This Page Contains Italian Football Club from Turin, La Veccia Signora
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The strength of an idea
A bench in Corso Re Umberto, one of noble boulevards in downtown Torino.
A group of friends, with the passion for football, a special game that had recently been “imported” from England, met on a bench. They had an intriguing idea, to create a Sports Club. The boys attended the “Massimo D’Azeglio” high school which specialized in Classical Studies, they were well educated but the eldest was only 17 years old. This paved the way for the name, in old Latin language the name “Juventus” means youth. They weren’t yet aware of it, but on 1st November 1897, they had given birth to a legend.
Italy’s greatest football team had been born, if almost by chance. The club’s first President wasEnrico Canfari, the first pitch was Piazza d’Armi (Parade Ground) and the side began life by wearing pink. Sporting the same jersey, the club made its debut in the National Championship in 1900. Three years later, the Bianconero colours were in place, originating from Nottingham. Five years later, the first Italian title arrived, having beaten off stiff competition from Genoa and Milanese. President Alfredo Dick from Switzerland, left the club shortly afterwards following rifts in the dressing rooms and various complaints. He then went on to establish Torino and recruit the best foreign players. Juventus suffered some hard times in the subsequent years, due to not being able to compete with the new footballing powers of the moment, Pro Vercelli and Casale.
The Bianconeri made a triumphant return following the First World War: goalkeeper Giacone and defenders Novo and Bruna were the first Juventus players to wear the National Team’s jersey. The President was the poet and man of words Corradino Corradini, who also penned the Juventus anthem used until the 60’s. 1923 was a special year: Giampiero Combi made his first team debut, proving to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time and contributed to change the club’s standing. On July 24th, a meeting of the shareholders saw Mr Edoardo Agnelli, the son of the founder of FIAT, elected as the new president. The club also had its own playing surface, in Corso Marsiglia. Terraces were just bricks and the number of supporters increased daily. Juventus had all the foundations to progress through the ranks of Italian football and to strengthen a side already boasting the likes of Combi, Rosetta, Munerati, Bigatto and Grabbi, along with the first official manager, Hungarian Jeno Karoly, and the first foreign world-beater, also from Hungary, left-winger Hirzer.
In 1925/26 Juventus won their second Scudetto, following a gripping final with Bologna, beaten only in a play-off and a grand final against Alba Roma. But this was only just the beginning: from1930 to 1935, Juve were way out in front and five consecutive Scudetti came to Torino. The main components of the “Golden Five-year period” were the manager Carlo Carcano and champions such as Orsi, Caligaris, Monti, Cesarini, Varglien I and II, Bertolini, Ferrari and Borel II. Juve also gave a prominent contribution to the National Team, who won the World Cup in Rome in 1934. The 1930s saw the Bianconeri have their first experience in continental competition, taking part in the European Cup, the illustrious predecessor of the current Champions League. Luck was not on Juve’s side, but they did make four semi-final appearances.
Juventus resumed their success after the Second World War. In 1947, Giovanni Agnelli, son of Edoardo, who tragically died in a plane crash in 1935, became president. The club’s most heralded champions were now Carlo Parola, the Danes John Hansen and Praest and, most of all, Giampiero Boniperti. Cheered on by thousands of fans, they achieved Scudetto wins in 1950and 1952.
In 1953, Giovanni Agnelli left his role as president, which was passed onto his brother Umbertotwo years later. A new triumphant cycle was beginning: initiated by the arrivals of Omar Sivoriand John Charles, the Bianconeri conquered the Scudetto in 1958, allowing themselves to wear a star on their shirts having reached ten national titles. In the 60s, there were three more successes, with the last coming in 1967 under Vittore Catella’s presidency, but Juve’s history began to become even more glorious at the start of the new decade. Giampiero Boniperti had hung up his boots, but he continued to lead the team, on 13th July 1971, he became the new President and there was no stopping the Bianconeri.