The Old Lady has been home to some of the greatest football players of all time and they rank third on the list of clubs with most Ballon d’Or winning players. In this article, we will take a look at the careers of six Juventus players who won the illustrious Ballon d’Or award,
6. Omar Sivori (1961)
Sivori represented Juventus for eight years from 1957 to 1965 and is very highly respected in Turin for his contributions to the club. He often played as the second striker, often creating chances for the players around him. He won the Serie A golden boot in 1959-60 season and Juventus subsequently finished as the league champions. The Bianconeri defended their title successfully, thanks again to the contributions of Omar who scored 25 goals in 27 Serie A appearances. He was deservedly recognised as the best European player in 1961 and became the first Juventus player to win the Ballon d’Or.
5. Paolo Rossi (1982)
Rossi was not one of those physically intimidating center-forwards, but his eye for goals and exquisite technique made him a unique presence. After his involvement in a betting scandal, he made just three appearances for Juventus in Serie A but his heroics in the World Cup won him the Ballon d’Or award. After being widely criticized for his performances in group stage, Rossi turned the tide with a memorable hat-trick against Brazil and scored the opener in the final won by Italy. With renewed confidence, Rossi started the 1982-83 season in style by scoring goals across competitions and reinstated his damaged reputation in Italy.
4. Michel Platini (1983,1984,1985)
An icon of French football, Platini revolutionized the number 10 role in Italian football with his incredible passing range and vision. He was one of the first footballers to show that creative skills can be combined with goal scoring as he finished as the Serie A top scorer in three consecutive seasons despite playing deeper than a traditional striker. His Juventus career got off to a shaky start but his perseverance paid off as he became the first player to win a hat-trick of Ballon d’Or awards. The 1985 European Cup final was supposed to be the crown jewel of his career but the Heysel stadium disaster spoiled Juventus’ winning party and the match is remembered today for all the wrong reasons.
3. Roberto Baggio (1993)
Another Juventus legend who wore the illustrious number 10 shirt, Baggio was a huge star in Italy and was the main reason for Italy’s run to the 1994 World Cup final. He moved to Juventus from Fiorentina in the summer of 1990 and became a fan favorite very quickly. He was given a free role in the Juventus team and often confused opposition by roaming everywhere on the pitch and dictating the play in a previously unseen manner. He had a disappointing 1992-93 Serie A season as Juventus finished fourth but the UEFA Cup final victory over Borussia Dortmund gave the Bianconeri fans something to celebrate.
2. Zinedine Zidane (1998)
Voted as the greatest European player of the past fifty years in the 2004 UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll, Zinedine Zidane will forever be remembered for his achievements as both a player and manager. After catching the eyes of everyone during his time at Bordeaux, Zidane moved to Juventus in 1996. In the 1997-98 season, he helped Juventus to a Serie A title and a runner up place in the Champions League. He also won the World Cup with France, scoring two goals in the final and subsequently lifted the Ballon d’Or award at the end of the year.
1. Pavel Nedved (2003)
The current sporting director of Juventus, Nedved was the complete package as he could play literally any position in midfield or attack and his incredible work ethic earned the respect of fans across Italy. Juventus lifted the 2002-03 Serie A title and the Italian Super Cup largely due to his presence across the pitch and reached the final of the 2003 Champions League. Unfortunately, due to an accumulation of yellow cards, Nedved could not participate in the 2003 final and Juventus struggled to create chances without their star player.