Image credit:Ockley Books Ltd.
Adam Digby chronicles the history of Juventus in superb detail in what should become the seminal resource of its kind in English.
1. Organized Format
2. Writing Style
3. Notable Quotes
5. About the Author
"Football is a game of identity. Clubs are instantly recognizable through imagery, icons and the colours they wear. Before the sport became omnipresent on television and the Internet, where fans were born and grow up supporting their local club, these identities were woven through generations of family and friends. Like many of football's grandest clubs, Juventus can point to the humblest of origins, far removed from the brights lights and multi-millionaire players gracing the sport today."
Let's take a look at this incredibly detailed historical account by Adam Digby. I think it will become your teacher to all things Juventus in the English language.
There is an introduction followed by 23 concise chapters along with an acknowledgment page and a detailed reference section, respectively.
2. Writing Style
|Photo credit: Валерий Дудуш|
Andrea Pirlo in action
His writing style reminded me of Forrest Gump sitting on a bench telling you his life story. He presents the story of Juventus from the first day on a bench where the club was founded to recent times. His narrative style is natural, educational, replete with historic statistics and holds your interest. If life is like a box of Juventus chocolates, this book will be your Valentine's Day.
I also liked that the author intertwined world football history as part of his overall presentation. For instance, citing the Azzurri's all-time worst defeat, 7-1, to the Hungarians in 1924. Or that Luis Monti played in two World Cup finals for different countries (Argentina and Italy, respectively.) A nice touch was a section about Grande Torino's dominance in the 1940s and to be fair, much to the detriment of the Old Lady in that era.
3. Notable Quotes
(Su Platini) L'abbiamo comprato per un tozzo di pane e lui ci ha messo sopra il foie gras. (cit. Avv. Gianni Agnelli) pic.twitter.com/BDBVr6NYmp"L'Avvocato" Gianni Agnelli with Michel Platini.
— Juventus Fans Forum (@juventusfans) January 23, 2015
"We bought him for a pittance and he put us above foie gras."
On their team kit:
"Englishman John Savage, a member of that original team, was asked to reach out to his contacts in England to supply new shirts that would better withstand the elements. The friend he contacted lived in Nottingham, and being a supporter of England's oldest sport club, Notts County, he shipped out their boldly striped shirts to Turin." (Chapter 1)
On an historic goalkeeping record:
"His (Giampiero Combi's) efforts paid handsome dividends, allowing him to set a record for Serie A's longest streak without conceding a goal --- 934 minutes in the 1925-1926 season --- which stands to this day." (Chapter 2)
On the early popularity of Juventus throughout Italy:
"Being named after an idea, rather than a specific location, suddenly became a benefit as the nation rallied against the establishment of the Republic." (Chapter 4)
Historic video from RAI showing Juventus from the 1940s to
1980s with commentary by Gianni Agnelli et al.
"Charles continued to enhance his reputation as a great finisher and as a truly adaptable player. It became normal for him to start a match at centre-forward then, when Juventus had established a lead, drop back and play at the heart of defence." (Chapter 5)
On the Heysel Tragedy in 1985:
|Image credit: Old School Panini.|
Michel Platini was criticized for celebrating his spot kick winner over Liverpool (I watched that night on TV). As the author importantly noted, Zibi Boniek, his teammate, said, "It is not good to be playing football when people are dying around you."
On Gianluca Viall:
"If Roberto Baggio is Raphael and Alessandro Del Piero, Pinturicchio, who is Gianluca Vialli? If I think for a moment, I would say Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. He is the sculptor who knows how to become a painter." Gianni Agnelli quoted in Chapter 12.
On the Calciopoli scandal of 2006:
"A true gentleman never leaves his lady." Alessandro Del Piero quoted in Chapter 14.
On Alessandro Del Piero:
"Del Piero is a champion with extraordinary technical ability and wonderful characteristics. When he is selected, he never disappoints." Marcello Lippi quoted in Chapter 17.
On Andrea Pirlo:
"Pirlo can make his feet do whatever he wants. He is a genius." Johan Cruyff quoted in Chapter 20.
On Antonio Conte's record-setting tenure:
"Only winners write history." Antonio Conte quoted in Chapter 22.
Adam Digby has authored a comprehensive history of Juventus but also one that chronicles Italian calcio in acute detail since the last century. This book likely will become the seminal resource for the history of Juventus in the English language. "Juventus: A History in Black & White," will be a welcome addition to your world football book library.
I have received a complementary review copy of this book from a representative of the publisher, Ockley Books Ltd. I was not financially compensated by the author, publisher or any party who would benefit from a positive review.
5. About the Author
|Picture credit: Steve Amoia.|
RFK Stadium in August 1983 for
the Team America vs. Juventus friendly.
Walking on the left wereSergio Brio, Michel Platini and Paolo Rossi.
In the center were
Stefano Tacconi, Gaetano Scirea and
Adam Digby (@Adz77) is a Turin-based football journalist. He is the Italian football correspondent for 442 Magazine and BeInSportsUSA.
@worldfootballcm Thank you for linking to your review again today Steve, genuinely appreciate the gesture— Adam Digby (@Adz77) November 1, 2015
- Book Review Portfolio
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- Gianluigi Buffon: The Michelangelo of Goalkeepers (Beyond The Pitch)
- From Ball Boy to World Cup Champion, Fabio Cannavaro (Beyond The Pitch)
- My Chance Meeting with Juventus FC in 1983 (World Football Commentaries)
- The Sun Finally Sets on Alessandro Del Piero (World Football Commentaries)
Steve Amoia is a freelance writer and translator from Washington, D.C. He is the publisher of World Football Commentaries since 2006 and The Soccer Translator since 2008.
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