoring five goals in his 12 appearances – as they were narrowly defeated by Real Madrid. He’s never quite hit the heights of that first season at the Allianz – loan moves to Milan and Chelsea followed before he returned to Juve this summer – but for such an outstanding debut season he deserves a spot in this team.