6

The Boniperti era started with a bang by winning two championships in a row, the 1971/1972 and 1972/1973 seasons.

5

It was the beginning of a triumphant cycle which would bring the Bianconeri nine Italian Championships, their first European victory with the Uefa Cup in 1977 and the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1984.

The success they had long searched for in European competition arrived on the saddest evening in Juventus’ history: on 29 May 1985 in Brussels, the Heysel tragedy took place. The crowd went wild just before the match with Liverpool and 39 innocent victims lost their lives. Football, from that time on, would never be the same again. The match was played all the same in an attempt to restore order and Juventus won the Cup. It was a joyless success, but allowed the Bianconeri to fly to Tokyo in the winter to play the Intercontinental Cup. Argentinos Junior were beaten on penalties and Juventus became World Champions.

Directing the team from the bench was Giovanni Trapattoni, who had arrived at Juventus in 1976 after the Czech Vycpalek and Carlo Parola, who had created an invincible engine under Boniperti’s presidency. First, by focussing on young Italian talents from Zoff to Scirea, from Tardelli to Cabrini, from Causio to Paolo Rossi, from Gentile to Furino, from Anastasi to Bettega. Then, when he was able to sign foreign players in 1980, he was able to count on the contribution of foreign champions. The first was Liam Brady, an Irish midfielder with velvet feet and a smart brain, who dictated the pace of the game and scored valuable goals. His final strike, scored in Catanzaro from the penalty spot gave Juventus their twentieth Italian Championship, and their second star. It was 16 May 1982 and the Bianconeri supporters were jubilant.

Less than two months later, on 11 July, all Italian fans would share their joy, thanks to Juventus: in Madrid, the National team won the World Cup for the third time in its history, with a resemblance to Trapattoni’s side. Zoff, Gentile, Cabrini, Scirea, Tardelli and Rossi were the pillars of the Italian national team who lifted the cup before Italian President Sandro Pertini. Rossi was the tournament’s top scorer, with six goals in seven matches, winning the Golden Ball, the second Italian in history to do so after Rivera. The trophy awarded by France Football was one of the family in Turin, during that period.

After the World Cup season, the number of eligible foreign players on Italian teams increased by two, so the Pole Zibì Boniek and, more importantly, Michel Platini joined the side. The Frenchman turned out to be a true champion. Elegant in his movements, he played with his head held high, placing passes onto his team mate’s feet from 50 metres and scoring many goals. “Le Roi” won top goalscorer and the Golden Ball for three consecutive years and enchanted supporters all over the world. At the triumph in Tokyo, he scored the last penalty, the winning spot kick, after one of the best goals ever seen in football history was disallowed in normal time. Juventus achieved their last Italian Championship of the Boniperti era in that season. Platini went on to play another season before leaving his career as footballer in 1987 and becoming a coach, manager and later President of UEFA in 2007.

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