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Champions League
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Italian Cup 2005-2006
Serie A 2005-2006
Serie B 2006-2007
Youth Team 2005-2006
Saturday, 15 April 2006
Cagliari- Juventus: 1-1
Mood:  hug me
Topic: Serie A 2005-2006
Serie A Tim - 15 Apr 2006 - 5:41 PM

A tense and sometimes frustrating game at the Sant’Elia stadium ended 1-1 this afternoon. Although Juventus had the majority of both the possession and the chances, some impressive defending from Cagliari kept them at bay. However, in the last minute of the game, Cannavaro’s powerful header flew into the top corner of the goal, cancelling-out Suazo’s first-half penalty and salvaging a point for the bianconeri.

After a tense opening, Juve began to take hold of the game. Concentrating their attacks down the right-hand side, the bianconeri continually caused problems for their opponents with a series of teasing crosses from Zambrotta and Nedved. Ibrahimovic also created his own opportunities, twice finding space on the edge of the area but seeing his shots fly just wide. However, it was his strike-partner who came closest to breaking the deadlock. Stretching to reach a superb cross from Ibra, Del Piero’s volley was brilliantly saved by Chimenti.

With two minutes left before half-time, a rare attack from the rossoblu resulted in a penalty. After a surging run into the Juve box, Langella tumbled under a diving challenge from Zambrotta. The referee, adjudging the defender to have taken the player and not the ball, pointed to the spot. Suazo stepped up to take the kick and coolly slotted his shot to the left of Buffon to put Cagliari 1-0 ahead at half-time.

Camoranesi replaced Mutu after the interval, and the fiery winger made an immediate impact. Six minutes in, his free-kick was met by Del Piero, whose looping header went just wide. Juventus continued their search for an equaliser and, seven minutes later, Zambrotta was fouled in the air by Conti and the referee awarded a penalty. Del Piero stepped up, but his strike was saved by Chimenti, diving to his right. However, the Juve captain refused to give up and went close several further times in the half.

With time running out, Cagliari continued to frustrate their opponents, and the game appeared all but over when Camoranesi set the ball down for a last-minute corner. However, his well struck cross was met by Cannavaro whose header beat Chimenti and ensured the game ended 1-1. The result ensures that the gap at the top of the table is currently 5 points, after Milan beat Inter in the derby at the San Siro.

GOALS: 44’ Suazo (pen.), 95’ Cannavaro
CAGLIARI: Chimenti, Ferri, Canini, Bega, Pisano (72’ Agostini), Esposito (28’ Langella), Conti, Abejon, Gobbi, Conticchio (62’ Budel), Suazo. Coach. Sonetti. Substitutes: Campagnolo, Bizera, Capone, Cossu. A
JUVENTUS: Buffon, Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Kovac, Chiellini (66’ Balzaretti), Mutu (45’ Camoranesi), Blasi (80’ Zalayeta), Vieira, Nedved, Del Piero, Ibrahimovic. Coach. Capello. Substitutes: Abbiati, Marchisio, Pessotto, Olivera.
REFEREE: Ayroldi N.
CAUTIONED: 16’ Blasi, 47’ Suazo, 52’ Conticchio, 57’ Chimenti, 69’ Cannavaro, 81’ Budel
SENT-OFF: 95’ Abejon, 95’ Langella

Posted by ildico1 at 8:30 PM MEST
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Tuesday, 11 April 2006
Juventus-Fiorentina 1-1
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: Serie A 2005-2006
Serie A Tim - 10 Apr 2006 - 11:55 AM

Fiorentina left the Delle Alpi with a point after a hard-fought draw with the bianconeri. After a competitive opening forty-five minutes, in which Abbiati saved a penalty from Jimenez, the Viola went ahead early in the second half through Luca Toni. Del Piero’s strike a quarter of an hour later levelled for the home side and ensured a draw that sees Juve 7 points clear at the head of Serie A after Milan beat Chievo at home.

