Our previous post looked in depth at the fantastic record Juventus has signing players thought to be in the autumn of their careers. As a follow-up we’ve created a new fantasy Eleven based around that premise: the best team we could assemble comprising players who arrived in Turin to play for Juventus at the age of 29 or older.
1.Dino Zoff. Aged 32 (1972-82)
A keeper in his 30s is admittedly a less risky signing than an outfield player of similar age, but not even in their wildest dreams did Juventus imagine the ageing Italian international would be first-choice for the next decade when they signed him in 1972.
2.Lilian Thuram. Aged 29 (2001-06)
Expensively acquired from Parma 6 months shy of his 30th birthday, Thuram spent 5 years as an important member of what was a teak-tough Juventus rearguard, whether playing at right-back (where we have selected him) or in central defence.
3.Patrice Evra. Aged 33 (2014- )
A lengthy and successful spell with Manchester United reached its natural conclusion last summer. The left-back sought out a new challenge in Serie A with Juventus and promptly showed the sort of form that few expected to see from him again.
4.Romeo Benetti. Aged 30 (1976-79)
The hard-tackling Benetti has a distinction not shared by any other member of this team. His career started out in Turin where he couldn’t force his way into first team contention, so it was moves to Sampdoria and then Milan that put him on the map and earned him international recognition. With his career in decline he rejoined Juventus at the age of 30 and played an important role over the next three successful seasons at the club.
5.Luisito Monti. Aged 29 (1930-39)
See Monti’s Juventus story from our previous piece.
6.Fabio Cannavaro. Aged 30 (2004-06)
A rough diamond at Napoli polished by Parma into one of the best central defenders in the world. When Parma hit the financial skids, the Italian international defender moved to Inter in a transfer that didn’t work out for club or player. Juventus took a chance on the 30-year-old and he repaid them with some the best form of his career.
7.Helmut Haller. Aged 29 (1968-73)
West German international playmaker Helmut Haller wanted to return to his native West Germany after six good seasons with Bologna – at least until a call out of the blue from Juventus offered him a chance of an extended Serie A career. His position in Turin aided undoubtedly by the ban on new foreign players, Haller brought his trademark professionalism and discipline to the Juventus midfield over the next half decade.
8.Andrea Pirlo. Aged 32. (2011-15 )
The gifted midfield playmaker proved many times over how catastrophic a misjudgment it had been for Inter to allow him to move to Milan, then he did it again on a lesser scale after Milan allowed him to leave for Juventus in 2011.
9.José Altafini. Aged 31 (1972-76)
See Altafini’s Juventus story from our previous piece.
10.Carlos Tevez. Aged 29 (2013- )
Departing England after enjoying success with both the Manchester clubs, Tevez’s career looked to be winding down in the less frenetic environment of Serie A. The move to Juventus proved to be the perfect tonic for the Argentinian though and he re-discovered the coruscating form and pugnacious attitude that characterised him at his peak.
11.Roberto Boninsegna. Aged 32 (1976-79)
See Boninsegna’s Juventus story from our previous piece.