18.08.2020 » Can Juve's new coach guide Ronaldo to more European success?
Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus might have enjoyed trophy success in Serie A once again this season, but many fans will be disappointed that they have not been able to reach similar heights on the European stage. Defeat to Olympique Lyon in the last-16 round of the UEFA Champions League has led to swift changes at the top, however, with Maurizio Sarri leaving the club and a new replacement being appointed very swiftly. Could this finally allow the Italian champions to step up their game in toughest competition of all next season?
Juventus - The last time Juve won the Champions League (1996):
At the start of August, sites including BBC Sport revealed that Andrea Pirlo had been appointed to the job – just days after he was given a coaching position which would have seen him work with the Juventus Under-23 side.
The former international midfielder's to-do list after taking the role will feature a number of issues, including ensuring that Ronaldo and Juventus continue to enjoy their incredible Serie A success. The Italian top flight has been dominated by the club across the last decade and there will be every expectation that they should be able to continue on the same path.
However, there is undoubtedly one other key task that Pirlo will have been asked to undertake – guiding the Old Lady of Turin back to the top of European football. While the club has been a regular part of the Champions League for many years, success has not always been easy to come by.
The loss to Lyon not only knocked Juventus out of the Champions League, but it also meant that another Italian team – Atalanta – actually managed to go further in the competition. In addition, despite the victory, Lyon were still regarded by many as outsiders for European Cup success. In fact, anyone betting on football at Space Casino in the days after the match saw that they were still the odd man out in the betting scene. Since then, they're still viewed as the least likely to win at 16/1 to win the Champions League outright.
It is now three years since Juventus last reached the Champions League final, with Mario Mandzukic scoring a spectacular goal in a 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid. CR7 fans will probably not need reminding that he grabbed two of the goals for Madrid on that famous night in Cardiff.
Remarkably, you have to go pretty far back to find the last time that the club actually won the competition, with Juve taking the famous trophy home in 1996 following a hard-fought final against Ajax. Fabrizio Ravanelli scored in the match which ended 1-1 after extra time, with the Italian side ultimately winning 4-2 on penalties. That was only the second time that Juve have won the competition, with UEFA's site highlighting how the club lags behind both AC Milan and Inter in terms of European Cup wins.
Getting back to the top
With all of that in mind, it is not a huge stretch to consider that European success might be high on the agenda for Pirlo as he begins his work as Juve's new manager. The club is an undisputed giant of European football, but many will be hoping that Pirlo's vast experience gained from a remarkable playing career could get Juventus and Ronaldo back to the top of the tree.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Juventus in the Serie A is on September 19, against Torino. You can watch Juventus vs Torino, Colombia vs Uruguai, RB Leipzig vs PSG, Lyon vs Bayern Munich, Brazil vs Venezuela, and Argentina vs Paraguay, all matches provided from our live soccer game pages.
Juventus next game:
Juventus vs Torino kick-off time (19-09-2020):
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