Ciccio Grabbi’s Esordienti 2000 side came close to repeating last year’s victorious campaign in the Madrid-based Canillas tournament contested over the course of the weekend.
The Bianconeri youngsters, who won the competition a year ago under the stewardship of Fabrizio Ravanelli, were eventually undone in a semi-final penalty shootout against Real Madrid - but were able to celebrate a creditable third-placed finish following an emphatic 3-0 win over Catalan giants Barcelona.
A strong start in the group stages - which saw Den Haag, Shandong Ujeng, hosts Canillas and C.Marseilles comfortably dispatched – was then followed by a narrow 1-0 success over Finnish outfit KAPA in the last eight.
A goalless 90 minute semi-final with Los Blancos saw Juventus miss out in the ensuing penalty shootout, before ending their campaign on a high with an impressive three-goal triumph in the third-place playoff.
The Bianconeri’s tenacity and ability to match their opponents all the way through to the tournament’s conclusion was of particular delight to the man who puts them through their paces on a daily basis in Vinovo.
Grabbi said: “We’re very happy. We came over to Spain with a group of lads who all grew up in Piedmont and managed to hold our own against teams that can already count on foreign players from all over the world.
“I’ve been coaching this side for a few years and I’m very proud with how they’re all developing, showing great determination and an instinctive attachment to the black and white shirt. These lads never want to lose, even against prestigious opposition, and they fully embody the spirit of Juventus.”