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There is no doubt about it – this Scudetto tastes the sweetest. Some were won in more convincing fashion and others (2001-02) were secured in more dramatic circumstances. Yet for pure emotion and its back-story, nothing can top the Scudetto success of 2011-12, the season Juventus returned to former glory.

After the disappointment of the dropped points against Lecce in midweek, Juve knew they had to respond versus Cagliari and did so almost instantly with Mirko Vucinic on target. It was a nervous Juve thereafter – perhaps understandably with what was at stake and considering the see-sawing nature of the crucial Milan Derby – without the same panache as witness during the recent eight-match winning run.

However, in the few minutes when Michele Canini looped an unfortunate own goal over Michael Agazzi in Trieste to the scenes in Milan where Diego Milito completed his hat-trick and Maicon netted a scorcher, Juve knew their dreams were becoming reality.

These were dreams the club, players and fans held since 2006. From the time the Calciopoli scandal broke in May that year, with the subsequent sentencing and relegation, until the present time, Juventini have been to hell and back. Fans saw players, the Coach and directors leave, but those that remained were forever heroes. Only Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon - as well as then youngsters Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio and Paolo De Ceglie - survive on the pitch nowadays but the Scudetto is for the likes of David Trezeguet and Mauro Camoranesi too.

From the opening match in Rimini where Matteo Paro scored Juve’s first ever Serie B goal, to facing old rivals Genoa and Napoli and sealing promotion against Arezzo (led by a certain Antonio Conte), Juve had began the journey back. From the highs of the Claudio Ranieri era – defeating Inter at the Stadio San Siro in 2007-08 and Real Madrid twice the following campaign – to the lows of an eight-match winless streak leading to Ranieri’s dismissal, Juve were again challenging but it was not the same outfit. It lacked Lo Stile Juventus.

2009-10 was incredibly frustrating for the club after heavy investment for little return and an embarrassing exit in the Champions League, whilst last season provided the foundation but looked like it would need more than just one more campaign to achieve success.

Yet Conte did so instantly: 37 games unbeaten to seal the Scudetto. One more match to equal Perugia 1978-79 and Milan 1991-92 as the only unbeaten seasons in Serie A history. But Juventus have already beaten their games record and finally look like their old selves. The Lecce native was a catalyst, as were Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, a rejuvenated Buffon, Andrea Barzagli and Chiellini. Nonetheless everybody played their part and it would be wrong not to acknowledge that, as it would to not recognise the work done off the pitch, led by Andrea Angelli.

Attention will now turn to securing a domestic double – echoing the last such achievement in 1994-95, a team the current squad has often been compared to – when Juventus faces Napoli in the Coppa Italia final. They will look to send Del Piero out in the best possible fashion before setting sights on Europe. But that is for next season. For now, Juve and their legions of fans will simply enjoy the sweetest victory of all.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Juventino to the end says:

    Juve has a long way to go before they become their former selves.

    But for now, I am exuberant about their 30th win of Serie A championship. Yes, like it or not, 30 frickin Scudetti.

  2. Ganco says:

    Del Piero poem for sure..

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