Let me first underline that I am not a Juventus fan.
In fact I will, not unlike the legendary 90o minuto presenter, Paolo Valenti, never reveal which team I support.
Thing is, I like a large number of Italian teams, for all kinds of reasons.
Like them or not, it’s hard impossible not to recognize Juventus for what they currently are: a ruthless, perfectly organized team with tons of quality on the pitch, on the bench and in the upper offices of a superbly run football club, in the Genesis-like land of confusion that Italy is these days.
Juve were showered with praise following their ruthless elimination of Barcelona last Wednesday – yes, that Barça everyone wrote off as “disappearing”, “not as good as before”, led by a Leo Messi “not the man he used to be”. That Barça bounced back to win the Clasico in spectacular fashion – nuff said.
Meanwhile, last night in Turin, following a string of surprising, late-season results (Empoli & Crotone’s upsets of Milan and Samp), Sky Italia doomsayers said Juve had to look out for Genoa, the team who beat 3-1 them neatly in the first half of the season.
No such luck. Juve were their usual, cinematic, comic book heroes selves, using their superpowers on hapless opposition.
Fantasized Dybala could have been tired? WHACK! He scored his team’s 2nd goal looking like he was flying above the surface.
Thought Manduzkic had lost his eye for goal after being deployed for so long on the left attacking midfield line? KAPOW! A first touch missile flew past the goalie to make it 3-0.
And how about Bonucci, such a strong defender, scoring from distance after a solo run? BOOM! 4-0 and buonasera.
The race for Serie A is almost over (in fact, it never really started) and so Italian radio phone-ins already have all set their sights on the CL final in Cardiff versus Real Madrid.
It’d be a mistake to underestimate Monaco and Atletico Madrid, a bit like the French media are doing with the Présidentielles and Emmanuel Macron’s apparent shoe-in in two weeks’ time.
But today’s bottom line is Juve are just too strong for the rest. How strong they will be in early June is a question for, well, early June.