Another season, another Scudetto for Juventus.

The bulldozing Bianconeri have won Serie A for a ninth year in succession following their 2-0 victory over Sampdoria on Sunday.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi scored the goals that clinched the championship for Juve following a run of just one win in their previous five games.

Although it may not have been a vintage Juve season they still extended their record run of consecutive titles.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at the stats behind their ongoing dominance.

 

Days of glory

The first title in this incredible run was secured on May 6, 2012.

By defeating Sampdoria, they clinched number nine three days after they celebrated their 3,000th consecutive day as Italian champions.

A record for Sarri

Antonio Conte led Juve to their first three titles in this run and Massimiliano Allegri extended it by a further five.

Maurizio Sarri kept the tradition going in his first season at the helm, earning his first major trophy in Italian football.

By topping Serie A aged 61, he surpassed Nils Liedholm (60 years and 219 days) to become the oldest coach to win a Scudetto.

Not as solid

Sarri was appointed to bring a more expansive approach to Turin and their defence has seemingly suffered as a result.

Juve have already conceded 38 goals, becoming the first team to win the title while shipping that many since Milan let in the same amount in their triumphant 1961-62 season.

Veteran centre-back Giorgio Chiellini is the only player to have made at least one appearance in each of Juve's past nine Serie A title successes, with Gianluigi Buffon the only player in history to have won more Scudetti.

In the season he surpassed Paolo Maldini at the top of the all-time Serie A appearances list, Buffon, who has been back-up to Wojciech Szczesny since returning from Paris Saint-Germain, won the league for an incredible 10th time.

Ronaldo rolls on

Juve's continued success owes a lot to the incredible goalscoring feats of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner may be 35 but his prolific nature does not appear to be waning; this season he became the first player in history to score at least 50 goals in Serie A, LaLiga and the Premier League.

Ronaldo was also the fastest to 50 goals among players to have debuted since 1994-95, hitting the milestone in just 61 appearances with a double against Lazio on Monday.

That brace also moved the Portugal captain onto 30 goals for the season, a tally he stretched to 31 against Samp, making him just the third Juve star to reach that mark in a single top-flight campaign, following in the footsteps of Felice Borel (32 in 1933-34) and John Hansen (30 in 1951-52).

Giorgio Chiellini's absence through injury and fitness issues has been one of the "great regrets" for Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri this season.

Chiellini, 35, ruptured a knee ligament in August, ruling him out of action until February, when he made a couple of Serie A appearances before the league was suspended due to coronavirus.

The centre-back still has not featured since the resumption last month because of fitness-related issues, though he was given a new one-year contract to keep him at the club until 2021.

Sarri confirmed Chiellini has been in full training over the past week and is still considered an important player.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's trip to Sassuolo, Sarri said: "Chiellini's absence is one of the great regrets of this season.

"He is a player who knows how to be enthralling. He has been training with the team for five days. I see him growing, and, in the future, he will give a great contribution for us."

The centre of defence is causing Sarri regular headaches at the moment, with Merih Demiral still recovering from his cruciate ligament rupture, while Leonardo Bonucci is a doubt for Wednesday's match.

"Merih Demiral is fine, but he needs time to get back into physical form," he said, before adding: "Bonucci has a problem with his foot that we need to evaluate today [Tuesday]."

Despite dropping points in each of their past two league matches, Juve remain in charge at the Serie A summit with an eight-point lead over Inter and Lazio.

But Sarri is not expecting a straightforward contest at Sassuolo, who are making a late push for the European places after going unbeaten in six and winning each of their past four games.

"Sassuolo is a team that is on the same path as Atalanta," Sarri continued. "They are giving continuity to a project, they are organised, and with a smart coach.

"They are in excellent form and are a dangerous team. The team has scored 17 goals in six games, so they don't have a problem when it comes to scoring.

"[Roberto] De Zerbi always manages to make an impression on his teams. He is the most interesting of the young coaches.

