One of the footballing powerhouses, Juventus have taken ownership of the Italian Serie A this decade, winning the division five times in a row since 2012. They have the most Serie A titles with 32, and you can add a record number of Coppa Italia wins to that, 11. In Europe, they haven’t been as successful, with just two European Cup/Champions League titles to their name, the last of which came during the 90s.
There’s no question that ‘The Old Lady’ is a magnificent club, but perhaps its success has, in fact, stifled them, much like French giants Paris Saint-Germain, and what we are perhaps starting to see with Bayern Munich. They seem to have blown the rest of Italian football out of the water, and that lack of competition means that they are not in the right shape to tackle the Champions League. That, perhaps, gives you enough incentive to take them on in FIFA 17’s Career Mode, as European success is now the next aim for the Turin club, having come so close two seasons ago when they lost to Barcelona in the final. With a great squad and some top talent coming through, you can take the Italian club to Barca, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich’s immortal status in Europe.
How you should line-up
The defence is what Juventus is built on, and with three magnificent centre-halves, you have to play three or five at the back. The rest is up to you, but their regular formation of 3-1-4-2 looks to be the best bet, but for a bit more protection in wide areas, you could easily turn this into a 5-3-2.
Gianluigi Buffon is of course in goal, but with two years remaining on his contract, it may be worth starting to look for someone to replace the 38-year-old. In front of him, you can’t look past the defensive wall of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. The experienced Claudio Marchisio will oversee turning defence into attack in defensive midfield.
Out wide, you have the wing-backs of Dani Alves and Alex Sandro, with Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira in central midfield. If you want a slightly more attacking system, consider bringing in Juan Cuadrado for Khedira and switching to a 3-4-3 or 5-3-2, akin to what former Juve manager, Antonio Conte, is using at Chelsea.
Up front, it’s the yin and yang of Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuaín. The 22-year-old Dybala runs into the channels or in behind, with the 200 lbs Higuaín holding up the ball and getting on the end of crosses.
On the bench, you should have Neto, Medhi Benatia, Patrice Evra, Kwadwo Asamoah or Hernanes, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Juan Cuadrado and Mario Mandzukic.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £77 million
Starting wage budget: £320,00
Who should go
With a squad of just 27 players, you don’t want to be doing a mass cull of players, and with £77 million in the bank, you don’t need much more financial strength. Fortunately, there are just two players who you can consider selling at Juventus, one of them being the Italian football stalwart Hernanes. The former Lazio and Inter midfielder struggles to get on the bench, and with other central midfielders Mario Lemina and Stefano Sturaro coming through, it’s possible that you won’t need him by the end of the season. You should be able to receive around £11 million for the Brazilian.
Other than that, the only player that should go is fourth choice left-back Paolo De Ceglie. Now 29, the defender has appeared over 100 times for Juventus and been out on loan four times but has never kicked-on. Being in the last year of his contract, you will only get around £600,000 for him.
What the team needs
With those sales, your transfer budget will be upwards of £80 million, and a strong showing in pre-season can take you to the cusp of £100 million. What can you do with all that money you ask? Well, with Juve having such a strong squad to begin with, we suggest just making the one big signing in the summer, see how your team develops, and if you need strengthening in January, you can.
Top of that shopping list will be a central midfielder. Losing Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba in successive seasons has been a big blow for the Italian champs, and although Miralem Pjanic has performed well this season, he needs more support in midfield. The box-to-box Luka Modric would be an ideal player to come into the Juventus system, especially with that rock solid defence behind him. The Real Madrid central or defensive midfielder is rated at 89 in the game, and could cost as much as £75 million. The 30-year-old Croatian has 94 balance, 93 agility and 92 ball control, with wages of £115,000.
– Andres Iniesta – Barcelona, Age 32, OVR 88, POT 88, Cost: £50 million, Wage: £101,000
– Koke – Atletico Madrid, Age 24, OVR 84, POT 88, Cost: £50 million, Wage: £79,000
– Ivan Rakitic – Barcelona, Age 28, OVR 87, POT 87, Cost: £62 million, Wage: £115,000
– Arturo Vidal – Bayern Munich, Age 29, OVR 87, POT 87, Cost: £60 million, Wage: £94,000
– Blaise Matuidi – PSG, Age 29, OVR 86, POT 86, Cost: £48 million, Wage: £86,000
With 16 players out on loan already, you won’t want to add much more to that, but there are still one or two players who would benefit from a season away from the club. As is stands, 19-year-old Rolando Mandragora is the eighth choice central midfielder and sixth choice centre-back so you can afford to send him out on loan for the season. Mandragora has a starting rating of 69, but with a potential of 82, it is worth seeing how he develops.
Similarly, there is left and right back Federico Mattiello who has two players in each position in front of him. The 20-year-old has a potential of 84, and with Patrice Evra, Dani Alves and Stephan Lichtsteiner all ageing, just one season away on loan and he could be in first team contention.
Three Juventus players have contracts running out at the end of the season, but you should only be looking to renew two of them. With Dani Alves now 33, it’s definitely worth keeping hold of 32-year-old Stephan Lichtsteiner just in case the Brazilian’s level starts to drop. Of course, the Swiss defender won’t be too far behind, but he may see you through to the next transfer window. Plus, with ‘Champions Cup’ and Coppa Italia action to contend with, there is no harm in having two virtually interchangeable players.
Kwadwo Asamoah isn’t a player that too many Juventus fans get excited about, but it is always useful to have a player like him in the squad. The 27-year-old can cover central and left midfield as well as left-back, so if you do pick up a couple of injuries, you have a reliable player who can step in. Renew his contract for two or three years to ensure a smooth progression into a squad with your stamp on it.
Paolo De Ceglie’s contract is also running out, but his 72-rating doesn’t warrant a new deal, and you really want to be selling the 29-year-old defender.
As you would expect, domestic and continental success are paramount for Juventus. There is a strong chance that you will be asked to win the treble, which is possible if you sign well. Brand exposure is just as important for the five-time defending Italian champions, and you will need to earn well over £150,000,000 from shirt sales over the season. Bringing in big names, winning regularly and picking up trophies is the way to achieve this.
Youth development will be a medium priority, and for this, you will need to bring a player through the youth academy, give them game time, and grow them by five overall points. Not the easiest of tasks in your first season in charge.
Next stop: European titles
Even with your second eleven, you would have a pretty good chance of lifting the ‘Calcio A’ title, so be sure to concentrate on the cup competitions in order to complete a famous treble for the club. The first month of the season will be crucial, so be sure to win your first three or four league games to give you that confidence before the ‘Champions Cup’ kicks off. Around February time the fixture list will start to stack up, and this is why you will need a healthy lead in the league to give you a chance of the treble. After 16 games so far this season, Juve are seven points clear a the top of the table, and if they can extend that in the new year, they should cruise through to the title, even with the other competitions.
There is no question that this squad is good enough to win all three competitions, but your biggest task will perhaps be adjusting to the three at the back system. With no conventional wingers, you will have to play through the middle of teams, so be sure to pass and move between the central midfielders and strikers, and if the play slows down, get the ball wide and look for the head of Higuaín. Simple, right? In Europe, this will become difficult when you come up against the robust defences of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, so consider bringing in Juan Cuadrado to offer another way of playing. Taking over Juventus on career mode will not be conventional, but it will be barrels of fun as you attempt to bring the crown of European football back to Italy for the first time in seven years.
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