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Juventus Champions League History

Sun 12 June 2022 | 14:00

Juventus have won Champions League title twice in 1985 and 1996. Read on to find out more about Juventus Champions League history.

Juventus Football Club is an Italian professional association football club based in Turin, Piedmont. The club was founded as Sport-Club Juventus in late 1897 by pupils from the Massimo d'Azeglio Lyceum school in Turin, among them the brothers Eugenio and Enrico Canfari, but were renamed as Foot-Ball Club Juventus two years later.

The club joined the Italian Football Championship in 1900.

Juventus

is the most successful club in Italian football and one of the most awarded globally.

Overall, Juventus has won 70 official titles on the national and international stage, more than any other Italian club: 36 official league titles, 14 Coppa Italia titles, nine Supercoppa Italiana titles, being the record holder in all these competitions; and, with 11 titles in confederation and inter-confederation competitions; two Intercontinental Cups, two European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions Leagues (1985, 1996), one European Cup Winners' Cup, three UEFA Cups, one UEFA Intertoto Cup and two UEFA Super Cups, the club ranks sixth in Europe and twelfth in the world with the most trophies won.

Juventus entered the final with the best defensive record in the 2016–17 Champions League, having conceded only three times. Previously Juventus won finals in 1985 and 1996, and lost a record seven in 1973, 1983, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2015 and 2017.

The 2017 Champions League final saw

Real Madrid

go on to lift their third European Cup in four years after beating Juventus 4-1 in Cardiff.

Juventus Champions League History:

Why do Juventus fail in the Champions League despite dominating Serie A? Juventus have been runners-up the most times, losing seven

Champions League finals

but everything clicked for them in the 1995-96 season.

Road to the 1st title:

Juventus debuted in the European competitions for the first time in the 1958-59 season, but they were unable to qualify for the quarter-finals after a commiserating loss to the Austrian team, Wiener Sport-Club, the results being 8-3 on aggregate; Juventus won the first leg 3-1, but lost the second game 7-0 to everyone's surprise.

Their second experience in the European Cup was as bad as their first one. Finally, in their third appearance in the European Cup, they were able to qualify for the quarter-finals but were once again eliminated by the hands of Real Madrid, the finalists.

They didn't participate in the competition for 5 years, what's in the 1967-68 season they came back to the competition and found themselves in the top 4 teams. In the semi-finals, they had to face Benfica, the Portuguese champion.

Although Juventus had a good run that year and eliminated teams like Eintracht Braunschweig, Rapid Bucharest, and Olympiacos, they couldn't outplay

Benfica

and, in the end, lost both games.

Juventus's first final in the European Cup came in the year 1973 against the mighty Ajax of that time, captained by

Johan Cruyff

. In order to get to the final, Juventus eliminated Marseille, Magdeburg, Újpest Dozsa, and Derby Country. 

En route to the final, Juventus scored 10 goals in 8 games and kept 5 clean sheets. In the final, A goal from Johnny Rep four minutes into the match was enough for Ajax to claim their third consecutive European Cup and leave Juventus in awe after their first European Cup loss.

Three seasons passed by but Juventus were unable to achieve any European titles until Giovanni Trapattoni was appointed as Juventus head coach.

In his first year, Trapattoni I was able to guide Juventus into the UEFA Cup final. The 1977 UEFA Cup Final was played on 4 May 1977 and 18 May 1977 between Italian side Juventus and Spanish side Athletic Club.

Juventus won 2-2 on away goals; Juventus won the first game 1-0 thanks to a goal by Marco Tardelli in the 15th minute, and although they lost the second match 2-1, they won the game due to the away-goal rule.

This is the only triumph for an Italian side in an official European tournament without foreign players in its first-team squad. It also marked Juventus' first title in European football, as well as the first time the

UEFA Cup

was won by a Southern European club.

Trapattoni didn't stop there and made Juventus into a European Cup semi-finalist once again, after beating

Ajax

, right after their UEFA Cup Championship. Unfortunately for them, however, they were eliminated by the hands of Club Brugge in the semi-final. 

For some years after, Juventus focused more on the domestic titles and quite deservingly they won 5 titles in 8 years in Serie A, but the fans were still waiting for a European Cup title.

