04.05.2014 16:51 - in: Serie A S


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      Juventus win their third consecutive title under Antonio Conte. An achievement verging on perfection, a proud page in the club's history

      Italian champions. Again.

      The record-breaking feats of Antonio Conte's Juventus take their rightful place in Italian football's hall of fame. And not just for an achievement managed by only four teams in almost a century of Serie A history.

      In one season the Bianconeri have relentlessly smashed record after record: 30 masterful victories, including 17 in a row at home, where we are unbeaten, and 12 consecutive wins in Serie A, including eight clean sheets – all in a row.

      These are the numbers, which will bear witness in posterity to an infallibly spectacular goal-machine, but they say nothing about the training ground at Vinovo, the work, the determination on the players' faces before kick-off, their sweat-soaked applause to the stands and launching themselves in the rain to shout their thanks to the fans.

      But there's one number that stands above all others for perfection and completeness. The number three, representing synthesis. Three consecutive titles.

      "Cool mind, warm heart" is Conte's mantra.

      His masterpiece is a trinity – physical, tactical and psychological. In Conte's third Juventus is his own torrid passion and the organisation of a Swiss watch. The thrice-crowned Italian champions are clinical, implacable – a machine scientifically designed to win.

      The third consecutive title encapsulates every quality of the two previous triumphs and magnifies them to the power of three.

      The first was an onslaught, with no quarter given. We ran away with it, fired up with a hunger to return to the top against all the odds, unbeaten, to look at all the others from up there, as becomes us, and ask "What next...?"

      The second marked a growing maturity and an impenetrable defence.

      The third title, in Conte's words, was our duty. Because to miss an appointment with glory is not the Juventus way.

      Thirty-two titles, three in a row. The first and only club precedent was in the 1930s – the Old Lady of Combi, Caligaris, Felice Borel II and Munerati, as unstoppable in the season's run-in as Antonio Conte's team. Fate would have it that the third consecutive title – in the season starting in 1932 – also came before the end, blessed by the tenth goal of Argentinian “Mumo” Orsi.

      He was born in another age but less than 32 kilometres from our own Apache, our own number ten, who once wore the 32 shirt, symbol and celebrant of our current liturgy of triumphs.

      While players like top scorer Tevez and captain Buffon are the embodiment of grit, with a capital G, Juventus Stadium has been the killing ground of our opponents.

      Here no-one shall pass. We won together in years gone by, and we have won together once again. We caught up, and once ahead, no-one could catch us.

      We did fall, twice, but we just skinned our knees, got up and started running, faster than before.

      We are the champions. For the thirty-second time, the third in a row. Arithmetic has always been on the side of the strongest.

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