Although Andrea Agnelli’s time as Juventus president has ended with a somewhat embarrassing and shocking resignation, with the club under investigation for alleged financial irregularities, there is no doubting that his era at the club was one of the most successful in its history.
The Champions League trophy might have remained out of reach for the Bianconeri boss, but dominating domestically and claiming 14 major trophies during 12 years in charge is a significant achievement, and Tuttomercatoweb has published a Best Agnelli XI.
Few surprises in defence
For many the greatest goalkeeper, certainly Italian, of all-time, no one could argue with Gianluigi Buffon taking the no.1 jersey for the Agnelli XI, having won seven titles in a row with Juventus and including the famed BBC ahead of the age-defying custodian is also an easy selection.
Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are not only Bianconeri icons in their own right, but were collectively just as legendary. However, the selection of the trio in a back four, with ex-Lazio wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner in an orthodox right-back position, results in the often rare appearance in latter years of Chiellini on the opposite flank.
Several players such as Patrice Evra, Mattia De Sciglio, Alex Sandro and Kwadwo Asamoah have occupied the position during Agnelli’s time, but the lack of longevity means it has to be the 2006 World Cup winner at left-back.
A midfield three of Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal also excelled for a short period together in the Juventus first-team, but their inclusion also signifies the Old Lady’s ability to maximise the benefits of the transfer market during Agnelli’s time.
The Frenchman and Italian arrived in Turin out of contract to make major contributions to the club’s resurgence, while they secured the Chilean for just €10.5m in 2011. Hometown hero Claudio Marchisio just misses out.
At the top end of the pitch is an Argentine duo, with the subtlety and technique of Paulo Dybala complemented by the tenacity and drive of countryman Carlos Tevez, spearheaded by the somewhat controversial selection of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese superstar arrived in Serie A at enormous expense and lasted just three seasons in Italy, but netted an unbelievable, were it not for his record at former sides Manchester United and Real Madrid, 101 goals in 134 games in all competitions.