Vito Doria Date: 15th May 2018 at 7:37pm
Written by:

Despite chasing the leaders for the majority of the Serie A season in what was a break from the norm, tradition ultimately won out this year as Juventus rose to the top in time to be crowned Scudetto winners once again.

No team in Italian history had won seven titles in a row so it is a great achievement for Juventus regardless of the standard of the league these days and one of the men who deserves enormous credit for building this side is general director Giuseppe Marotta.

The 61-year-old joined the club in 2010 after spending eight years at Sampdoria, where he worked with a limited budget and created a squad that was good enough to reach the Champions League qualifying rounds. Juve had finished seventh in the 2009-10 season and changes took place off the field.

Andrea Agnelli replaced Jean-Claude Blanc as president while Marotta took the general director after Alessio Secco vacated his role as sporting director. Marotta brought sporting director Fabio Paratici from the Doriani as well as Coach Luigi Delneri but there were hardly any signs of improvement in 2010-11 season as the club finished seventh in the league again.

Udinese winger Simone Pepe and Bari defender Leonardo Bonucci had been acquired in the summer of 2010 while Cagliari striker Alessandro Matri and Wolfsburg defender Andrea Barzagli arrived in January 2011 but the Bianconeri had more activity on the transfer market in the summer.

Matri had been purchased outright from the Isolani for €15.5 million while Roma forward Mirko Vucinic was signed for €15m but the players who were acquired for less money ended up becoming the more influential parts of the team.

Right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner joined from Lazio, Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal arrived from German club Bayer Leverkusen, and AC Milan playmaker Andrea Pirlo joined on a free transfer. Delneri was replaced by Antonio Conte as coach and the former Juventus hero won the 2011-12 Serie A with this newly-assembled side which failed to lose a match.

Not content to sit on their laurels, the Bianconeri remained active in the 2012 summer transfer window, and although there were some obscure signings like strikers Nicklas Bendtner and Nicolas Anelka, the purchase of Udinese midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah and signature of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba on a free transfer were beneficial as they won back-to-back titles in the following season.

Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez was acquired for €10m and striker Fernando Llorente joined on a free transfer from Athletic Club before the 2013-14 season commenced and although Juventus went on to win a third scudetto in a row, the club finished third in their Champions League group before being eliminated by Benfica in the Europa League semi-finals.

Conte resigned in the summer of 2014 and he was replaced by Massimiliano Allegri. Although the Bianconeri were not as a active as in other summers, Spanish striker Alvaro Morata joining from Real Madrid for €20m and experienced left-back Patrice Evra signing from Manchester United for €1m were shrewd acquisitions as they secured another Serie A title and reached the Champions League Final in 2015 before losing 3-1 to Barcelona.

The 2015-16 season seemed to be a transitional year for La Vecchia Signora but Marotta and co weaved their magic again. Pirlo, Tevez, Llorente, and Vidal departed but forwards Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic were signed from Palermo and Atletico Madrid respectively, Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado arrived on loan, and Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira become another one of the Bianconeri’s free transfers.

Despite winning another Serie A title in that season and equaling the record set by the club which had won five scudetti in a row from 1931 to 1935, there was more disappointment in the Champions League as they were eliminated by Bayern Munich in the Round of 16.

Marotta decided to purchase star players from any potential rivals in Serie A so he decided to sign Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain and Roma playmaker Miralem Pjanic while other stars like Pogba and Morata were sold. Juventus reached their second Champions League Final in three years and lost 4-1 to Real Madrid but they found consolation in winning their sixth consecutive Serie A title.

Juventus found out on Sunday that they mathematically sealed their seventh title in a row and one of the keys to this win has been Brazilian winger Douglas Costa from Bayern Munich, who could be acquired outright at the end of the campaign for €40m.

It seems that the dominance of La Vecchia Signora in Serie A will not end soon and although key players have departed during this period of dominance, they have been replaced adequately thanks to the astute dealings of Beppe Marotta.