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Guest writer/Steve Amoia

Juventus Football Club has traveled to North America for a three-game tour to participate in the 2011 Herbalife World Football Challenge. The team has been based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has been holding daily training sessions at the NovaCare facility of the NFL franchise, the Philadelphia Eagles. Five members of the 2006 World Cup winning team (Andrea Barzagli, Gianluigi Buffon, Alessandro Del Piero, Andrea Pirlo and Luca Toni) along with many other internationals, comprise the 27-man Juventus roster led by new manager, Antonio Conte.

24 July 2011: Juventus v. Sporting Clube de Portugal from BMO Field in Toronto. (ended FT 1-2 Sporting read more in John Molinaro’s piece,  Sporting Lisbon wins Toronto friendly against Juventus

26 July 2011: Juventus v. Club America from Citi Field in Flushing, New York.
28 July 2011: Juventus v. Chivas de Guadalajara from Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina. (This is on the campus of NC State University).

Video from NovaCare Facility

In comments made from Philadelphia to the Milan sports daily, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus and Azzurri keeper, Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon, discussed the off-season moves to strengthen the team, the American training facility and a secret future desire:

“The first impressions are positive because we have surely reinforced our team thanks to a few new acquisitions. Everyone is ready to sacrifice and to think only of the common cause and for the good of Juventus. And this is a good starting point. The last two seasons are forgotten. Or better yet for those present not to make the same major errors again.”

On the hot weather of the U.S. Eastern coast:

“The summer climate in these parts is frequently like this. The positive aspect is that you have fewer muscular problems. Even if it’s not the same intensity that you could put out with better temperatures. NovaCare is a classic American training center: It resembles a college, there are enormous spaces and everything there is at your disposal.”

On his future:

“I have never thought of coming here to close out my career and that’s because I’m confident that I’ll play for Juventus. But for three or four years, I’ve had a crazy idea in my head to manage the U.S. national team. Or perhaps the Chinese team. Either of the two would be great experiences.”

Buffon Trivia

- Gigi was born in Carrara, Tuscany, which is the same town where Michelangelo quarried marble for his famous works of art.

- In June 2011, Buffon became a 20 percent owner in his hometown Lega Pro Prima Divisione side, Carrarese Calcio. (2)


(1) “Buffon, L’Americano: Vorrei fare il c.t. USA”; La Gazzetta dello Sport; 22 July 2011; G. B. Olivero.
(2) “Gigi Buffon Acquista il 20 per cento di Carrarese”; Tuttosport; 9 June 2021.

Steve Amoia is a freelance writer, editor and translator from Washington, D.C. He is the founder of World Football Commentaries. He has written and translated for AC Cugini Scuola Calcio (Italian soccer school), Beyond The Pitch, Football Media, Italian Soccer Serie A, Keeper Skool and Soccerlens. You can follow Steve @worldfootballcm on Twitter.

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