Posts Tagged ‘ Serie A ’

Juventus Home Shirt 08/09

Juventus’ first season back after the Calciopoli scandal was a relative success, with the Old Lady finishing third and qualifying for the Champions League. The following season, the club improved on their position while giving a good account of themselves in Europe.

The playing staff saw turnover ahead of the 2008/09 campaign with Birindelli leaving the club after a decade of service and almost 300 appearances. Zalayeta also departed, although his career never hit the anticipated heights. To help reinforce the squad, Mellberg, Amauri, and Poulsen were signed and Marchisio and Giovinco returned from loan.

The Bianconeri challenged for the scudetto before falling away in the spring, which eventually cost Ranieri his job. Alessandro Del Piero led the way with 13 league goals, supported by Amauri and Iaquinta, with Trezeguet out for most of the season. In the Coppa Italia, Juventus overcame Catania and Napoli before losing out to Lazio in the Semi-Finals. The Biancocelesti would go on to win their fifth Coppa title.

Juve were back in the Champions League and, after breezing through the Qualifying Round (5-1 over Artmedia Petržalka), the Bianconeri met Real Madrid on Match Days 3 and 4, winning both matches. The Old Lady won the home match 2-1 and then went to the Bernabeu where Alessandro Del Piero turned in a performance for the ages, scoring both goals. The Black and Whites topped the group but fell to Chelsea in the Round of 16.

Juventus 2-1

Real Madrid 0-2 Juventus

Moving on to the kits, Nike took over the contract for the Italian club in 2003 and had it until adidas became the manufacturer in 2015. This one was a solid effort, not the best but far from the worst, with the 06/07 and 14/15 versions the best in my opinion.

Juventus’ traditional black and white stripes were accented by bright yellow accents at the collar, cuffs and bottom hem. Yellow was used instead of the red from the previous season and I preferred this look, so much that I bought a replica version. The cuffs and hem were particularly interesting as the yellow bits were sown on under the main fabric to create a flare effect. There several different iterations of the kit as it was worn with white shorts and socks, white shorts and black socks and black shorts and socks. Have to say I liked this last version the best.

The replica had an embroidered crest with a thick heat transfer of the New Holland logo. There were some additional touches with the word BIANCONERI and two stars on the inside neck tape and JUVENTUS in gold across back neck.

As I was researching I noted that the league version of the shirt had stripes throughout the back of the shirt while the Champions League version had a black box for the name and number set. At first I thought I was imagining things but the Switch Image Project confirmed this slight alteration.

I ordered this shirt with JUNIOR 7 on the back. While I don’t wear it as much as I used to (read why here), it still hangs in my closet and maybe one day I’ll get it framed for the mancave I dream/talk about.

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Resources

Wikipedia

Colours of Football

Switch Image Project

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Check out more posts on kits from clubs and countries around the world on the Strip Club page. And yes. It’s safe for work.

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Personal Kit Collection 2016

Inspired by a series of tweets late 2012, I took stock of my kit inventory and put together a post documenting my personal kit collection at the time. As you can see my collection was all over the place in terms of teams, manufacturer and style. Since then, I have had a couple of realizations (read: interventions) and talks with myself. Combine that with a big move and my collection is now under 30 jerseys. I have probably owned over 50 shirts through the years but things happen. My collection pales in comparison with others, especially JR Francis, as we discussed on one of his appearances on the SoccerNomad podcast, but I love collecting and talking about kits.

Manchester United

Home

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Away

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US National Team

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National Teams

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FC Barcelona

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Juventus

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Atlanta Silverbacks

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My current plan is to follow my self-created rules.

  • Since I’ve narrowed my focus to just following Manchester United at club level (and Atlanta United when they take the field in 2017), only buying a shirt every three years or ones that match my tastes. I’m currently back filling my Manchester United collection.
  • In terms of national team kits, only buying ones of the United States Men’s National Team. Why? Because I’m American, if only by an accident of birthplace. (Of course, thanks to Nike, this policy has been a real problem as they keep designing crap shirts.)
  • Only buying personalized jerseys (printed with JUNIOR 7) and not buying “hero jerseys”.
  • Only buying shirts on sale (promotional or otherwise) or wait until the release of the following set of kits.

