It’s time for the big one!
The exclusive deal to bring Juventus to eFootball PES2020 hit all the headlines for PES fans worldwide. In line with the ‘Legend 5-A-Side’ series, we’re going to look at what the Old Lady has in her locker. With a rich history across domestic and continental football, Juventus has boasted some of the greatest players to grace the game. It has been the hardest ‘Legend 5’ to pick so far, and there are SO many players that missed the cut, that they could arguably make 30 teams of equal quality.
And with our last two selections, we’ve looked a bit defensive, so what better way to finish off the new 3 clubs than with opening up the floodgates to some of history’s greatest attackers in world football?
This is the last New Partner clubs in this series, who would you like me to take on next? Why don’t you let me know @WezzaFC on Twitter!
With that being said, let’s see who made the selection….
Now had Gigi Buffon stuck to the script and retired after PSG, the big man would have had the goalkeeping spot.
However, with his return to Turin, I had to go back into the records books and dig out one of the best goalkeepers in Juventus’ history in the form of Dino Zoff. At the age of 40 and captaining Italy, Zoff became the oldest World Cup winner, not to mention trophy wins should as the European Championship in 1968 and the small matter of 6 Serie A titles, 2 Coppa Italia’s and a UEFA cup in 330 appearances for Juventus. Zoff’s career set a standard for longevity that very few have been able to match.
His debut in 1961 as a fresh faced 19-year-old for Udinese, after being turned down in previous trials at Inter and Juventus, was not a great start to a career, but as Zoff proved, the older a goalkeeper gets, the better they can be. His playing career spanned a monstrous 22 years and arguably his best performances were reserved for his latter years. A true professional in the Italian game, Zoff successfully transitioned from Italian hero to experienced manager, again his best years being at Juventus, winning a League and Cup double in the 89/90 season.
I think if you were to ask Italians of his generation, they will speak of him in the same way people of this generation will and do speak of Buffon. The fact that Italy and Juventus have had goalkeepers of this quality to call on in successive generations, they can count themselves extremely lucky!
I’d love to see just a retro batch of PES Legends and Zoff would be an immense pick!
A true Italian standout of Italian defenders. When you look at the defensive unit that Juventus had at the time Cannavaro first joined Juventus, he was the jewel in the crown. With Buffon behind him and the likes of Lilian Thuram and Gianluca Zambrotta, they had one of the best defences in world football. It helped that Cannavaro already had chemistry with Thuram and Buffon from their time spent together at Parma, but it made for a recipe for success with Juventus.
Fierce in the tackle and an unrivalled will to win, Cannavaro went from strength to strength with personal development, culminating in captaining Italy to their World Cup win in 2006. However, his exit from Juventus in the summer of 2006 was marred in the Calciopoli controversy, which resulted in Juventus being relegated to Serie B.
Who knows what might have happened if that had never happened, could we have saeen Cannavaro and co build on foundations laid down? Of course, we’ll never know the answer to that.
His return to Juventus in 2009 facilitated a dream pairing of Georgio Chiellini and himself being formed. However injury and inconsistent performances resulted in an eventual release at the end of the 2010 season. I would say that this is the weakest inclusion of my 5-A-Side, but when you look at it, the attacking threats further up the pitch would cover up Cannavaro’s weaknesses.
As a legend in PES this year? I’d love to see it happen!
My only non-Italian entry on this list and with very good reason!
Pavel Nedved was one of the best wingers of his generation. The Czech international was superb on the wing, a wand of a right foot, deceptively quick and an had an eye for goal, Nedved was the perfect replacement for an outgoing Zinedine Zidane.
The way that he would float past players and deliver either a stunning strike or a pinpoint cross, he added a different dimension to the Juventus attack. And he was adaptable and able to play a variety of positions which continually improved over time. At times, Nedved’s football IQ seemed to put him 2 or 3 steps ahead of the game.
Back to back league titles and Super Cups, Nedved was an ever present in the Juventus team. Most notably, his performances earning him the Ballon d’Or in 2003 ahead of the likes of Thierry Henry and Paolo Maldini.
To be considered in that company is not accidental, but it was the measure of the man. Humble, hardworking and tenacious in his application to the game, Pavel Nedved only reinforced this legendary status by sticking with the club in the relegation to Serie B, citing his connection to the club, the fans and the desire to see the club restored to Serie A. Of course, Juventus bounced back with Nedved chipping in 11 goals.
We’ve seen a lot of Nedved in the early builds of eFootball PES2020, so we will no doubt see him on the virtual field this year!
The ponytail, the swagger, the charisma machine that is Roberto Baggio.
Some may see the missed penalty for Italy in USA ’94 as his defining footballing moment, but Baggio was so much more. Re-defining the ‘10’ role in his own image, Baggio was as talented an Italian as has ever been seen. A slick first touch, an ability to find space and exploit an opponent’s weakness married with a very healthy goals to games ratio (78 goals in 141 games for those wondering), Baggio led his contemporaries as ‘the one to beat’. Linking up with the likes of Vialli and Ravanelli, Moller and Platt in midfield with a defensive base of Conte, Kohler and Sartor, it was a golden age of Italian football!
Baggio’s successes were both personal and team related. As a side during Baggio’s time there, they took a UEFA Cup in 92/93 and Serie A and Coppa Italia double in 94/95. And for Baggio himself, he was named World Player of the Year in 1993 and was named Italy’s Player of the Century in 2000.
We’ve seen him included as a Legend when they were first introduced back in PES2016, will we see Baggio appear again?
And to sum it up, Baggio couldn’t be replaced…or could he?
Alessandro Del Piero
Now let’s be honest, when you all started reading this article, you all knew that the first choice down on the team sheet had to be Alessandro Del Piero. It could have gone to Zidane, but you could argue he reached his legendary status at Real. But in my book, whenever I see a Juventus shirt, I immediately think of Del Piero. Much like I see a Chelsea shirt and think Lampard or Gerrard when I see a Liverpool shirt.
These players are etched into the DNA of the club that they gave their best years to.
With a Juventus career spanning 19 years, Del Piero has seen it all from the Old Lady. He’s seen the club through incredible success and in its darkest hours. It’s easier to list what Del Piero hasn’t won rather than what he has. 6 Serie A titles, 1 Serie B title, 1 Coppa Italia, 4 Italian Super Cups, 1 Champions League, 1 UEFA Super Cup and 1 Intercontinental Cup.
He has 513 appearances and 208 goals for Juventus and could often be found as provider or finisher when it was required. I remember him being a blend of a traditional No.10 and a predatory striker, where he could happily forage a chance for himself or he’d provide to the likes of David Trezeguet and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
When looking at the task at hand for Del Piero and the fact that he, much like Nedved, never left the club in a crisis, he will always be fondly remembered as one of the greatest Italian footballers of all time and will forever be in the discussion of Juventus’ greatest ever player.
And of course, we’ve seen him included last year as a Legend, same again please!
Well that’s it from our Partner Clubs. But that’s not the end of the Legend 5-A-Side articles!
Who would you like to see next? Ajax, AC Milan, Liverpool, or Real Madrid? Head over to PESUniverse on Twitter to have your say and cast your vote!