In the latest Q&A, we welcome Enrico Passarella, a writer who covers diligently the Italian league, in particular fantasy football and transfer news. If you want the latest injury news as well as other updates regarding Serie A then you should give Enrico a follow on Twitter @Guardalinee. You will not regret it.
Check out the Q&A’s first segment below and read what Enrico has to say about legends such as Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon and others. Feel free to reach out to both Enrico and @RamiSoufi on their respective Twitter account. You should scroll below and look for Enrico’s take on Juve’s all-time best player!
1) Name your 3 favorite Juve players, and tell us why?
Gianluigi Buffon: This is a particularly easy one. I was a goalkeeper when I was a kid and that plays a huge role. It is very simple, I always looked up to him and felt a strong
connection because of playing in a similar position on the field despite of course the gap in levels.
Alessandro Del Piero: This is another simple choice. He is an undisputed icon for all things Juventus. He is one of those star players who brought endless joy to the Juve fan base.
Giorgio Chiellini: I always loved his grit and charisma. I absolutely admired the way he went toe-to-toe with the best opponents while still setting the tone for the whole squad, particularly in key matches.
2) From the current squad, list your favorite players per position & state why?
Among defenders, I am going with Chiellini again for the reasons I just mentioned a short while ago. I feel confident Matthijs de Ligt can and will fill the void once the captain retires.
In midfield, Rodrigo Bentancur is my choice. Juve can always count on his contribution, including his fair share of yellow cards, and he has shown exponential growth since joining the club. He already has about 30 caps for Uruguay.
In attack, it must be Paulo Dybala. He is truly a joy to watch when he is able to express himself and when he is in good form. I would add that he is a true difference-maker and I strongly believe he can still improve to get to another level.
3) Name the most important Juve triumph in your lifetime, and explain why?
The first Scudetto under Antonio Conte back in 2011 because it meant Juve were finally back where they belong after several difficult years. It was also an incredible achievement as the squad was inferior when compared to other title contenders. At the end, the players pulled it off, with much of it thanks to their drive and perseverance.
4) Choose your favorite Juve match. Why?
No doubt when talking about this one. It is Juventus-Real Madrid in the semifinals of the Champions League in 2003 with the Bianconeri winning 3-1. Juve performed a remarkable comeback against a legendary team and the best Bianconeri players, Del Piero, David Trezeguet and Pavel Nedved scored while our number one Buffon saved a penalty. So all the key players from that squad chipped in on that memorable night. I cannot stress enough how it was a truly magical night.
5) Choose two from Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal for your midfield, and state why?
I am definitely picking Pirlo and Vidal -both unique contributors. There is really nobody like Pirlo, who remains unmatched for the way he was able to pull the strings and dictate the tempo with his class and vision. Vidal was an animal in his prime, he embodied the fighting spirit of the club and it was a gut punch when he decided to leave.
6) What are Juve’s weaknesses? Many focus on the midfield while some say it is the lack of creativity when Dybala is not playing. Your thoughts?
The current fullbacks are not great but the biggest issue lies in the midfield- an area that is too dependent on Miralem Pjanic from a creative standpoint. To make matters worse, Pjanic has been subpar this year, and does not provide much scoring in any case.
Summer signings Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot were supposed to fix that, but the former has been too injury prone and the latter has yet to really settle in. It is another cautionary tale when it comes to signing free players as it can backfire too. I can see a major investment coming in to fill the gaps in midfield if Juve plan to compete regularly in Europe.
7) Who is the best player to ever wear the Juve shirt?
In the modern era I would confidently say a certain Cristiano Ronaldo. His achievements speak louder than all the words of praise any of us can give. In the past, I’d single out Michel Platini. The Frenchman achieved a lot on both the individual and team level while with the Bianconeri. Still, Buffon’s standing in the history of the sport should not be underestimated so his is a name we must always keep in mind. I am not going to single out one name, so I would let my fellow Juventini ponder on this point.