"We will be at least equal on the level of enthusiasm and determination, because we are in a moment where we are playing for the Scudetto."

Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini have signed one-year contract extensions with Juventus, the Serie A leaders have confirmed.

The experienced pair were both on contracts that would have expired this year, but they will play on for at least another campaign. 

Chiellini has been with the club since 2005 and amassed over 500 appearances for the Bianconeri, while Buffon first arrived in Turin 19 years ago, his spell only interrupted by a season with Paris Saint-Germain. 

Despite their advanced years – Chiellini and Buffon are 35 and 42 respectively, Juve still see value in the Italy icons and will be able to count on them again in 2020-21. 

"These are players who need no introduction," a Juve statement read. "Champions whose story speaks for itself, and whose connection with the shirt they wear is indissoluble.

"Examples on the pitch and in the locker room, leaders, driving forces, bearers of the Bianconeri DNA, who wear it as a second skin.

"Gianluigi Buffon. Giorgio Chiellini. Captains, legends."

Chiellini has been limited to just three Serie A appearances in 2019-20, having suffered a serious knee ligament injury in August. 

The defender made his return after a lengthy lay-off in February, though the centre-back has not been able to feature since the campaign resumed after the coronavirus-enforced break due to fitness issues. 

Goalkeeper Buffon, meanwhile, has also been limited in terms of first-team football since rejoining the club last year, though he has still featured 13 times across all competitions as reserve behind Wojciech Szczesny.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo has given Juventus a "great push" since arriving at the club, according to team-mate Giorgio Chiellini.

Ronaldo has scored 53 goals in 76 games since joining Juve from Real Madrid in 2018, helping the Italian giants win the Serie A title last season.

The Portuguese superstar has guided his side to the top of Serie A this season, while they are in the Coppa Italia final and last 16 of the Champions League.

Chiellini hailed Ronaldo for helping Juventus take another step forward, with the Bianconeri looking for a first Champions League title since 1996.

"He gave us a great push, bringing out the best in each of us and giving an important boost to the whole of society," the Juve captain told Martina Colombari on Instagram.

"He is of another level, we play for him and to make him perform better."

Juventus will face Napoli in the Coppa Italia final in Rome on Wednesday.

Giorgio Chiellini plans to play at least one more season before retiring as he aims to sign off in style with Italy at the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

The Juventus defender has missed the majority of the 2019-20 season after suffering a serious knee injury in August, though he returned to action prior to the coronavirus-enforced suspension.

While he will turn 36 in August, Chiellini has no intention of hanging up his boots in the near future, suggesting there is a possibility of him carrying on beyond the 2020-21 campaign.

In an Instagram Live chat with actress Martina Colombari, the wife of former Milan and Italy defender Alessandro Costacurta, the centre-back also revealed how a move into coaching is unlikely once his playing days are finally over.

"I will play another year, then I'll see how I feel and how my legs hold up," Chiellini said.

"I could retire next summer or have another season after that. I would like to continue in football, probably more a directorial role than management, but you never know in life.

"I hope to get there [Euro 2020] in excellent condition to live this last international event to the fullest.

"We have experienced players and many strong youngsters. Ending with a great European [Championship] would be a great satisfaction, closing the circle."

Chiellini admitted the injury was a huge blow but embraced the "challenge" of making a full recovery, something that may not have been the case at an earlier stage in his career.

"At the beginning it was difficult, accepting an injury is not easy, but I'm glad I had it at 35 because you have a different maturity. I found it as a challenge with myself," he explained.

Juventus will be without Giorgio Chiellini, Aaron Ramsey and Gonzalo Higuain for Friday's Coppa Italia semi-final second leg against Milan.

Defender Merih Demiral will also be missing from head coach Maurizio Sarri's 23-man squad.

Paulo Dybala, one of three Juve players to test positive for coronavirus in March, has been included in the group.

