With Real Madrid vanquished and the competition’s best player among their troops, Juventus had a golden opportunity in this year’s Champions League.
But ultimately, their European dream was cruelled by Ajax on their own turf, leaving their season’s quest unfulfilled.
It’s no secret the Italian giants spent $176m on a 33-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo in the hope of adding European football’s most coveted prize to their collection. A cabinet that features the last seven Serie A titles and four Coppa Italias on the trot.
And now their wait to end a 24-year drought goes on.
Not even splashing the cash on Ronaldo, the most successful player in the competition’s history in terms of trophies and goals could power them to success. Even more agonisingly, for the first time since 1981-82, Juventus were knocked out by a team outside the top five leagues.
Ajax had already knocked out the back-to-back-to-back holders in Real Madrid, and Juve were handed arguably the easiest opponent of the seven remaining, and yet they too fell to the Dutch outfit.
It was anybody’s guess who would etch their names on the trophy, with Barcelona, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Juve the favourites to progress to the final four and duel it out from there.
But instead the Ajax fairytale continued, and it’s back to the drawing board for Massimiliano Allegri. The Juve boss was quick to assure his future after the exit.
“I already talked with the president, I will remain at Juve next season and we are already planning the next campaign,” said Allegri.