Winter has arrived. The traditional Serie A winter break has been pushed back a few weeks to accommodate an “English-style” festive period. Now, with January in full fling, the clubs are taking a bit of time off to recover. So, naturally, it’s time to think about Serie A transfers.
How do you replace a man like Gianluigi Buffon? For the past two decades, Buffon has been a mainstay between the posts for both the Italian national team and his club side, Juventus.
During that time, he’s demonstrated remarkable consistency, spending twenty years as one of the best keepers in the world. Even when Juve was relegated in 2006, he stayed with the team. He’s unquestionably a legend of the game. But the end is nigh.
It’s one of the first lessons you learn playing soccer (or most any sport): play to the whistle. That tenet is even more important in the age of VAR, when professionals know the referee can consult replay to confirm goals, at least in countries that aren’t in the Dark Ages. The Mario Mandzukic goal vs. Torino was the result of Juventus punishing its rival for not playing to the whistle in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals on Wednesday.
2017 was a pronounced year with regards to the retirement of a legion of decorated footballers. In the list below, we have an assortment of winners of the World Cup, European Championship, Copa America, Champions League and pretty much every domestic title out there.
Sadly, we’ve seen the last of this group on the professional pitch and on our gaming consoles via FIFA. Here are 10 footballers (along with a few honorable mentions) that hung up their boots this year.
Last week, Serie A news revolved around goals. Goals change games was the mantra. After Juventus beat Napoli, it seemed like it was all change at the top of the table.
Instead, many of this week’s most important matches were goalless. Not bad, as such, but not quite the high scoring affairs we’d hoped for.
Goals change games. That’s pretty much football 101. That’s how the game works. But not every goal is created equal. This week in Serie A, the true value of a goal was shown to be different on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So let’s take a look at the three goals that defined the weekend and why they differed so widely.
This isn’t exactly a hot take, but damn that Juventus defense can be impressive, even after losing two key figures from last season’s rearguard. Massimiliano Allegri has created a defensive unit that, on its day, can shut down the most potent of offenses. They don’t sit super deep or press super high, but their supreme organization dulls even the sharpest of attacks.
The Bianconeri defense pitched a ninth shutout of the season in a 1-0 blanking of league-leading Napoli on Friday at Stadio San Paolo in Naples, the home side’s first Serie A loss of the season.
Barcelona’s assured display in a 0-0 draw with Juventus on Wednesday guaranteed the Blaugrana top spot in Champions League Group D, and with Lionel Messi spending the better part of the opening hour on the bench in Turin, the usual Barca suspects came to the fore to help their side navigate this tricky tie.