Higuain sustained a thigh muscle problem while training last week and was not expected to face Milan.

Demiral, Ramsey and Chiellini – the latter of whom only returned from nearly six months out with a knee injury in February – are reported to be short of full fitness.

Juve's meeting with Milan is their first match since the Italian football season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The three first-team players to have tested positive for COVID-19 – Dybala, Blaise Matuidi and Daniele Rugani – are all in the squad.

Dybala had been self-isolating since March and only returned a negative test for the virus on May 6, at which point he was cleared for a return to training.

The first leg at San Siro in February finished 1-1, with a late penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo cancelling out Ante Rebic's opener.

The final against either Inter or Napoli will be next Wednesday at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

The Serie A leaders resume their bid for a ninth league title in a row away to Bologna on June 22.

Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini insisted Everton forward Moise Kean was "completely different" to Mario Balotelli.

Kean left the Serie A champions for Everton last year, with the Premier League side paying £25million (€27.5m) for the Italy forward.

The 20-year-old had scored just once in 26 appearances for Everton before this season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, and was dropped in November reportedly for a disciplinary breach.

Kean was also condemned by Everton in April after an apparent breach of lockdown rules.

Having previously criticised Brescia forward Balotelli, Chiellini said Kean was nothing like the former Inter and Manchester City man.

"Balotelli only has the shot. There are those who now compare him with Moise Kean, a boy who appears rebellious and unmanageable, but is completely different from Mario," Chiellini wrote in Io, Giorgio.

"Of course, in Juventus youth he was punished many times, but when he played in the first team he always showed himself very respectful towards the group.

"Sometimes he does not hear the alarm and arrives late, but they are behaviours that can be changed without difficulty."

Kean came through the youth system at Juventus, where he scored eight goals in 21 games before his departure.

Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini believes Leonardo Bonucci's decision to join Milan in 2017 was illogical.

Bonucci made a stunning switch from Juve to Milan in 2017, only to return to Turin the following year.

Chiellini, 35, felt his fellow defender's move made no sense, saying he would have understood if Bonucci had decided to join a club like Real Madrid.

"His year at Milan was different, a choice certainly wrong because he was not made at peace with himself, therefore not in a lucid way," he wrote in his autobiography, Io, Giorgio, via Corriere dello Sport.

"Leo was shaken for a thousand reasons. I was sorry because everything happens in the weeks when we didn't see each other.

"I'm sure if it had happened at another time I would have made him think about staying. Like [Antonio] Conte in that July 2014, they always leave when I'm not there."

Chiellini added: "With Leo I spoke that everything was already established … something without logic from start to finish.

"I could have understood if he had gone to Real Madrid, but to that Milan? Fortunately, fate wanted everything to come back in order."

Bonucci had played 34 games in all competitions for Juve this season, which has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Giorgio Chiellini has revealed he was quick to forgive Luis Suarez after the striker bit him because he sees a lot of himself in the Uruguay striker.

The incident occurred in a group game at the 2014 World Cup, with Suarez stunning a worldwide television audience by committing the third biting offence of his career.

But Chiellini, despite calling for action to be taken at the time, was sympathetic towards Suarez when FIFA imposed a four-month ban on the then Liverpool player.

And now the Juventus and Italy captain has disclosed why he feels a kinship with Suarez.

Chiellini wrote in a new autobiography, quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Nothing strange happened that day. I had marked [Edinson] Cavani for most of the game, another attacker who was difficult to handle, then suddenly I noticed that Suarez had bitten my shoulder.

"It happened, and this is his way of dealing with direct confrontations, and, if I can say it, it is also mine: he and I are alike and I like to face challenges in this way. I admire his malice, if he lost it he would become a normal striker."

Chiellini said he and Suarez spoke days after their June 2014 clash, which came in a game Uruguay won to advance beyond the group stage at the expense of Italy.

"After a couple of days we spoke again on the phone and there was no need to apologise," Chiellini said.

