Another double confirms Juventus Serie A dominance
Juventus have been the dominant force in Italian football over the last decade. They are on the verge of their seventh consecutive Scudetto. Underlining the Old Lady’s dominance is the fact they have also won the Coppa Italia for four years running. She dispatched Milan with four second-half goals on Wednesday evening. The club have managed to win a quadruple-double, which sounds more like something an overly exuberant darts commentator would say more so than a football team's achievement.
Juventus fans have become accustomed to domestic success. Save for the Calciopoli scandal, the club have been dominant since the millennium turned. The Turin giants hold a record 33 titles, soon to be 34.
On the other hand, they had something of a hoodoo when it came to the cup competition. They seemed almost human in the Coppa.
That changed when Max Allegri was appointed manager in 2014/15. Juve had been waiting since 1995 to hoist the cup. Allegri started as he meant to go on and it's everyone else who now must wait.
Allegri has also been making a greater impact in Europe, albeit without any silverware to show for his efforts. Before his arrival, Juventus had been knocked out in the Champions League’s group stage twice in three years. Under the former Milan boss, they have reached two finals. In the other two years, the Zebras have suffered narrow losses to Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, the latter under contentious, last-minute circumstances.
Allegri deserves credit. He has proved many doubters wrong, myself included. However, he doesn't stand alone. Responsibility for Juve’s success isn't entirely his. Beppe Marotta and the recruitment team have been relentless in building and rebuilding a squad that has swept all before them domestically.
Juventus are masters of the transfer market. To outside observers, it seems they possess the Midas touch and can do no wrong.
They have signed youngsters like Paul Pogba and Kingsley Coman, then sold them on for huge fortunes. That the sale was back to Manchester United in Pogba's case only emphasises their mastery.
Experienced internationals like Sami Khedira, Miralem Pjanic, and Gonzalo Higuain have been acquired, two of the three from dangerous rivals. Andres Pirlo and Dani Alves were ageing stars desperate to prove they had more to offer. Pirlo's sale to Juve was sanctioned by Allegri when he was still at Milan. He has since happily eaten crow.
Such transactions don't fall into place through luck or good fortune. The club have a solid structure off the field. Hard work and dedication from those in the background is being rewarded by the success of those on the pitch.
It's difficult to anticipate just how long Juventus' dominance can continue. Roma and Napoli have both offered challenges in recent seasons. Neither has been able to go all the way, inevitably falling aside in the season's latter stages.
In contrast, this Juventus squad has already shown they can afford to lose key players. Pirlo, Pogba, and Leonardo Bonucci have all left in recent times. Allegri and Marotta have proven ready for every eventuality. Until their rivals can compete off the pitch as well as on, with planning and attention to detail, the Scudetto will remain in Turin for the foreseeable future.