The best team in the world
In 1990, Giampiero Boniperti handed the presidential reins over to Mr Vittorio Caissotti di Chiusano. Three years later, Juventus clinched their third UEFA Cup, but had also experienced a barren run on the domestic front. In 1994, the club began a process of renovation. Chiusano remained as president, but operating positions were given to Roberto Bettega, Antonio Giraudo and Luciano Moggi.
Marcelo Lippi was managing the side and several new faces had entered the squad such as: Ferrara in defence, Paulo Sousa and Deschamps in midfield and up front, alongside Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Baggio, was an interesting young player. He had joined Juventus in the previous year from Padova, showing a notable technique and a strong personality. His name was Alessandro Del Piero, the man who would go on to rewrite all Juventus records. The following season was defined by an endless duel with Parma, who managed to overcome Juve in the UEFA cup final. However, the Bianconeri beat their rivals in the Scudetto title race and also ran out winners against them in the Coppa Italia final.
The year was a great success but also one that was marked by tragedy because of the death of Andrea Fortunato on 25th April 1995 after he suffered from an incurable disease. The Scudetto victory allowed Juve to claim their place in the Champions League the following year where they knocked out Real Madrid in the quarter-finals and then beat Nantes in the semis. The final was to be played in Rome against reigning champions Ajax. On 22 May 1996, it ended 1-1. The Bianconeri had scored all their penalties and keeper Peruzzi had saved two. Jugovic approached the penalty spot smiling for the last spot kick. His smile turned to a cry of joy after a few seconds as Juve were crowned Champions of Europe.
The squad underwent drastic changes in the following season as Vialli and Ravanelli both left, while Boksic, Vieri and Amoruso came in. Montero and Zidane also joined to bolster the defence and midfield respectively. The Bianconeri were then back on the top of the world after Del Piero’s goal clinched victory against River Plate in the Intercontinental Cup held in Tokyo. The team also achieved another Scudetto title, but a second consecutive Champions League final was to end on a low, as former Bianconeri players Moeller and Paulo Sousa took the trophy to Germany. European heartbreak was to repeat itself the following year as the Bianconeri again stumbled at the final hurdle, this time in Amsterdam against Real Madrid. However the club recorded its 25th Scudetto title largely thanks to the fine form displayed by Inzaghi and Del Piero. The following season, Del Piero suffered an injury on 8 November 1998 in Udine. Without their guiding light, Juventus struggled to maintain their rhythm and Lippi gave way to Carlo Ancelotti on the bench.
Following two unsuccessful seasons, Lippi returned home in 2001. The manager from Viareggio took charge of a team that had lost the key figures of Inzaghi and Zidane but he was able to count on the vital signings of Buffon, Thuram and Nedved. The championship went right down to the wire. On the final matchday of the season, Inter were out in front and playing against Lazio in Rome. Meanwhile Juventus were in action against away against Udinese. Lippi’s side were quick out of the blocks and had established a two-goal lead in the space of just 15 mintues. Inter, on the other hand, went into the interval on level terms but then conceded twice after the restart to bring their title challenge to an end. Scudetto number 26 will be remembered for Del Piero and Trezeguet’s immense joy, coupled with Ronaldo’s tears. The Scudetto shield remained on Juve’s shirt for the following season, but it was a tragic year nonetheless. ‘Avvocato’ Giovanni Agnelli died on 24 January 2003 and the club was in mourning. In May, Juventus suffered another setback as they lost the Champions League final on penalties at Wembley against Milan.
15 July 2003 proved to be a historic date for the club as Juventus entered into an agreement with the City of Turin for the acquisition of the Stadio Delle Alpi land rights, where the new stadium would eventually be built. In the meantime, the Bianconeri exacted revenge on Milan by claiming victory in the Super Cup which was contested in the USA. However, the party did not last too long as the death of President Vittorio Caissotti di Chiusano was announced. Franzo Grande Stevens, Vice-President of FIAT stepped into the role. Aside from the Super Cup victory, the remainder of the season was unfulfilling for Juve. The club was again in deep mourning the following spring as Umberto Agnelli passed away on 27 May 2004.