Juventus Greats: The 5 Best Goalkeepers in Club History

Adam Digby@@Adz77Featured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2014

Juventus Greats: The 5 Best Goalkeepers in Club History

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    Pass any park, field or playground in the days surrounding football's biggest occasions, and you will more than likely find a group of children playing the game we all love. More than that, they will be attempting to emulate their heroes: a run like Lionel Messi, a thunderous shot a la Edinson Cavani or practicing their golf swing in South America like Carlos Tevez.

    Many will wear the shirt of a player they admire, his name and number emblazoned across their back in tribute to their current idol. In Italy, the No. 10 shirt takes on special significance, a hallowed garment that must always be honoured in the right way.

    From the magic of Fiorentina’s mythical Giancarlo Antognoni, through Diego Maradona at Napoli to the current-day brilliance of Francesco Totti, it has been the exclusive property of the fantasisti, the playmakers and creators so beloved by fans of all ages.

    Nowhere is this more true than at Juventus, where it has been seen on the back of Michel Platini, Roberto Baggio and, most recently, Alessandro Del Piero. Yet it may well be the case that the No. 10 is not even Juve’s most famous shirt, that another number could have provided more inspiration, more glory and indeed an even greater list of legends.

    The goalkeeper of Juventus has often been the finest stopper of his generation, and over the following pages are the top five of all time.

5. Angelo Peruzzi

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    Measuring under six feet tall, Angelo Peruzzi won the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year Award three times and was a reserve in the victorious 2006 World Cup squad.

    Playing over 200 times for Juventus, he won three league titles and four European trophies in a wonderful era for the Bianconeri under Marcello Lippi.

4. Stefano Tacconi

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    Unlike many of the game's greats, Stefano Tacconi was never truly recognised on the international scene. The Perugia native represented Juventus for almost a decade, yet received only seven Italy caps.

    Unfortunate to play at the same time as Walter Zenga, his list of club honours far outweighed those of the Inter legend, winning two league titles and every European trophy available as he played 254 for times for La Madama.

3. Gianpiero Combi

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    One of Zoff’s predecessors at Juventus and perhaps one of the early Azzurri greats, Gianpiero Combi sits third on the list. A Turin native, he represented his hometown club for 13 years and won no fewer than five league titles before leading Italy to their first World Cup triumph in 1934.

    He amassed 47 caps over a 10-year international career and also won a Bronze Medal at the 1928 Olympics. Having made 367 appearances for Juventus, he retired in 1935, yet still holds the record for Serie A’s longest spell without conceding a single goal, having lasted 934 minutes.

2, Dino Zoff

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    The iconic Dino Zoff, a man synonymous with Italian triumphs, is the only man to have lifted both the World Cup and the European Championship in the famous blue shirt. Now aged 70, Zoff was—and to many people still is—the yardstick by which all Italian goalkeepers are measured.

    He began with Udinese before moving south with Napoli, where he helped Italy capture their first post-war trophy at Euro ’68 in just his fourth international appearance. Fast forward some 15 years and he finally called time on this most distinguished of careers after spending 11 seasons in goal for Juventus and lifting a steady stream of trophies.

1. Gigi Buffon

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    In goal for the Turin club since his still record transfer from Parma stands Gigi Buffon, arguably the world’s best keeper and a man who, given his consistent all-round brilliance and longevity, must be part of any conversation of all-time greats to have donned the gloves.

    When Juventus made the decision to pay the highest fee ever for a goalkeeper and splashed out almost €52 million to capture him, he had already won four major trophies and the honours have continued ever since.

    A proud winner of the 2006 World Cup, he also has helped Juve win five Scudetti, the 2006-07 Serie B title and three Italian Super Cups while also ending on the losing side in both the Euro 2012 and 2003 Champions League Finals.