They came so close to lifting the trophy in 1983, with the arrival of French superstar at the time,

Michel Platini

, when they had the play the German side of Hamburg in the finals.

But a single goal from Felix Magath eight minutes into the game was enough for Hamburg to claim their first European Cup title and leave Juventus empty-handed once again. It was also, the sixth consecutive European Cup Final to finish with a 1–0 score line.

Trapattoni was still the head coach and Juventus was still playing very aggressively in the attack. In the 1983-84 season, Juventus won the European Cup Winners' Cup in order to boost their morale for the European Cup.

Juventus was playing Porto Portugal on May 16th, 1984 in Basel in front of 60000 fans. Juventus won the match 2–1 due to goals by Beniamino Vignola and Zbigniew Boniek. It was the fourth year in succession the final had been settled by a 2–1 score line.

A year after their success in the European Cup Winners' Cup, Juventus gathered all their strength to finally lift the lucrative European Cup trophy.

Their squad consisted of some of the biggest names in their history for the 1984-85 season; Zbigniew Boniek, the Polish striker,

Paolo Rossi

, the torero, Le Roi, Michel Platini, all in all, captained by the legendary Massimo Briaschi and managed by Gio Trapattoni himself, created one of the best Juventus teams of all time.

Juventus gained entry to the competition by winning the 1983–84 Serie A, entering as Italian champions. Their opponents in the first round were Ilves of Finland.

The first leg in Finland, held at the Ratina Stadion, was won 4–0 by Juventus with a hat-trick by Paolo Rossi and a goal from Michel Platini. They won the second leg 2–1 at their home ground, Stadio Comunale, to win the tie 6–1 on aggregate.

In the second round, Juventus were drawn against Swiss team Grasshopper. Juventus won the first leg 2–0 in Italy and achieved a 4–2 victory in the second leg in Switzerland, which meant that they won the tie 6–2 on aggregate.

Juventus' opponents in the quarter-finals were Sparta Prague of Czechoslovakia. Goals from Marco Tardelli, Paolo Rossi, and Massimo Briaschi ensured a 3–0 victory for Juventus in the first leg in Italy.

They lost the second leg at Sparta's home ground, Letná stadium 1–0, but progressed to the semi-finals due to a 3–1 aggregate victory. In the semi-finals, Juventus played French team Bordeaux and won the first leg 3–0 in Italy with goals from Zbigniew Boniek, Briaschi, and Platini.

The second leg was held at Bordeaux's home ground, the Stade Chaban-Delmas. Despite winning the match 2–0,

Bordeaux

lost 3–2 on aggregate.

With these games, Juventus guaranteed their third final appearance in the European Cup. Their opponents, the frightening Liverpool with Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush in the attack.

The 1985 European Cup Final was played on 29 May 1985 at the Heysel Stadium, Brussels, Belgium. Liverpool were the reigning champions and was appearing in their fifth final, having won the competition in 1977, 1978, 1981, and 1984.

Juventus were appearing in their third European Cup final; they lost both of their previous appearances in 1973 and 1983. The match is overshadowed by the disaster that occurred before the kick-off.

Liverpool hooligans breached a fence separating the two groups of supporters and charged against a group of people including Italian and Juventus fans. The resulting weight of people caused a retaining wall to collapse, killing 39 people and injuring hundreds.

Despite calls for an abandonment, the match went ahead due to authorities and organizers’ making a joint decision for public policy doctrine reasons after a state of siege in the city was declared. The disaster prompted UEFA to ban English clubs from European football for five years.

Nevertheless, the match started with an hour delay. 4 minutes into the match, Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson was replaced by Gary Gillespie after Lawrenson suffered a recurrence of a shoulder injury.

Juventus planned to use the pace of Briaschi to threaten Liverpool. Juventus' first chance came in the 30th minute when Antonio Cabrini, advanced from the left-back position, but his shot was saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar.

After an intense 45-minute, the score was 0–0. Almost immediately after the restart,

Liverpool

suffered another injury. Paul Walsh stretched to reach a pass from Neal, aggravated a stomach strain, and was replaced by Craig Johnston.

