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The Italian Serie A is widely considered as a pension league among the big five league in Europe. Not that the age implicates on the quality of the league though.
The slow and tactical nature of the league make it ideal for older players to thrive in Italy. Cristiano Ronaldo recently made a move to Juventus who are the current Champions, and though he is 33 years old himself, the age of his Juventus teammates may as well come as a surprise for the Portuguese superstar.
According to statistics, Juventus first team has 10 players over the age of 30: 30-year-old Quadra, 31-year-old Bonucci, Marchisio, Khedira, Benatia and Matuyi Di, 32-year-old Manjukic, 33-year-old Ronaldo and Chiellini, and 37-year-old Barzagli or above, who are first team starters.
Age was surely a factor in the 2017 Champions League final that saw Juventus well beaten by Ronaldo’s real Madrid 4-1. Juventus looked the complete package en route to this final. Not only did Massimiliano Allegri’s side have that formidable defence but also a potent attack led by Gonzalo Higuain. They started as if determined to banish the demons that have visited them in past Champions League finals. They made a razor-sharp start – Miralem Pjanic’s early 25-yard shot beaten away by Navas. Juve were right in the game after Mandzukic’s triumph of technique and athleticism pulled them level – but they faded badly in the second half and ended overwhelmed.
Midfiled is where they seem to be lacking and although Pjanic is relatively young and could be the leader there, there still remain doubts as whether the others can play 50 games a season and still be effective in the latter stages of the Champions League. Khedira and Machisio are both 31 while French international Blaisse Matuidi is also in the same age bracket
Though experience may come to count for later in the season, the aging bodies of Ronaldo’s team mates might be what denies him another European title at the Turin club.
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