With Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal all named in the 2012/13 Serie A “dream team” at last night’s ‘Gran Galà del Calcio’ ceremony, here are the statistics behind the four Bianconeri players’ extraordinary campaigns:
Andrea Barzagli, The Wall
Barzagli’s campaign alongside Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in the Bianconeri defensive trio was perhaps not perfect, but there’s not much in it. The Tuscan-born centre-back was an almost constant presence in the team, leading the way in appearances along with Bonucci, and once again proved himself as one of the most accomplished stoppers around.
Appearances. He contested 34 of the 38 league matches, nine out of ten in the Champions League, all four in the Coppa Italia and the Italian Super Cup
Per cent pass success rate from a total of 1627 made
110 of which were with his head
Assist for Sebastian Giovinco, and in what a game it arrived – the 4-1 home win over Roma!
Giorgio Chiellini, King Kong
Imposing in the air and always keen to gallop down the left wing, Chiellini was another crucial pillar of the Bianconeri’s success in the 2012/13 campaign. His natural positional awareness meant he was hardly ever caught off guard, and he had a penchant for popping up with crucial goals too.
Appearances throughout the season. He was struck by injury on more than one occasion, but came back stronger each time
Passes made, of which a full 90.4 per cent reached their intended man. Antonio Conte wanted his defenders to be as efficient on the ball as the rest of the side, and Chiellini took those instructions to heart with aplomb
Headed clearances. The Pisa-born stopper was almost unbeatable in the air
Crucial goal scored, effectively ending Napoli’s title ambitions with a herculean leap and deadly header into the corner
Andrea Pirlo, the conductor of the orchestra
During the European Championships that came just before the start of the 2012/13 season, Italian fans took to wearing shirts bearing the slogan “Keep calm and pass it to Pirlo”. It certainly proved a fruitful strategy for the Bianconeri, too, because the midfield maestro was at the heart of the team’s success over the past campaign.
Games played in the black and white stripes, 2858 minutes in Serie A
Assists. One fewer than Arturo Vidal, but his 55 crosses and 96 chances created are more than were provided by any other Juventus man
Passes per game,an average only surpassed in Europe by Barcelona duo Xavi Hernández and Jordi Alba
Goals from free kicks. No other player on the continent managed more. Only Catania’s Francesco Lodi matched him, with dead-ball specialists Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi netting just four and three respectively. Relive the magic of his strikes here
Successful passes, 1427 of which were in the opposition half: a feat unmatched in Serie A
Challenges won, more than any other Bianconeri player except Vidal
Arturo Vidal, top scorer and all-round warrior
The team’s top marksman in the 2012/13 season and the man whose penalty against Palermo mathematically sealed Juve’s 31st Scudetto triumph, Arturo Vidal’s campaign was a true tour de force. The Chilean was a fighter until the very end, defending as if his life depended on it, but his creative input also shone perhaps brighter than anyone’s.
Appearances. 2587 minutes played in 31 league games
Goals in all competitions. Five of these were scored in four consecutive games during the run-in to the end of the season (a double against Lazio before strikes against Milan, Torino and Palermo)
Total passes made, 1445 of which reached their target (a success rate of 87.1 per cent)
Almost double that of the second-placed player in the Bianconeri tackling statistics, Andrea Pirlo