10 things that were different the last time a team other than Juventus won the Serie A

Juventus became the first club from Europe’s Top 5 leagues to win eight consecutive league titles. The last team to beat them to a Serie A title was Massimiliano Allegri’s AC Milan in 2010/11 and a lot of things were different back then in the football world.

#1. Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen were teammates at Ajax

Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are gearing up in Tottenham Hotspur colours for a UEFA Champions League semifinal against their former club.  

Eight years ago, they were still teammates albeit at Ajax. Vertonghen was the first to leave the Dutch club in 2012 for Spurs followed by Eriksen and Alderweireld in 2013 to Spurs and Atletico Madrid respectively.

#2. Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge of Manchester United and United won their 19th league title

At the end of the 2010/11 season, Sir Alex Ferguson achieved what he said he would do –  knock Liverpool off their perch. Man Utd won their 19th league title, an English top division record and their 12th in the Premier League era.

United added another league title in 2013 before Ferguson retired. Since then, David Moyes, Ryan Giggs, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjær been in charge of the club without adding another title.

#3. Cristiano Ronaldo was the world’s most expensive player

During the 2010/11 season, Ronaldo won his first trophy as a Real Madrid player after making a record-breaking move to the club in 2009.

Ronaldo’s transfer record has been broken thrice since. First by Gareth Bale in 2013 followed by Paul Pogba in 2016 and most recently by Neymar in 2017. Four other transfers have happened which cost more than Ronaldo’s £80 million fees from 2009 and one of them is the £105 million Juventus paid for Ronaldo in 2018.

#4. Qatar Sports Investments was yet to invest in Paris Saint-Germain

Today, PSG is a renowned name in football and a destination for some of the best footballers in the world. But back in 2011, when Milan had won the Scudetto, PSG were owned by American international investment firm named Colony Capital. 

It was in June 2011 that the state of Qatar through its shareholding organization, Qatar Sports Investment, brought a controlling 70% shares of the company. In March 2012, the purchased the remaining 30% stake to become PSG’s sole shareholder.

Since then, PSG have become one of the biggest spenders in the transfer market and presently hold the record for the most expensive and the second most expensive transfers in the world.

#5. Maurizio Sarri was managing in the third tier of Italian football

Maurizio Sarri made a name for himself in Italy before earning the Chelsea job last summer but back in 2011, the Italian was managing Alessandria in the Lega Pro Prima Divisione which is the third division of Italian football. 

Sarri managed Sorrento in the following season before taking over as manager of Empoli in June 2012 where he earned a fantastic reputation for taking them from the Serie B to the Serie A and keeping them in the top division. 

He managed Napoli for three seasons before taking over as Chelsea manager last summer. 

#6. Gennaro Gattuso was still playing for AC Milan

Gennaro Gattuso is currently aiming to take Milan back into the UEFA Champions League as their manager but eight years ago, when Milan won the league title, Gattuso was playing for the team and he made 31 appearances in the league that season. 

Interestingly, the likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Thierry Henry, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs were all players back in 2011. Now, all the abovementioned players have either managed or are managing a team. 

#7. Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten were the players with most Ballon d’Or awards

It is unlikely that there is a football fan who doesn’t know that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the players with the most number of Ballon’d Or awards with five each to their name. 

However, at the end of the 2010/11 season, Lionel Messi had won the award twice in 2009 and 2010 while Cristiano Ronaldo had won the award once in 2008. Which means, back then, Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten with three Ballon d’Or awards each were the players who had picked up the award the most number of times. 

#8. Sokratis Papastathopoulos was at AC Milan 

This might come as a surprise to many people but Sokratis Papastathopoulos was a Milan player at one point of time and he was part of the Milan team that won the Scudetto in 2011. 

Papastathopoulos was Milan’s first acquisition under Max Allegri and he played seven times for the club in his debut season. He made five appearances in the league that season of which three were as a starter and was enough to give the current Arsenal player a winner’s medal.

#9. Brighton & Hove Albion, Southampton, Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth were playing in the League One

This season, Brighton & Hove Albion, Southampton, Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth are competing in the Premier League. Eight years ago, all four clubs were playing in England’s third division and all four teams were involved in a promotion race. 

Brighton and Southampton were promoted to the Championship as league winners and runners-up respectively. Huddersfield and Bournemouth finished third and sixth respectively in the league and were involved in the promotion play-offs but neither team earned a promotion that season.

#10. Juventus’ home ground was Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino

The 2010/11 season was also the last time Juventus played their home matches in the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino. 

The Stadio Olimpico was Juventus’ home ground from 1933 to 1990 before they moved to the Stadio delle Alpi which was built for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. In 2006, they returned to the Stadio Olimpico as the delle Alpi was demolished to construct a new stadium for Juventus.

The new stadium, named Juventus Stadium, was opened ahead of the start of the 2011/12 season and the club has been playing their home games at this stadium since. In 2017, the stadium was renamed the Allianz Stadium of Turin for a period of six years for sponsorship reasons.

Since moving to the Juventus stadium, the club has won the Scudetto on every single occasion. 

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