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Juventus rebuilds squad to attain past glory

Italian football club Juventus has undertaken a complete overhaul of the squad before beginning their new Serie A campaign, following one of its worst seasons in recent memory

india Updated: Aug 26, 2010 12:58 IST
Juventus,football,UEFA Champions League

Italian football club Juventus has undertaken a complete overhaul of the squad before beginning their new Serie A campaign. Following one of its worst seasons in recent memory, when it finished seventh last season, 27 points adrift of champions Inter Milan, was eliminated from the group phase of the Champions League and also faced an early exit from the Europa League and Italian Cup in the early stages.

Andrea Agnelli, who replaced Jean-Claude Blanc as club president has decided to infuse new blood into the team, with new coach Luigi Delneri and director general Giuseppe Marotta having been lured from Sampdoria.The new management has spent more money in the offseason transfer market than any other Italian club, more than euro50 million ($60 million) on eight new players.

The new arrivals include goalkeeper Marco Storari from Sampdoria, defenders Leonardo Bonucci from Bari and Marco Motta from AS Roma. midfielder Milos Krasic has moved from CSKA Moscow, while Alberto Aquilani has arrived on loan from Liverpool after an exchange deal with Christian Poulsen. Forward Simone Pepe has arrived from Udinese. They have also dispensed with the services of defender Fabio Cannavaro and midfielderSebastian Giovinco.

Storari is an important addition since veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is expected to miss the first few months of the season following lower back surgery. Forwards David Trezeguet and Diego have decided to stay at the club, despite transfer rumours following a difficult season. The attack will be led by Diego, Amauri, Pepe and 35-year-old talismanic captain Alessandro Del Piero with striker Vicenzo Iaquinta still recovering from a nagging injury.

Having to qualify for the Europa League by virtue of coming seventh last season, they have been playing European qualifiers from july. Hence,by the time Juve starts its Serie A campaign at Bari on Sunday it will have already played four games in Europe.After missing out on this season's Champions League, Juve is aiming for a top-four finish to qualify for the top club competition next season, when the club is scheduled to open its new stadium.

Quoting Coach Delneri "We're in good form but we've got to get into top form real fast, because everyone wants to beat Juve".

First Published: Aug 26, 2010 11:04 IST