"I am a great son of a b**** on the pitch as well and I am proud of it: malice is part of football, I don't even call it impropriety. You have to be smart and I have always admired Suarez."

Suarez has gone on to join Barcelona and become a mainstay with the Camp Nou giants, putting the biting controversies behind him, after previous offences while at Ajax and Liverpool.

Giorgio Chiellini praised Cristiano Ronaldo and said the Juventus star went to another level when it came to the Champions League.

Chasing a first Champions League title since 1996, Juve were in the last 16 – having lost the first leg away to Lyon 1-0 – when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ronaldo, 35, became the first player to win the Champions League five times when he helped Real Madrid claim the title in 2018.

Chiellini said the Portugal international raised his level when it came to Europe's elite club competition.

"Cristiano is doing well even though he had that knee problem that slowed him down for a month and a half," he told Christian Vieri during an Instagram Live chat on Friday.

"He changed the way he played compared to when he was younger. He is enhanced with the big games.

"Maybe against the small teams he makes a performance that seems subdued. With the big ones, he is incredible.

"In the Champions League, he turns. He feels it coming and he turns the engine up."

Ronaldo has scored 25 goals in 32 games for Juventus this season, including two in seven in the Champions League.

Marco Tardelli has expressed his disappointment over Giorgio Chiellini's "harsh" comments about Mario Balotelli and Felipe Melo.

Chiellini, who is releasing a new book, accused Mario Balotelli of being "a negative person" who "deserved a slap" for his conduct when part of Italy's squad at the 2013 Confederations Cup.

The Juventus defender was even more brutal when it came to his ex-club team-mate Felipe Melo, calling him "the worst of the worst" and revealing he told the team's management the midfielder was "a rotten apple".

Both players promptly hit back at Chiellini, who also expressed his hatred for rivals Inter. Balotelli insisted he had never disrespected the Italy shirt and slammed the Juve man for not telling him to his face, while Melo branded the veteran "unprofessional".

Tardelli spent 10 seasons with Juve and then two with Inter to conclude his Serie A career, while he won the World Cup with Italy in 1982.

He reacted to Chiellini's words on Twitter, posting: "I am truly disappointed by the statements by Giorgio Chiellini, captain of the national team, Juventus and a leading man on the AIC [Italian Footballers' Association] board.

"Harsh words towards team-mates - colleagues who should consider him a point of reference.

"The hatred declared towards another club creates hatred. Respect for the opponent even in the toughest fight, that is what I learned from captains like Dino Zoff and Gaetano Scirea."

Mario Balotelli and Felipe Melo fired back at stinging criticism from Juventus and Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Chiellini was scathing of his former team-mates – the Juve captain accusing Balotelli of being "a negative person", while adding the Italian forward deserved a slap during the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Brescia star Balotelli hit back at the comments made in Chiellini's new autobiography via social media on Saturday.

"At least I have the sincerity and courage to say things to your face," Balotelli wrote on Instagram, tagging Chiellini.

"Since 2013 you've had a lot of chances to act like a real man, but you haven't. Who knows what you'll say one day about your current team-mates.

"A strange captain... if this is what being a champion is then I'd prefer not to be one. I've never disrespected the Azzurri shirt."

Chiellini, 35, was more brutal when it came to assessing former Juve colleague Melo – the Brazilian midfielder who played for the Bianconeri from 2009 to 2011 before eventually joining Serie A rivals Inter.

"Even worse was Felipe Melo: the worst of the worst. There was always a fight with him. I also told the managers: he's a rotten apple," Chiellini wrote.

Melo – who now plays for Palmeiras – told Gazzetta dello Sport: "It would be interesting to know what incident he's referring to. I don't have a problem responding to him.

"I never disrespected anyone in Turin, but he says that Balotelli deserved a slap and that I was the worst of the worst and that there was always a threat of a fight because of me.

"He always pissed himself. I'm sorry, but it's easy to speak badly of others in a book.