Since I put these into effect a couple of years ago, I have done quite well, only breaking the rules once, and that was to get an authentic Holland Away jersey from Euro 2012. It was 50% off at Classic Football Shirts and I couldn’t pass it up. However I’m close to breaking several of the above rules for the new Croatia Euro 2016 away shirt.

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For all the posts on kits that I have owned, own currently or want to own, please visit the Strip Club page of the SoccerNomad blog.

Here are some good resources, especially if you’re looking for vintage or retro shirts:

Feel free to share your faves/collections or great sites for shirts in the comments below.

Juventus: A History in Black and White

juve book

Juventus: A History in Black and White

Juventus is one of the most storied clubs in Italy and author Adam Digby does a wonderful job tracing the history of the club.

Starting with the early days of Italian football as it moved from regional leagues to a unified national league to the first period of success for Juvenuts during the 30’s, Digby recounts how the club rose again due to the emergence of the devastating strike force of Charles, Sivori and Boniperti and soared still further under the management of Trapattoni in the 70’s and 80’s. The 90’s saw another golden period which came to a crushing end due to Calciopoli before the Old Lady returned to the top with a new generation of players and the intensity of Conte.

Digby highlights the key protagonists in the club’s history, illustrating how their arrival, performance and demeanor helped shape the club. Things didn’t always go well for the club on the field or in the boardroom and Digby addresses these times. Whenever La Madama struggled a new hero would arise to help lead the team to success and maintain the Juventus spirit.

Digby is a lifelong Juventino and his passion comes through int he book, so it is not an absolutely objective account, but I consider it a strength and the book is a great introduction to the club and I recommend it if you want to learn about one of greats of world football and some critical moments in Italian football history.

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For a full list of my book reviews, please visit the Recommended Reading page. And reach out to me with your suggestions as well.

Strip Club–One Way Contact Edition

The Old Lady of Italian football came into the 2005/06 season as the defending Serie A champs with an amazing collection of talent: Buffon, Vieira, Emerson, Ibrahimović, Del Piero, Nedvěd, Zambrotta, Camoranesi,  Trezeguet, Mutu, Thuram and Cannavaro plus future stars Chiellini, Marchisio and Balzaretti.  The Black and Whites only lost one league match the entire season in defense of their title.

juve-serie-a

Although they had a 10 point lead over Inter and a 12 point advantage over Milan at the halfway point, the title chase went all the way to the end.  With eight matches to go, Juventus were still nine points ahead of Milan but a series of five draws from the Bianconeri in rounds 31 to 35 allowed the Rossoneri to close the gap and, with three matches to go, the lead had shrunk to just three points. Both teams won out and Juventus secured their 29th domestic title.

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Success was not found in the Coppa, as the club lost to Roma in the Quarters on away goals. The tenth victory and the accompanying silver star continue to elude the Italian giants. In the Champions League, the team stormed to the top of a group with Bayern Munich, Club Brugge and Rapid Wien, winning five of the six games.  The Italian champs overcame Werder Bremen on away goals in the Round of 16 and then met Arsenal in the Quarters.  Viera’s return to Highbury was a disaster.  Missing ADP and Nedved, the team surrendered two goals and suffered two red cards.  The teams played out a 0-0 draw in Turin and the Old Lady was out.

Juventus_turyn_sezon_2005_06_original_originalUnfortunately the Calciopoli scandal broke after the season, and the club was stripped of their most recent titles.  Several key players left the squad and those that remained had to fight their way back out of Serie B in the 2006/07 season.  Watching the highlights from that season, the dynamism of the team is stunning to watch and I wonder what would have happened had that team been able to stay together.

