Juventus confirmed that Arsenal midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, will join the club next summer when his contract expires. FOX Sports Asia picked an XI of the club’s best free transfers which features six FIFA World Cup winners.
Goalkeeper – Neto
Neto left Fiorentina in 2015 and joined Juventus as an understudy to Gianluigi Buffon. He was at the club for two seasons but only played 22 times in all competitions. However, he left Juve after winning five trophies.
The Brazilian left Juve to join Valencia for whom he serves as the first choice goalkeeper. His impressive form for the La Liga side earned him his first cap for Brazil in 2018 despite competition from Alisson Becker of Liverpool and Ederson Moraes of Manchester City.
Fabio Cannavaro had two separate stints with Juventus. The first was between 2004 and 2006 but following Juve’s relegation due to the Calciopoli, he left the club to join Real Madrid.
After three years with Real Madrid, Italy’s World Cup winning captain returned to Juve as a free agent. His second stint started well but after an injury midway through the season, his form dropped to such a level that Juve did not offer him a contract extension.
Emre Can is not a centre-back by trade but he has played in a three-man defence during his first season with Liverpool with some success. Also, the German is too good to exclude from this list but there is no spot for him in midfield as you will soon see.
Can joined Juventus in the summer of 2018 although Liverpool was keen on keeping him. The 25-year-old had a slow start to life in Italy but his form has picked up recently.
Also in defence in this XI is Lucio – another FIFA World Cup winning defender.
Lucio joined Juve on a free transfer in the summer of 2012 after leaving Inter Milan where he won the treble in his debut season.
Although he came to the Turin club with a huge reputation, he got little playing time ahead of the defensive trio of Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli. He only played four times in Juve colours before his contract was terminated by mutual consent in December 2012.
Honourable mentions – Robert Kovac and Oleg Mellberg
Dani Alves was allowed to leave Barcelona for free in 2016 although he had a contract which ran till 2017. The Brazilian opted to join Juventus and in his only season at the club, he played 33 games, scored six goals, provided six assists and added two more winners’ medal to his collection.
Alves joined PSG after only one season and the Parisian club’s monopoly in France has helped him become the most decorated player in European football history.
Okay, Kingsley Coman is not a wingback but we had to find a place for the Frenchman in this XI.
Coman joined Juventus on a free transfer from PSG in 2014 but he only played 22 times for the club in all competitions and scored once before moving on a two-year loan to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2015.
The Frenchman has matured into a world-class winger at the Bavarian club and at the age of 22, he has already won thirteen trophies including league titles in France, Italy and Germany. Incredibly, he has won a league title in every season of his professional career so far.
Juventus’ best free transfers have been midfielders and we start with one of the greatest free transfers of all-time – Andrea Pirlo.
Pirlo was deemed surplus to needs at Milan and was released at the end of the 2010/11 season. Juve signed him up without a hint of doubt and the Italian orchestrated the start of their dominance in Italy.
In addition to winning seven trophies with Juventus, Pirlo was named the Serie A footballer of the year in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
In 2012, Paul Pogba left Manchester United upon the expiry of his contract as he wanted more first-team opportunities which he wasn’t getting under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Pogba made an instant impact in Italy and in his four seasons with Juventus, he played 178 games, scored 34 goals, won eight trophies, was named in the Serie A team of the Year in three consecutive seasons and was also the highest assist provider in the league in his final season.
The Frenchman left Juve to rejoin Manchester United for a then world record fee of £89.3 million.
Sami Khedira is one of six World Cup winners Juventus signed on a free transfer although Pogba won the World Cup after he left Juventus.
Khedira joined Juve in 2015 after winning seven trophies as a Real Madrid player. He has already matched that tally with Juventus in fewer seasons and will surpass that tally at the end of the ongoing season.
Completing this outstanding midfield is Aaron Ramsey – Juve’s latest coup.
Ramsey has been an Arsenal player for over a decade and has won five trophies with the club. The goalscoring midfielder has played 357 games for the club scoring 61 goals but was surprisingly not offered a new contract at the club.
The Welshman will join Juventus next summer and will reportedly earn an eye-popping £400,000 per week!
Striker – Fernando Llorente
With the inclusion of Fernando Llorente, there is a player who won the World Cup from 2002 to 2018 in this XI.
Llorente joined Juventus in 2013 after nine years with Athletic Bilbao where he scored 118 goals in 333 games.
The Spaniard played 92 times for Juve and scored 27 goals while winning six trophies. Interestingly, he played for Juve once in the Serie A in the 2015/16 season before joining Sevilla in the summer of 2015 but he was still eligible to get a winners’ medal!