Juventus were gaining ascendancy in the match, and in the 56th minute, they were awarded a penalty kick. After getting on the end of a Platini long ball, Boniek again went on a run through the center of the Liverpool defense and was brought down by Gillespie.

Liverpool believed that the foul was outside the area, but the Swiss referee awarded the penalty. Michel Platini scored the subsequent penalty to give Juventus a 1–0 lead.

Liverpool tried to find a way back into the match and created more chances near the end of the match but no further goals were scored and at full-time, the score was 1–0 to Juventus, who had won their first European Cup and became the first club to win all three seasonal UEFA competitions (European Cup, UEFA Cup, and the Cup Winners' Cup).

Road to the 2nd title:

A year after their European Championship,

Giovanni Trapattoni

decided to step down as the head coach, and the club delegated the position to Rino Marchesi.

Marchesi was not able to repeat any of his predecessor's success and left the club only after two years to give the position to the Legendary Dino Zoff.

Zoff, in his 2 years could not find any success in Syria for Juventus but he did manage to reach the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup in his first year and won the UEFA Cup in the next.

The 1990 UEFA Cup Final was played 1990 between Juventus and

Fiorentina

of Italy. Juventus won 3–1 on aggregate. This was the first final between two Italian sides in the UEFA competitions' history and the third between two clubs of the same country.

The first game that ended with Juventus winning 3-1, was the last official football game played at the Stadio Comunale until 2006 when Stadio delle Alpi was closed. The second game ended goalless to conclude Juventus as the champions.

After poor performances by three different managers that replaced Trapattoni, it was Gio himself that took over the job, once again.

Although even though he was not able to win the Serie A in the 3 years that he was the coach for the second time, he did manage to win another UEFA Cup in 1993. The Bianconeri played the final against

Borussia Dortmund

.

Juventus won 3–1 and 3–0 to record a 6–1 aggregate victory, a record aggregate score for a UEFA Cup final. After Trapattoni, in 1994, it was Marcello Lippi that received the steering wheel and he did a marvelous job during his time at Juve.

Lippi won the domestic double in his first year, Serie A and Coppa Italia. Although it is most likely that the Juventus fans favor his second year as one of the best seasons they have had. Juventus had failed to enter the European Cup since 1986 and in 1995 they finally ended the drought.

Juventus was seeded in Group C of the competition, alongside Borussia Dortmund, Steaua Bucharest, and Rangers. Juventus finished the group stage as group winners with 13 points; they won four matches, drew, and lost one.  They scored 15 goals while only conceding 4.

In the quarter-finals, Juventus had the face one of the best teams in Europe, Real Madrid. The Spaniards one the game at Santiago Bernabeu 1-0, but the Italians were able how to pull off a miracle and eliminate the Spanish champions with a 2-0 win thanks to goals by the young Alex Del Piero and Michele Padovano.

Nantes was their opponent in the semi-finals. Juventus won the first game 2-0 and scored another goal in the second game after 17 minutes. While every Juventus fan thought it would be an easy game for them, Nantes showed them that they were still fighting.

Nantes scored 3 goals but, in the end, it was Juventus that reserved their spot in the final after a 3-2 win, where the defending champions of the competition, Ajax were waiting for them.

Add the time, Ajax was one of the best teams in Europe, having multiple young and energetic players such as Edwin van der Sar, Edgar Davids, Frank & Ronald De Boer, and Patrick Kluivert, under the management of an ambitious coach, Louis Van Gaal.

But on the other hand, Juventus also had a very rich squad; Angelo Peruzzi, Paulo Sousa,

Didier Deschamps

, Antonio Conte, and Alessandro Del Piero, captained by current Italian national team assistant coach, Gianluca Vialli. These are names that are the Hall of Fames in Italian football.

The 1996

UEFA Champions League Final

was played at Stadio Olimpico in Roma on May 22, 1996, in front of 70000 football lovers from all over the world.

Thirteen minutes into the game, Frank De Boer made a costly mistake and was unable to find Edwin van der Sar, when at the same time, Fabrizio Ravanelli used the opportunity to score a goal for Juventus with a precise shot from a tight angle.