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I really like this jersey due to its uniqueness in the pantheon of Juventus kits.  Based on a Wikipedia page provided by Adam Digby (Super Juventus Fan and author of Juventus: A History in Black & White,) red has not been used as the base for a Juventus strip.  Nike designed a jersey using the colors of the Italian flag and the shirt also notes 100 years since their first scudetti win on the front center of the shirt. Unfortunately mine is a knockoff from eBay, and I’m not sure what the material is but the shield is peeling off and the shirt doesn’t breathe at all. On the plus side it’s a hero jersey with Del Piero #10 on the back. Regardless of the quality, I love the red, I love the history and I love Del Piero.

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MatchDay Memory: Luis Suarez Then and Now Part I (Luis Suarez Miramontes)

Imagine a time in the distant future when a player named Luis Enrique joins FC Barcelona or a new Hughes is signed by Manchester United.  That player will inevitably be compared to their predecessor, with the shadow of former glory always hovering around the player.  For Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz, who joined FC Barcelona in the summer of 2014, not only was he not the first Luis Suarez to have played for the Blaugrana, but he will probably not be as successful in terms of trophies as his predecessor.  On top of this, he also comes with his own unique baggage.

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I had heard of FCB legends like Samitier and Kubala and Cruyff and Maradona but knew almost nothing about the original Luis Suarez.  In researching Luis Suarez Miramontes (referred to as Lusito), I was stunned to learn of his accomplishments.  He started at Deportivo La Coruna before moving to FC Barcelona in 1955.  The squad had all the elements to prosper, with talented players like Kubala, Kocsis, Czibor, Evaristo, and Ramallets, and the arrival of manager Helenio Herrera created a cycle of success for the Blaugrana.  While the legendary Real Madrid of the 1950’s was winning five European Cups in a row, FC Barcelona found domestic success winning the 1957 Copa del Rey (then called the Generalissimo Cup) and back to back league titles in 1959 (Domestic Double) and 1960.  At the same time, the club found success on the continent, winning the Fairs Cup in 1958 and 1960.  Victory in the league allowed for entry into the European Cup, and in the 1960 edition, Barca lost to the mighty Real Madrid in the Semis.  But the Blaugrana eliminated their eternal rival in the first round of the 1961 competition before losing to Benfica in the Final.

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After the disappointment of the European Cup Final, Lusito was sold for a record transfer fee at the time to Inter, where he was reunited with Herrera and helped to create La Grande Inter.  At the new club, Il Mago changed Suarez’s role from goal scoring forward to deep-lying midfielder, and the Nerazzurri emerged from the shadow of their city rivals, winning three league titles, two European Cups and two Intercontinental Cups in an astonishing period from 1962-1966.  Suarez left Inter in 1970 and finished his career at Sampdoria, retiring in 1973.

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On the International front, Suarez appeared for Spain at the 1962 and 1966 World Cups, but La Roja did not progress out of the group in either competition. However La Selección won the 1964 European Championship on home soil, with Luisito a key component.  After defeating Hungary in the Semis, Spain faced off against the Soviet Union in the Final.  Kishen Patel summarized Lusito’s impact on the match:

Spain faced previous winners USSR in the final and once again Luis Suarez didn’t disappoint with his performance. A wise head among young players, Suarez was the eldest member of the Spanish squad. A sublime pass from Luisito found Jose Maria Pereda whose skillful finish left the “Black Spider” Yashin helpless. Spain were in the lead in the 6th minute in front of 100,000 spectators at the Bernabeu with General Francisco Franco among them. However, the Russian side equalised within two minutes of conceding and it took some heroics from Spanish goalkeeper Jose Angel Iribar to keep the scores level. Luis Suarez’s calming presence made the difference when he spread the play to the right and the ball was crossed in from there to find Marcelino Martinez who beat Yashin for the second time in the game with a headed effort. Spain clinched their first European Nation’s Cup on their home soil. Luis Suarez Miramontes’ ability to dictate play and orchestrate attacks highlighted him as the mastermind behind Spain’s victory.

