Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Juventus FC (Italy)

Juventus are one of a very small few clubs who can lay claim to being the biggest club in the world. The third most successful club in European history (after AC Milan and Real Madrid), they're also the most supported club in Europe with an estimated 170 million fans around the world, and it is reckoned that one in three Italian football fans follow the Juve.

They were formed in 1897 as Sport Club Juventus by Massimo D'Azeglio Lyceum school in Turin. They joined the Italian Football league in 1900, and it only took them five years until they won their first of many Scudettos. Since then they have spent their entire history in the top flight - bar the 2006/07 season when they were relegated as punishment for being part of the Italian Match Fixing Scandal.

But they didn't always play in the black and white stripes. For the first six years of their existence they played in rather snazzy pink shirts with a natty black tie - although they claim it was because the wrong ones got delivered before their first match... yeah, we've tried that one too. They changed them to the more familiar stripes in 1903 when their old ones started to fade, so sent to England for a shipment of Notts County shirts.

They've led a nomadic life and have had a number of home grounds over the years. For the first couple of years they played at the Parco del Valentino and Parco Cittadella, before settling on Piazza d'Armi Stadium for a few years, unitl 1908 (aside from a couple of seasons where they nipped over to the Corso Re Umberto. After that they lived at the Corso Sebastopoli Camp until 1922 and then spent the next eleven years at Corso Marsiglia Camp. It wasn't until 1933 that they settled on a more regular home, the Stadio Benito Mussolini - although they changed the name Stadio Comunale Vittorio Pozzo after the war for some reason. And there they stayed until 1990, when they moved into the Stadio delle Alpi, built for the 1990 World Cup - although in 2006 they moved back to Mussolini's old gaff, now renamed again to the Stadio Olimpico di Torino for a few seasons while they do up the Alpi.

In total they've won 27 league titles (also coming second another 20 times), nine Coppa Italias, Four Italian Supercups, and the Serie B title after their year in disgrace. On top of that they were the first club to win the European, UEFA and Cup Winners Cup, as well as the Intertoto Cup and the UEFA Super Cup, and when they won the Intercontinental Cup they became the first club side in the world to have won every available international competition. No wonder on of their many nicknames is Italy's Girlfriend.

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