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Road to the scudetto 2003 > Juventisette : a review (1)

Welcome to the scudetto section!

This year's celebration is divided into two parts. The story is composed by George Yong.
...follow the road...
1. juventisette : a review (1)
2. juventisette : a review (2)

Impressive Numbers

For the first time in three seasons, Lo Scudetto wasn't decided on the final week of Serie A. It was, after all, a spectacular campaign for Juventus F.C., the best possible way to defend our status of domestic rulers and champions 72 points, 7 more than runners-up Inter. Of the 34 league matches played, 21 were victories, 9 were draws and only 4 ended in defeat (Brescia 2 - 0 Juve, Juve 1 - 2 Lazio, Milan 2 - 1 Juve, Reggina 2 - 1 Juve). Our home and away wins were remarkably balanced: 12 home victories and 9 away wins. Together with Inter, La Vecchia Signora topped the scoring charts with 64 goals; however, while the nerazzurri conceded 38 goals, Juve only received 29, the least in Serie A this season. Thus, Juventus celebrated 1.88 times and conceded 0.85 goals on average per match. The highest goal rout occurred on week 16, when our bianconeri thrashed Reggina 5-0 at home; we managed to score 4 goals in 3 matches (Torino 0 - 4 Juve, Chievo 1 - 4 Juve and Juve 4 - 3 Chievo), and 3 goals in 4 other matches. Only Lazio - Juve on matchday 31 ended goalless. Alessandro Del Piero was the team's capocannoniere after netting 16 goals, 6 of which were penalty kicks; he was followed by Pavel Nedved and David Trezeguet with 9 each and Marco Di Vaio with 7. In total, 16 players scored at some point during the 2002/2003 Serie A campaign. As for attendances, the highest was registered during Milan 2 - 1 Juve, when 78,871 souls crowded the San Siro stadium; on the other hand, only 13,000 attended Piacenza 0 - 1 Juve.

Key features

Solidity is what best describes Juventus' 2002/2003 Serie A season. The numbers show that Juve was an extremely balanced side which didn't overly depend on any player throughout the 34 Serie A encounters; that's why most players in the squad netted at least 1 goal. For example, victories were still collected when key players were not on the field: against Chievo (4 - 3, Nedved and Del Piero were rested), Inter (3 - 0, without Del Piero) and Modena (3 - 1, also without Del Piero), just to mention some. Therefore, unlike Internazionale and AC Milan, La Vecchia Signora relied on the team as a whole rather than on individual stars.

Experience was also important in obtaining the 27th Scudetto. Juve's squad includes players who have won the trophy 7 times (Ferrara), 5 times (Del Piero, Conte, Tacchinardi) and on 3 occasions. Ferrara and Conte, in particular, were crucial components of the squad, as they undoubtedly helped upcoming stars like Olivera and Paro adjust to the team; in other words, they led the team into harmony. However, when it comes to leadership, there are many other players who provided some much-needed support throughout the entire league, such as Tacchinardi, Del Piero, Buffon, Montero, Davids and Nedved. Apart from their evident technical capabilities, they also possess a legendary characteristic of any successful Juve team: 'grinta'.

Adaptability helped the bianconeri cover well when injuries threatened to affect the season. Zambrotta's quick evolution from right wing to left wing and then to left back caused admiration in the footballing world; Di Vaio moved back from his usual poaching position to a more creative and attacking midfield post; and Birindelli improved significantly to become an option for both the right and left flanks.

Better luck next year

Marcelo Salas: Poor 'Matador' is surely leaving Juve this summer. His two seasons at Torino were practically spent in the sidelines. On the meager occasions when he was fit and was given an opportunity to play, he failed to make an impact. Nonetheless, Marcelo remains a great player; fast, opportunistic and powerful. Better luck next year.