Serie A 2017-18 season grades: Juventus

Juventus players celebrate the victory after the Serie A football match between FC Internazionale and Juventus FC at Giuseppe Meazza stadium on April 28, 2018 in Milan, Italy. Final results: 2-3. (Photo by Massimiliano Ferraro/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Juventus players celebrate the victory after the Serie A football match between FC Internazionale and Juventus FC at Giuseppe Meazza stadium on April 28, 2018 in Milan, Italy. Final results: 2-3. (Photo by Massimiliano Ferraro/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

Juventus won both the Serie A and Coppa Italia in 2017-18. Here’s why they get an A for their overall performance.


Juventus didn’t make it easy on themselves, but in the end they prevailed against Napoli to win the league for a seventh straight time. A 4-0 win against AC Milan won them the Coppa Italia. Overall, it was a season of mostly ups (domestically), but of downs (in the Champions League after crashing out in the quarterfinals to Real Madrid) that shouldn’t take away from a team that’s stacked with talent and on a winning path that appears to have no end in sight.

Indeed, the Bianconeri were too strong at the end of last season and had only gotten stronger over the summer with the additions of Blaise Matuidi, Douglas Costa, Federico Bernardeschi and Wojciech Szczesny. It still remains to be seen whether playmaker Paulo Dybala is the heir to Lionel Messi for Argentina. For Juve, he did just enough (he missed a stretch in the middle of the season due to injury) to get them winning league matches on a consistent basis despite heavy competition from Napoli throughout most of the season.

“A wonderful and important season comes to a close, yet we don’t get the credit we deserve for what we have achieved,” Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini told Italy’s Mediaset Premium after the team clinched the league title with a 0-0 draw against Roma. “We are writing pages in the history books that can never be repeated. We must thank those who motivate us continually, as every year we want to keep winning. We might be hard to kill, ugly, old, whatever, but we still always win. We’ve achieved something incredible.”


Under manager Massimiliano Allegri, this is a team that have proven to be clutch when it matters most. Despite the use of VAR, critics claimed Juve got the right calls as they always do. This doesn’t take away from the fact they’re well-oiled machine that won’t give up their supremacy anytime soon. While Allegri has been rumored to be leaving the club, possibly for Arsenal, this summer, he said there’s no chance that’s happening unless he’s fired. His 4-2-3-1 system proved effective with enough depth on the bench to be able to compete on several fronts during the season.

“I think I’ll be staying at Juve also next year,” he told reporters after his team won the title. “We’ve done something extraordinary. Four years like this will not be easy to repeat. Now I’m going to spend a few days at the seaside because the wind there blows away everything, including some of those I’ve had to hear this year and have made me laugh.”

Next: The best player on every team at the World Cup


The ability to win so much has helped the team attract some of the world’s best players. The aforementioned Costa (on loan from Bayern Munich) had an extraordinary season and gave Juventus speed and creativity in the midfield alongside Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic. In attack, Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain were the go-to players when it came to getting goals and it proved effective for long stretches of the season.

That’s not to say, however, that Juve are not in the market for a more consistent scorer. Juve could be looking to sell both players this summer should they get the right offers. If this season proved anything, it’s that Juve have depth across the field, including in attack. Strikers Juan Cuadrado and Mario Mandzukic were more than capable at creating and scoring goals when the team needed them most.

It was also goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon’s last season, capping off a legendary career that began at Parma in 1995. At Juventus, Buffon, a member of the team since 2001, has played in 508 league matches. Although he has never lifted a Champions League trophy, Buffon remains one of the best to ever play the position. Should Buffon officially retire, his replacement could be Szczesny, the former Arsenal keeper also proving key at various points this season.

Juve’s road to their 34th scudetto, winning it with a game to spare, may have been the hardest for this team in recent history. Indeed, Serie A had the tightest title race of any of Europe’s biggest domestic leagues. Juventus were six points clear of Napoli just a month ago, but saw that advantage slashed to a point in the space of a week. That culminated in Napoli defeating Juventus 1-0 in Turin. That had left many — Allegri included — calling the Partenopei the title favorites. From the premature celebrations in Naples, you would have thought Napoli were the ones ahead in the table.

“The greatest merit of the team was that they were always able to keep their calm because in soccer things can change in a second,” Allegri told reporters when asked about how the season ended. “You need to take it one step at a time without getting overwhelmed by enthusiasm when things are going well and you need to never stop working in the difficult moments. You need to work well on a mental level because if you have too many surges and dips of mood, you’re not going to win.”

But the season took another dramatic twist just a week later on April 28 when Juventus scored two goals in the span of two minutes in the waning minutes of its encounter with Inter Milan to turn things around. That 3-2 win at the San Siro, on Higuain’s game-winning goal in the 89th minute, dealt Napoli a psychological blow.

The following day, Napoli were soundly defeated 3-0 by Fiorentina. The season was effectively over at that point, only confirmed a week later when Juventus dispatched Bologna 3-1 and Napoli could only muster a 2-2 draw at home against Torino.

Grade: A