Following a disappointing exit from the Champions league in mid-week, Juve felt that they had a point to prove to their detractors and were determined to justify their dominance of Serie A this season. They stated their intent from as early as the first minute, when Vieira’s headed effort went just inches over the bar. Minutes later, Zlatan tried his luck from distance, his right-footed shot swerving agonisingly wide of the post.

With Juventus controlling much of the early possession, Fiorentina were awarded a penalty a quarter of an hour into the first half against the run of play. Surging into the box from the left-hand-side, Toni beat Thuram before going down under the challenge of Zebina. From the subsequent spot-kick, Abbiati – a last-minute replacement for Buffon - guessed correctly to deny Jimenez and keep the game at 0-0. Later in the half Fiore’s low cross was almost converted by Giannichedda, the deflection beating Abbiati and striking the post before being frantically cleared by the ‘keeper.

However, moments after the restart Luca Toni capitalised on a backheel from Jimenez to put the Viola in front. The goal seemed to spark a new determination in the home team who went close through a fierce strike from Zambrotta from outside the area. This was soon followed by the Juventus equaliser. Seeing Del Piero in space just inside the area, Vieira played an inch-perfect through ball which the Juve captain coolly slotted to the left of Lobont. Not content with a draw, the bianconeri sought a second goal and went close twice trough Ibrahimovic and Zalayeta before Vieira’s powerful header struck the bar. In the final minutes Ibra had another chance but was unable to control Vieira’s pass, striking his shot over the bar.

RETI: 47’ Toni, 62’ Del Piero
JUVENTUS: Abbiati; Zebina, Thuram, Kovac, Zambrotta; Camoranesi (55’ Mutu), Giannichedda (62’ Blasi), Vieira, Nedved; Del Piero (70’ Zalayeta), Ibrahimovic. Coach. Capello. Substitutes: Buffon, Balzaretti, Pessotto, Chiellini.
FIORENTINA: Lobont; Ujfalusi, Dainelli, Gamberini (84’ Kroldrup), Pasqual; Fiore, Brocchi, Donadel, Jorghensen; Jimenez (79’ Bojinov); Toni. Coach. Prandelli. Substitutes: Berti, Pancaro, Di Loreto, Di Carmine, Montolivo.
BOOKED: 28’ Kovac, 58’ Brocchi, 74’ Dainelli, 83’ Thuram, 88’ Ujfalusi
RECEIPTS: 438.542

Posted by ildico1 at 2:45 PM MEST
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Juventus-Arsenal: 0-0
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: Champions League
Champions League - 05 Apr 2006 - 11:45 PM

Almost 56,000 fans packed into the Stadio delle Alpi for Juve’s quarter-final showdown with Arsenal. Although the bianconeri fought from the first to the last whistle, after ninety minutes the score remained goalless and Juventus’ Champions League challenge ended in the quarter-finals.

With Juventus trailing 2-0 from the game in London, both teams knew that the first goal could prove decisive. Juventus were the first to strike, Zambrotta’s long-range effort sailing just past the left-hand post after a quarter of an hour. This was followed by a similar effort from Chiellini which typified the bianconeri’s determination to break the deadlock. Arsenal soon followed suit; a neat turn by Henry on the edge of the area opened up space for a shot but the Frenchman’s effort was well saved by Buffon.

Capello had warned about the danger of the opposition on the counter-attack, and Arsenal went close several times through Eboue, although the bianconeri defence managed to prevent any real danger. When Mr.Fandel blew for the end of the first half the score remained 0-0, and the restart looked certain to bring more drama.

Five minutes into the second half it was the Gunners who had the first opportunity. Picking up the ball on the halfway line, Henry used his pace to dash past the Juve defence and into the box. Buffon reacted brilliantly however and dived at the Frenchman’s feet to smother the ball.

Having been suspended for the first leg, Pavel Nedved was keen to make his presence felt and was the key danger-man for the bianconeri. His turn of pace and consistent crossing caused panic in the Arsenal box, and he was almost on the scoresheet after twenty-five minutes when his fierce shot from outside the area had to be beaten away by Lehmann. Yet again however the Czech midfielder let his passion run away with him and was sent off after with fifteen minutes to go after receiving his second yellow card.