Luisito-spain

In addition to his medals for club and country, Suarez won the 1960 Ballon d’Or, putting him in the pantheon of the great players in the 50’s and 60’s.  Gemma Simolo wrote for Inside Spanish Football that Suárez had exquisite technique, possessed extraordinary footwork, unrivalled when it came to his inch-perfect passing, thrived with creativity, and scored impressive goals.

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A profile of the current Luis Suarez and a comparison of the two players will follow later this week.

Strip Club–Popping the Cherry Edition

 

My Strip Club posts are the result of what I saw other people doing on the web.  There was Fuse at AvoidingtheDrop.com who started a feature in which he went back and talked about old shirts/jerseys (kits or strips for the uninformed) he had purchased and assorted memories of those teams and moments in time. Jacob did the same thing at UnprofessionalFoul.com (The Good, The Bad, The WTF) for a time. I loved these ideas, and thought I would do the same.

I’m pretty sure the first jersey I ever purchased was the Juventus home kit for the 95-97 seasons:

The jersey is beautiful in its simplicity: simple black and white lines and a sponsor logo that is not overpowering. The club did something unique for a while, in that the club crest was either not visible or barely visible in this case, with the crest at the base of the collar, and this continued until the 99/00 season. Presumably it was left out because the Bianconeri were winning the Scudetto every year and were honored with the shield. (Suck it AC Milan and Inter!)

As for my history with Juventus, I fell in love with them because of Roberto Baggio. He was my favorite player of USA 94 and when I found out he was on this team from Italy, I started following the Black and Whites. He was transferred to AC Milan after the 94-95 season, but I heard about this young player named Del Piero, so I stayed with the Bianconeri.

I watched almost every match during their dramatic run to the 1996 European Final (I missed a lot of my college classes), which culminated with a win over Ajax, and I was hooked. Ravanelli scored the opening goal from almost no angle and then Jugovic struck the winning penalty in the shootout on an amazing night. I was working for the government in Birmingham, AL during that summer and had a little extra cash, so I splurged for the jersey of the European Club Champions.

The jersey has held up amazingly well and is fantastic to wear–light, sharp and iconic.  Yes people mistake me for a ref at times, but that’s fine. Education is a constant process. I only wish I was good as the players who wore during an amazing time at the club.

MatchDay Memory–Going Hollywood

During one of our Mid-Michigan United watch parties, after yet another Joe Hart/Rachel Maddow joke, I had the idea to do a post about players who like actors/characters.  I started jotting down some ideas and kept my notebook with me watching games in case something came to mind.  As usual, I was a day late and a dollar short to an idea.  Putting the post together, I came across the tumblr page Footballers Who Look Like Actorswhich had already gotten quite a head start.  Disheartened I pushed on, because I had a couple in my notes that they did not have, so here is my starting eleven plus a manager, a referee and a mayor.

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From the moment I saw David de Gea at Atleti, I was convinced he was the starting keeper for the Whoville National Team.  Look at him.  Crazy hair and sideburns, little button nose, scrawny as Calista Flockhart on a bad day.  As a United fan I want him to bulk up and be more of a controlling presence in the penalty area.  As a bitter, snarky prick, I want him to remain ridiculously frail so that everyone can make fun of him.

Val Kilmer is preparing himself for his role as Sergio Ramos in the upcoming biopic about the Spanish defender.  Not a single part of the last sentence is true, especially because Val would have to lose too much weight to even make that happen.  When I see the current Sergio Ramos (beard, highlights, shorthair), I think Ice Man and Thunderheart.

mexes-renner

Philippe Mexes has an uncanny resemblance to actor Jeremy Renner.  Credit to Footballers Who Like Actors for the pic, who did the hard work for me on that one.  Mexes occasionally has a moment of glory but sometimes (read: most of the time) can be utterly useless.  Likewise Renner has been in decent movies (The Town and Hurt Locker) but also has made some bad choices (The Avengers and Ghost Protocol).

Cedrick suggested that Thomas Vermaelen IS Jude Law.  Have to agree that some of the pics on the interwebs are striking in their similarities.  Tough to say whether the Belgian player is actually a decent defender or impersonating one in hopes of running off with Arsenal’s great fortunes.  Wait, what?