"Perhaps he's still angry because when I went to Galatasaray we knocked them out of the Champions League and we beat Italy with Brazil.

"He's won nothing at international level and saying things like this shows him to be unprofessional.

"It shows a lack of respect and I won't say any more. Some things have to stay in the dressing room."

Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini has launched a blistering takedown of former Italy team-mate Mario Balotelli, accusing him of being "a negative person".

The pair were Azzurri team-mates for several years, when Balotelli was a maverick young striker who looked set to achieve great things.

In a new autobiography, Chiellini snaps at his former colleague, writing: "Balotelli is a negative person, without respect for the squad.

"At the Confederations Cup, in 2013, he didn't give us a hand in anything, stuff that deserves a slap."

During the tournament in question, Balotelli scored twice, including a penalty, in the group stage, before a thigh injury ruled him out of the semi-final against Spain, who beat Italy on penalties.

Balotelli was a Milan player at the time and has since had spells with Liverpool, Nice and Marseille, with Brescia the latest stop-off in a varied career.

Chiellini, 35, was more brutal when it came to assessing former Juve colleague Felipe Melo, the Brazilian midfielder who played for the Bianconeri from 2009 to 2011.

"Even worse was Felipe Melo: the worst of the worst. There was always a fight with him. I also told the managers: he's a rotten apple," Chiellini wrote.

He backed up his comments in an interview with Saturday's La Repubblica newspaper, saying: "I confirm it, but I have no grudge and nor am I interested in having one. If I have to share something with them, I will.

"I'm not everyone's best friend, but they are the only two who have gone beyond an acceptable limit.

"For me, the problem is not if you play well, badly or if you sometimes have an evening out, but if you lack respect and have nothing inside. Once, it's fine, if it's recurring, it's not."

Common Goal reached a milestone on Tuesday – 150 players or managers signed up to the charity movement.

Manchester City and Scotland star Caroline Weir made the pledge to commit one per cent of her income to sporting charities.

Led by Manchester United's Juan Mata and Street Football World, Common Goal was launched in 2017 – a project used to fund charities across the globe, which has raised more than €2million.

Mata, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, Bayern Munich forward Serge Gnabry, Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini and Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels are among the high-profile footballers to have joined the cause, while Danish outfit FC Nordsjaelland are the first professional club involved.

But it is the women – the likes of Weir, United States female stars Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe – female leadership and the new generation, led by 16-year-old Real Madrid youth-team player Bruno Iglesias and Wolfsburg's Xaver Schlager, shining through.

And while Common Goal has come a long way since its launch, the organisation is not resting on its laurels as it tackles the "greatest social challenges of our time" and eyes a collective effort.

"We reached 150 and it's a female, a 24-year-old, playing for Manchester City, she already has more than 70 caps for her country, she is doing her degree, she is a very smart woman, an extraordinary footballer," Ben Miller, one of the founding team of Common Goal, told Stats Perform. "It's very significant but again it's a woman or the female leadership that's shining through Common Goal.

"There's a huge diversity of players in this team of professionals and it's really reflective of football. Yes, Chiellini, Hummels, Gnabry and Klopp are there, and Casey Stoney, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe but there's players from second and third divisions and that's what it's like.

"Football is like a triangle, not many are at the top of it. Interestingly in the female membership, most of the women are at the top of their profession, at the top of the triangle. If you look at the male membership, there are a significant number of high-profile players who have shown a great deal of faith in the model.

"If we work as a team, we can actually have a significant contribution to making the world a better place through football itself, with a mechanism which is transparent and high-impact and aligned to the UN sustainable development goal, so it has a clear track towards 2030. We're all very ambitious to see this work but we have a way to go before we reach a tipping point, where it really becomes a normal thing to do if you're an athlete."