With a numerical advantage Arsenal broke several times through Hleb and Ljunberg but both times the Juve defence did enough to prevent the north London club from scoring. The game ended 0-0 and Juventus exited the Champions League unable to reach the semi-finals.

Posted by ildico1 at 2:43 PM MEST
Updated: Tuesday, 11 April 2006 2:50 PM MEST
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Saturday, 1 April 2006
Treviso - Juventus: 0-0
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Serie A 2005-2006
Serie A Tim - 01 Apr 2006 - 8:31 PM

Matchday 32 saw Treviso play host to Juventus as both sides went in search of a result that would have vastly different effects on their seasons. Lying in bottom place, Treviso were playing for pride, whilst Juve were looking to secure a further three points to solidify their lead at the top of the table.

The first half was characterised by a series of near-misses from the bianconeri. As early as the first minute Trezeguet had tried his luck from distance with a left-footed strike that fizzed past the right-hand post. Five minutes later the Frenchman was again involved, when his shot was deflected wide
after a low cross from Ibrahimovic.

A quarter of an hour into the game, Camoranesi’s teasing cross found the head of Cannavaro, although the resulting shot was well-saved by Zancope. However, it was Ibra and Trezeguet who continued to cause the most problems for their opponents; an improvised bicycle kick from the Swede striking the post whilst Trezegol saw his headed and volleyed efforts fly agonisingly wide. Mutu also went close to breaking the deadlock, but his well executed free-kick was pushed away by Zancope.

Ironically, the only real opportunity that Treviso had came from a Juve player, when Guigou’s free-kick was deflected off the head of Zambrotta and struck the post. The chance summed up the bianconeri’s dominance of the first half.

The game continued in much the same way after the restart. Both Zambrotta and Trezeguet tried their luck, whilst Mutu’s low shot from just inside the area was beaten away by Zancope.
As the game progressed Treviso sought to secure a draw, frustrating Juve’s attempts to attack and playing deep within their own half.

The game finished 0-0 but there was no doubt as to which team deserved the points.

TREVISO: Zancope?; Maggio, Cottafava, Viali, Dossena; Vascak (86’ Acquafresca), Baseggio, Guigou, E. Filippini (70’ Parravicini); Beghetto (65’ Valdez), Borriello. Coach. Bortoluzzi. Substitutes: Lorenzini, Gustavo, De Martino, Fava
JUVENTUS: Buffon, Zambrotta, Kovac, Cannavaro, Chiellini (70’ Balzaretti); Camoranesi (79’ Giannichedda), Emerson Vieira, Mutu; Ibrahimovic (69’ Zalayeta), Trezeguet. Coach. Capello. Substitutes: Abbiati, Thuram, Blasi, Pessotto.
REFEREE: Racalbuto
CAUTIONS: 12’ Viali, 25’ Filippini, 28’ Cannavaro, 42’ Kovac, 53’ Chiellini, 69’ Zambrotta, 73’ Borriello

Posted by ildico1 at 8:36 PM CET
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Tuesday, 28 March 2006
Arsenal-Juventus: 2-0
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Champions League
Champions League - 28 Mar 2006 - 11:17 PM

A wet night in London was warmed –up by the atmosphere at Highbury, where both sets of fans made their voices heard as Juventus and Arsenal took to the field for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie. Despite the importance of the occasion the Juve players did not seem overawed and quickly relaxed into a familiar rhythm, breaking-up the opposition attacks and causing problems with their possession of the ball and slick passing. Both Zebina and Emerson caused problems for the Arsenal backline with a series of tempting crosses, and Ibra went close with a free-kick that was deflected just wide.

However, it was an ex-bianconero that made the difference in the first half. Finding Fabregas in space, Thierry Henry fed the young Spaniard who slotted the ball to the right of Buffon from just inside the area.

After the interval, the bianconeri seemed to add a new determination to their play as they went in search of an equaliser. Within the first five minutes Ibrahimovic had used his power and strength to cause confusion in the Arsenal box but was unable to convert the chances created. Ten minutes later it was the turn of the opposition to attack. Buffon however reacted brilliantly to deny both Henry and Fabregas with a pair of phenomenal saves that employed all the reflexes and intelligence that have made him the best in the world. Indeed, several minutes later he was on hand again, denying both Hleb and Pires in quick succession.

