For the record-breaking sixth year in a row, Juventus are Serie A champions. Despite losing the services of Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata, they were overwhelming favorites at the beginning of the season, and they didn't disappoint the bookies or their fans. Still, a title-winning season doesn't come without work. What did Juventus do right this year?
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A nearly perfect transfer campaign
Losing Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata would have hurt nearly any team in the world. It didn't do much to trip Juventus up though, and the Turin club were clearly prepared to reload by dipping into the transfer market. Sporting Director Giuseppe Marotta ensured Juve wouldn't drop off by making a number of signings that have proved to be important this season. Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanic and Marko Pjaca were brought in to bolster the attacking side of the ball, plus Juventus added Dani Alves (on a free!), and Mehdi Benatia (on loan) in defense, made the signing of Mario Lemina permanent, and tied Juan Cuadrado down to an unprecedented 3-year loan deal.
Higuain is near the top of the league scoring charts, Pjanic has been Juventus' best midfielder this season, and Cuadrado, Alves, Benatia and Lemina have played key parts throughout the campaign as well.
With players like Simone Zaza, Mauricio Isla, Hernanes, and Roberto Pereyra all going the other way, Juve barely even broke €20m in net expenditure.
It doesn't get much better than that in the transfer market.
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An impregnable defense
Juventus' Champions League defensive record is well known at this point, and it's been the same domestically. They conceded fewer goals than any other team in the league, and it was down to their nearly unbeatable defense and the legendary goalkeeper that protected them, Gigi Buffon. The Bianconeri are insanely deep in the back, and Massimiliano Allegri's fantastic tactical coaching ensured that no matter who was called on, they were able to perform. It didn't matter who got the call, or whether they were in a back three or back four, they got the job done.
Miralem Pjanic's inspiration
When Juventus lost Andrea Pirlo, they lost one of the most creative players in the world. When Paul Pogba exited for Manchester United, there was even more of a creative vacuum left in the Bianconeri midfield. Miralem Pjanic was bought to fill that void, and he's done just that. His five goals and eight assists aren't necessarily eye-popping from a stats perspective, but *gasp* sometimes the stats don't tell the whole story. In reality, his set piece prowess, ability to control midfield and dictate the pace of the game while still pulling out the sort of jaw-dropping creative plays Juve supporters got used to seeing from Pirlo and Pogba was one of the biggest keys to the Bianconeri's success this season.
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The Argentine connection
Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala are Juventus' two most expensive transfers of the last two years. They were bought mainly for success on the European front, but they've been phenomenal in Serie A too. Higuain finished near the top of the Serie A scoring charts, while Dybala has been one of the league's most destructive players on the attacking end. Together they've been nearly unstoppable, and their fantastic understanding and working relationship on the pitch made them a devastatingly effective duo for the Old Lady, both domestically and abroad.
Mario Mandzukic was a vital part of Juventus' team last season, but his importance to the Bianconeri leveled up exponentially this year. Allegri's famous formation switch was a boon to the entire squad, but it truly unlocked -- and hinged upon -- Mandzukic. His work rate, physicality and incredible understanding with left back Alex Sandro completely reinvigorated Juventus as a whole, and without him they probably wouldn't have won Serie A as comfortably, and almost definitely wouldn't have made it all the way to the Champions League final.
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The Max Allegri effect
Juventus fans didn't want Max Allegri when he first got to Juventus. Antonio Conte had stunned the club by announcing his intention to leave, and Allegri was way down the pecking order for managers Bianconeri supporters wanted in charge of their team. That's not the case now, though. Allegri's tactical flexibility, match-by-match preparation, and the bravery to switch the champions from their tried and true back three formation pushed the Bianconeri to their sixth title, a Coppa Italia final, and their second Champions League final in three years. His shake-up was the catalyst that jump-started their whole season, and there's probably not a single Juve fan that wants to see the back of him now.