The following season saw Fabio Capello assume control of first team affairs. Among the new arrivals were Emerson, Fabio Cannavaro and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović. Performances in Europe weren’t as anticipated but Juve were unstoppable in Italy and achieved back-to-back championship titles, smashing records and leaving opponents lagging behind. But towards the end of the 2005/2006 season, the club was involved in a judicial enquiry, which came about through some recorded telephone conversations. The matter, known as ‘Calciopoli’ brought big changes within the club as a new president, Giovanni Cobolli Gigli, and a new CEO, Jean-Claude Blanc, were elected. The sporting body condemned Juventus to play a season in Serie B and with a nine-point disadvantage. The club’s two previous Scudetto titles were also removed. Didier Deschamps was the new manager and he began his mission with a core of champions: Del Piero, Buffon and Camoranesi, who were all fresh from the World Cup victory in Berlin, as well as Trezeguet and Nedved. 15 December 2006 was a sad date in Juve’s history as two boys from Beretti’s team, Alessio Ferramosca and Riccardo Neri, died during a tragic accident at Vinovo’s Juventus Center. With a deep sadness engulfing the club, the side returned to the field the following week and beat Bologna. It was a crucial result for the return to Serie A and also one that was dedicated to the memory of the two young boys. Alex Del Piero finished the season as Serie B’s top scorer and also became Juventus’ all-time leading goalscorer.
From Heaven to Hell... and back
Years of change
The following season, under Claudio Ranieri’s guidance, Juventus finished in third place and thus qualified for the Champions League. Captain Del Piero was a key figure in that great season as he finished as top scorer on 21, closely followed by Trezeguet on 20. In the 2008/2009 campaign, Juve struggled in the second half of the season and suffered a run of negative results which could have hindered their qualification for the Champions League. Ciro Ferrara replaced Ranieri for the last two Championship fixtures and Juventus finished in second place. Ferrara was confirmed as coach for the following season, which saw the return of Fabio Cannavaro and the arrivals of Fabio Grosso, Felipe Melo and Diego. In October, Giovanni Cobolli Gigli relinquished the role of Club President and handed full control over to Jean-Claude Blanc. However, after a solid start, the team encountered a series of injuries which compromised their overall performance. The management then changed again as Zaccheroni replaced Ferrara. The Bianconeri ended the season in seventh place and qualified for the preliminary round of the Europa League. The real turning point came on 19 May 2010 as Andrea Agnelli became president of the club and began to write a new chapter in the Juventus history books.