Twenty-five minutes into the second half Fabregas was again involved, providing an incisive pass to Henry from the right-hand side who converted for Arsenal’s second goal. Juventus then pushed forward searching for a goal and went very close when Camoranesi’s chipped shot skimmed the outside of the post.

As the game drew to a close the determination of Camoranesi and Zebina led to both being cautioned for the second time, and as such both were sent off. Despite being two goals down, Juve will still feel that they have a good chance to progress; after all, the second leg is at the Delle Alpi…

ARSENAL-JUVENTUS 2-0 GOALS: 40’ Fabregas, 64’ Henry ARSENAL: Lehmann, Ebou?, Tour?, Senderos, Flamini, Pires, Fabregas, Gilberto, Reyes (38’ Van Persie), Hleb, Henry. Coach. Wenger.
Substitutes: Almunia, Diaby, Bergkamp, Song, Walcott, Djourou.
JUVENTUS: Buffon, Zebina, Thuram, Cannavaro, Zambrotta, Camoranesi, Emerson, Vieira, Mutu (72’ Chiellini), Ibrahimovic, Trezeguet (81’ Zalayeta).
Coach: Capello.
Substitutes: Abbiati, Kovac, Balzaretti, Blasi, Giannichedda.
REFEREE: Frojdfeldt (Swe)
CAUTIONED: 23’, 87’ Camoranesi, 52’ Trezeguet, 72’ Vieira, 82’,89’ Zebina SENT-OFF: 87’ Camoranesi and 89’ Zebina (for two yellow cards)

Posted by ildico1 at 10:41 PM CET
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Sunday, 26 March 2006
Juventus-Roma: 1-1
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Serie A 2005-2006
Serie A Tim - 25 Mar 2006 - 10:53 PM

A tense evening at the Delle Alpi saw Juventus play out a draw with Roma. After Emerson had put the home team ahead, Kharja equalised for the visitors with five minutes remaining. The draw, coupled with Milan' victory over Fiorentina, means that Juventus are 8 points clear at the top of the table with seven games remaining.

With injuries to both Totti and Montella it was left to Mancini to lead the giallorossi front-line in Turin. The Brazilian was Roma’s main source of danger and carved out a chance for himself in the seventeenth minute. Having rounded Nedved on the edge of the area he set himself to strike but his long-range attempt was well-saved by Buffon. The Juve ‘keeper was on hand again ten minutes later, smothering a shot from Dacourt after the Frenchman had evaded several challenges in a mazy run from midfield.

Juve looked most dangerous from set-plays, and a series of excellent balls from Camoranesi caused panic in the Roma defensive line with both Ibrahimovic and Nedved going close. It was of no surprise then that the deadlock was broken after another teasing cross from Camo. This time it was Emerson who met the pass and the Puma made no mistake as he rose to head the ball beyond Doneiber and put the bianconeri ahead.

Juventus left the field at half time one goal up but one man down after Nedved received his second yellow card of the game, reducing the home team to ten men.

The second half proved difficult for the visitors as Juve frustrated their attempts for an equaliser. Having replaced Trezeguet with Balzaretti at the interval, Capello’s team threw men behind the ball and frequently disrupted Roma’s attacks. Taddei and Aquilani both tried their luck from distance, but again it was a well-placed set-play that made the difference. With five minutes remaining Kharja capitalised on a good delivery from Taddei and headed past the outstretched palm of Buffon.