Fabio Coentrao is probably not chasing around supernatural forces or writing another best seller but he does have a resemblance to David Duchovny’s characters over the years, especially Hank Moody from Californication.  The actor has a little squarer jaw but Coentrao could probably do in a pinch.

ashley young

Another United player has a twin in the acting world.  Skimming the Footballers Who Look Like Actors website, a recent post showed side by side pics of Ashley Young and Jaime Hector.  Think what you want about Young (diver, poor crosser of the ball, waste of space) but Hector’s performance as Marlo Stanfield in the Wire was amazing.  What you say.  You haven’t seen the Wire.  Stop reading this post and start watching the series right now.

For the purposes of this post and as an acknowledgment of the Spanish Waiter’s tactical creativity with Chelsea at the 2012 Club World Cup, I have moved David Luiz into central midfield, and his doppelganger is easy: Sideshow Bob.  Next.

Mesut Ozil / Peter Lorre(submitted by mimirose)

Out on the left side of the pitch I have put Mesut Ozil.  Again the Footballers Who Look Like Actors website provided the comparison, in this case—Peter Lorre.  His name sounded familiar but had no idea who he was.  After a little research, found out he was in Casablanca, the Maltese Falcon, the Mr. Moto movies and Arsenic and Old Lace.  Who knew?

Pulling the strings for this eleven has to be everyone’s favorite Uruguayan—Luis Suarez.  Hopefully in some hypothetical match he doesn’t offend the opposition, try to dive for a penalty or save a goal bound shot with his hand.  His twin, Anne Hathaway, has been a running gag on the Men in Blazers podcast for a while now, even generating an entry on the MIB wiki.

Roberto-Soldado-111123-Celebrates-AI-300bradley-cooper

Hopefully scoring the goals for the team would be Roberto Soldado and Edison Cavani. I started referring to the Spanish striker as Bradley Cooper in my early posts on La Liga, while Cavani’s particular facial features reminded me of days gone by and Masters of the Universe villain Skeletor.

holloway sloth

Mean-spirit-ness ahoy. Managing this team has to be Iain Dowie.  Due to his long record of success?  No.  Due to his inspiring man management skills?  No.  Because he is Sloth, again a touchstone to another movie of my youth—The Goonies.  Not nice to say but most think it and don’t say it out loud.  Credit to ROLFrazzi for pic.

Finally, taking charge of the match must be Spanish referee Cesar Nunez Fernandez who, along with University of Kentucky Lead Car Salesman Head Basketball Coach John Calipari, is keeping the world’s hair gel economy afloat.  Obviously he’s been hitting the beach or tanning bed more than the UK coach, and I’m sure he could make sure that any game goes off without a hitch.  Even with Suarez on the field.

Overseeing all of the festivities would be Mayor Quimby from the Simpsons, giving the match a sense of decorum.  And if he couldn’t make it, I’m sure his understudy, Brendan Rodgers, could step in.  Have to give a shout to Mid-Michigan United Supporters John and Ravi who tipped me off to this one.

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So that’s the list.

GK      David de Gea              Who from Whoville

RB       Sergio Ramos              Val Kilmer

CB       Thomas Vermaelen     Jude Law

CB       Philippe Mexes            Jeremy Renner

LB       Fabio Coentrao           David Duchovny

RM      Ashley Young             Jaime Hector

DM      David Luiz                  Sideshow Bob

AM      Luis Suarez                 Anne Hathaway

LM      Mesut Ozil                  Peter Lorre

ST        Edison Cavani             Skeletor

ST        Roberto Soldado         Bradley Cooper

MGR   Iain Dowie                  Sloth

Referee Cesar Nunez Fernandez        John Calipari

The goal now becomes creating another squad for this team to play against.  The notebook will be at the ready and if I can’t create it on my own, then I’ll “borrow” from Footballers Who Look Like Actors.

In my research I found some more resources:

Enjoy and thanks to everyone for their suggestions and notes.