"To start with a single player, and now it's 150, yes, it's amazing," he added. "But, one per cent of what the football industry generated last year would be €400million and there are a lot of football players. I'm happy but we have to continue to grow this and explain how simple it is. It's not one thing or the other. The way this will work is the power of the collective. I'm happy but we still have a long way to go and I think these landmarks are important because they give us a boost to keep going.

At a time of crisis as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc globally, Common Goal has set up the COVID-19 Response Fund – supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children.

"It's not reinventing the wheel, it's using the existing network of football-based community projects that are in the heart of the communities that will be hardest hit by COVID-19," Miller said. "Caroline Weir for example, her donation will go towards the response fund. Existing members, who are coming up to the end of the year and will do another donation, they can choose to put that in the COVID-19 fund as well. You don't have to be a Common Goal member to participate, anyone can donate.

"The idea is to give immediate response but to give the mid- to long-term support that the organisations will need to re-establish themselves. All the programs are on hold, people need access to food and medicine, survival basics… help empower the young boys and girls."

Common Goal, though, is not without its challenges amid cynicism and a lack of trust within the football world towards charity organisations. Klopp made the pledge in front of a star-studded crowd during The Best FIFA Football Awards in September. However, no one made contact or wanted to find out about Common Goal following the announcement in Milan.

But with 90 per cent of donations going directly to charities, compared to 50 per cent in a lot of cases with other charities, Miller has faith in what Common Goal is building, thanks to its members – with several players donating significantly more than one per cent.

"You have a 16-year-old kid [Iglesias], who has made the decision, not to wait until he gets in Real Madrid's first team and the senior Spain team but he is going to do it now. He is going to make this part of his journey, no matter where he goes," Miller continued.

"This just gives me an incredible amount of faith in the future, that this new, younger generation of players who are embracing this from the word go. They're not going to wait until they reach a certain level and allow people to make these kinds of decisions for them. Because making this decision is a fundamental part of who they are as a human being."

Miller added: "It's the first time in our lifetime that a crisis that's happening in the real world has actually penetrated the bubble of elite football players. They've never been affected by anything before. The ones that are in touch are still in touch of what's happening – they're aware that there are 70 million displaced people because of the refugee crisis. But a lot simply aren't and it's not a criticism to them, it's just the world in which they live, it's very insular.

"We're all in the same boat. We're all the same – that's the fundamental message. If I don't care about you, you don't care about me, we don't care about what's happening in Australia, Spain or the UK, then we don't stand much of a chance of tackling any of the crises we face."

Juventus intend to keep Paulo Dybala "for as long as possible" and Gonzalo Higuain for the 2020-21 season, while Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Buffon are set for contract extensions.

With Cristiano Ronaldo now the standout star in the Bianconeri team, fellow forwards Dybala and Higuain have repeatedly been linked with moves away from Turin.

Dybala was a reported target for Manchester United and Tottenham last year, while Higuain had appeared set for a permanent departure at the same stage as he returned from unsuccessful loan spells with Milan and then Chelsea.

The Argentina attackers have netted 21 Juve goals between them in all competitions this season, however, and sporting director Fabio Paratici is keen to see both men stay at the Bianconeri, who led Lazio by a point at the top of the Serie A table when the season was suspended in March.

Discussing potential new deals - including those for out-of-contract veterans Chiellini and Buffon - Paratici told Sky Sport Italia: "Chiellini and Buffon are in the pipeline.

"For Dybala, I think this pause has stopped our communications a little bit. But our will is to make him stay with us for as long as possible."

Dybala's deal runs out in 2022, but the club have been in talks over a new agreement for much of the 2019-20 season.

Meanwhile, Higuain, 32, is out of contract at the end of next season, yet Juventus are not looking to let the ex-Napoli striker depart early.

Paratici added: "Higuain left [Italy] and was very worried in general [about the coronavirus pandemic]. Gonzalo is a very sensitive boy and this thing struck him a lot.

"We are tied to him. He has had an extraordinary season. We hope for him to continue with us for the year that remains in the contract."

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