After 9 years of magnificence, Bianconeri's reign comes to its end in a season to forget.
A season full of ups and downs, but mostly downs. In Serie A Juventus finished 4th, and if it wasn't for Ivan Juric's brave Hellas Verona it probably would've been even worse. Dissimilar to Serie A, Juventus did a worthy job in other domestic competitions, winning both Coppa Italia and Super Coppa. In Europe, like in recent years, the journey finished very quickly, this time against Porto.
Juventus' attack with 77 goals was the 4th best attack in the league after Atalanta, Inter & Napoli. Ronaldo with 29 league goals won the Serie A golden boot.
In defense, only Inter did a better job than Juventus in terms of goals allowed. Juve conceded 38, while Inter conceded 35.
During the season there were parts during which almost every player seemed very important. In the beginning, Ramsey was one of the main players but slowly he became a bench player. Weston McKennie had a very positive season, but he also had his naps. Arthur was considered the main part of the team in a 2 months long period in the middle of the season but he also vanished slowly. The same goes for Rabiot, Szczesny & Morata.
But 6 players stood out, they were superior to their teammates and they had also more consistency. Buffon only played 14 games, being unbelievably strong in all of them. It’s not a coincidence that Juventus’ best results of the season came when a 43 years old Buffon was between the posts. The highlight of Buffon season is the clean sheet in Camp Nou with a record-breaking number of saves.
Danilo was definitely the surprise of the season. His season was brilliant. He was ultra-reliable. He managed to stay fit for the whole duration of the season, while playing very good games, even being decisive in some of them. The amazing part about Danilo is that he had to play as a regista in a handful of games and he actually looked better than our midfielders.
The other player that loses the podium with a short gap (due to stats basically) is Matthijs De Ligt. The Blond Tower was one of the reasons that Pirlo’s reckless White & Blacks conceded only 3 goals more than Conte’s solid defense and had the second-best defense of the league. For defense freaks, De Ligt was a joy to watch. The youngster had a nearly perfect season and made a big difference in the back.
3- Federico Chiesa:
Although many were against his signing, Chiesa turned out to be the best signing of Juventus and became an immediate fan favorite.
With 8 goals in Serie A, 2 goals in Coppa Italia, and 4 Champions League goals, he scores an overall of 14 goals for Bianconeri in his debut season while providing a total of 11 assists in all competitions. The young Italian stood out in many big games: he scored 3 goals in 2 games vs Porto in the Champions League, a brace vs Milan in San Siro & scoring in the Coppa Italia finals.
Federico Chiesa has shown that he can be relied on. The most heartwarming fact about his season is that he tried to make a difference in the games in which Juventus were poor. Usually, in the last 2 seasons instead of trying, it has been seen that Juventus players get disappointed and have a mental breakdown.
The disappointing part about his season is that Pirlo didn’t use him on the right flank in most games of the season. Chiesa is clearly more comfortable in the right flank and did a very good job every time he played there.
2- Cristiano Ronaldo:
Cristiano Ronaldo finally broke the Capocannoniere curse as no Juventus player had managed to win the award after Alex Del Piero won it 13 years ago. Ronaldo started the season very well and despite having some down moments, he finished the season as one of the best players of the Juventus, he was overall a very good player this season but unfortunately, he didn't manage to shine in some of the most important games of the season including both matches vs Porto in Champions League, Coppa Italia final and the games vs Milanese clubs in the league.
1- Juan Cuadrado:
Unlike Juventus, Juan Cuadrado experienced a fantastic season. He enjoyed the best season of his career so far stats-wise and eye tests can prove it too. To be the best assist provider of Uefa Champions League isn’t something simple, especially since he left the tournament as early as in round 1/8.
In Serie A he gave 10 assists and finished as the 2nd best assist provider. Overall no fullback in Europe was as involved in goal-creating situations as Juan Cuadrado. Something that wasn’t talked about enough.
Last month’s piece was dedicated to Juan Cuadrado, click here for reading extensively about Cuadrado’s season.