Minutes after, Ajax was awarded a corner kick; Peruzzi initially deflected the ball but it was another striker that headed the ball towards an empty net but it was Peruzzi again that clear the ball, all just inches before the ball went into the net.

In the 40th minute,

Frank De Boer

shot a curler into the net and Peruzzi once again deflected the ball, but unfortunately for the Italian goalkeeper, Jari Litmanen I was able to put the second ball into the back of the net and equalize the game 4 Ajax.

In the second half, both teams played a very beautiful game. Ajax was trying to dominate the position and move forward line by line in order to create chances from the sides, whereas Juventus was comfortable with defending deep and playing aggressively in their own half but being very quick in transition and turning interceptions to counter attacks with the help of their fast strikers.

It was during one of these counterattacks

Alessandro del Piero

found an empty space behind Danny blind and exploited the space with his pace to find Gianluca Vialli and made a through pass to him, but Vialli, although even dribbled the goalkeeper, I was in a very tight angle and eventually missed the shot.

It is also worth mentioning that both keepers had a heroic performance and saved important shots for their team. The game ended in the 90 minutes with a 1-1 draw and both teams had to play another 30 minutes to determine the winner.

Both teams did their best to score goals in the extra times but they were just too tired to finish the job. Thus, after 120 minutes of football the referee, Manuel Diaz Vega blew his whistle to indicate that the winner will be decided after the penalties.

The 23-year-Old, Edgar Davids, stood behind the first penalty but missed it very poorly and the goalkeeper was able to catch the ball that came towards the middle of the goal. Juventus scored all of their four penalties and the result was 4-2, it was Ajax's turn to take the penalty.

Sonny Silooy, the veteran defender, was given the responsibility to score the 4th penalty but it was Angelo Peruzzi that stepped up and saved the party in order to give Juventus their second

UEFA Champions League title

ever.

The drought

After this championship, Juventus went into a drought of UEFA Champions League titles that stands to this date. Juventus appeared in the 1997 and 1998 finals, too. But lost both of them to Borussia Dortmund 3-1, and Real Madrid 1-0, respectively.

In the 1997 Final, Karl-Heinz Riedle put Dortmund ahead finishing from inside the six-yard box after Paul Lambert's cross. Riedle then made it two with a header from a corner kick from the right.

In the second half, Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero, who had come on as a substitute, scored via a back-heel from a cross by Alen Bokšić to make the score 2–1, but only 5 minutes later 20-year-old substitute and Dortmund local boy Lars Ricken latched on to a through-pass by Andreas Möller only 16 seconds after coming onto the pitch.

Ricken chipped Angelo Peruzzi in the Juve goal from over 20 yards with his first touch of the ball, to make it 3–1 for Dortmund. In the 1998 Final, after a rather boring final, it was Mijatović’s goal that sealed the deal for Real Madrid and ended their drought of Champions League titles after 32 years.

Juventus made it to the UCL Final again in 2003, but lost the game to their countrymen, AC Milan, at Old Trafford in the penalties; Milan missed two penalties out of five (by

Seedorf

and

Kaka

) but Juventus was not able to use these misses and they topped Milan Players’ mistakes with three missed penalties from Trezeguet, Zalayeta, and Montero. In the end, it was Shevchenko who scored the last penalty and won Milan their 6th Champions League title.

Their current coach, Massimiliano Allegri was able to resurrect Juventus after a decade and competed in two UEFA Champion League finals in three years in 2015 and 2017, but Juventus left both matches empty-handed, again.

Granted, both times they were up against better teams. In 2015, they lost 3-1 to Barcelona and their scary MSN attacking trio that contained Messi, Suarez, and Neymar, coached by their most successful coach after Guardiola, Luis Enrique in their treble-winning season.

And in 2017, Juventus fought hard against probably one of the best teams in the history of football, the Real Madrid team that won three consecutive Champions Leagues with Kroos, Modric, and Casemiro in midfield, and

Cristiano Ronaldo

, Karim Benzema, and Gareth Bale in attack coached by Zinedine Zidane. The game ended 4-1 in favor of the Madrileños.

Juventus fans have high hopes to reach another UCL final and win it this time around after losing 5 consecutive finals.

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