GOALS: 35’ Emerson, 85’ Kharja.
JUVENTUS: Buffon; Zambrotta, Thuram, Cannavaro, Chiellini (89’ Mutu); Camoranesi, Emerson, Vieira, Nedved; Del Piero (16’ Trezeguet – HT’ Balzaretti)), Ibrahimovic. COACH. Capello. SUBSTITUTES: Abbiati, Kovac, Blasi, Giannichedda, Mutu.
ROMA: Donieber; Panucci, Mexes, Kuffour (59’ Okaka)i, Dacourt (76’ Kharja), Alvarez (22’ Rosi), Aquilani, Perrotta; Taddei. COACH. Spalletti. SUBSTITUTES: Curci, Tommasi, Cufr?, Giacomini.
REFEREE: Trefoloni
CAUTIONS: 22’ Bovo, 39’ and 47’ Nedved, 54’ Kuffour, 64’ Aquilani
RED CARDS: 47’ Nedved (Second Yellow Card)
RECEIPTS: 532.637

Posted by ildico1 at 12:17 AM CET
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Tuesday, 21 March 2006
Livorno - Juventus 1-3
Mood:  happy
Topic: Serie A 2005-2006
Serie A Tim - 18 Mar 2006 - 11:10 PM

Before the game Fabio Capello warned his side against complacency in what could have been a difficult challenge for the bianconeri. In reality, Juventus were in charge of the game from early on and sealed a deserved victory with an injury-time winner from Alex Del Piero.

Juventus took the lead in the third minute through Trezeguet after a neat exchange involving Del Piero, Nedved and Giannichedda. One-on-one with Amelia the Frenchman made no mistake, his shot beating the advancing ‘keeper and curling just inside the right post.

Ten minutes later a rare attack by the home side found Lucarelli in space outside the area. The Livorno striker hit a powerful left-footed shot which was saved brilliantly by Buffon, diving to his right.

For the rest of the half the Juventus defence did well to prevent further attacks from Mazzone’s men. Chances were few for both teams, but Juventus were playing with far more confidence than their rivals and looked the more likely of the two sides to make a break-through.

The second half started in much the same way as the first with an early goal breaking the deadlock; although this time it was the home side who took the advantage. Collecting the ball from outside the Juve area, Pfertzel rounded several Juventus defenders before slotting his shot to the right of Buffon. Livorno celebrations were short lived however as less than two minutes later Trezeguet restored the bianconeri lead. Collecting a pass from Nedved, Trezegol rounded Vargas before striking the ball past the Livorno ‘keeper for his second goal of the evening.

As Livorno poured men forward in search of an elusive second goal, Juventus began to expose the space at the back with both Mutu and Del Piero going close. The latter was to settle the game for the bianconeri with his left-footed strike sealing the points for the visitors deep into injury time. The win maintained Juventus’ advantage at the top of the table with eight games left to play.

GOALS: 3’pt e 9’st Trezeguet, 7’st Pfertzel, 49’st Del Piero
LIVORNO: Amelia, Grandoni, Vargas (14’st Bakayoko), Galante, Pfertzel (35’st Palladino), Morrone, Ruotolo, Argilli (28’st Cesar Prates), Coco, Colucci, C. Lucarelli. Coach. Mazzone. Substitutes: Acerbis, Balleri, Fanucci, Palladino, Paulinho
JUVENTUS: Buffon, Zebina (40’st Pessotto), Thuram, Cannavaro, Balzaretti, Camoranesi (14’st Mutu), Emerson, Giannichedda, Nedved, Del Piero, Trezeguet (19’st Ibrahimovic). Coach. Capello. Substitutes: Abbiati, Kovac, Blasi, Pessotto, Zalayeta.
REFEREE: Dondarini
CAUTIONED: 20’pt Vargas, 21’pt Nedved, 28’pt Lucarelli

Posted by ildico1 at 10:07 PM CET
Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006 10:08 PM CET
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Monday, 13 March 2006
Juventus-Milan: 0-0
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Serie A 2005-2006
Serie A - Tim Cup - 12 Mar 2006 - 10:59 PM

A freezing evening at the Delle Alpi saw Juventus host Milan in the 29th game of the domestic season. With both teams desperate for a victory, the stage was set for a tense and open encounter.

The first half saw a scarcity of chances as the teams looked to cancel one another out in the midfield. Both Trezeguet and Shevchenko tried their luck from distance in the opening moments of the game, though neither shot troubled the ‘keeper. On eleven minutes, Mutu presented Vieira with the first real opportunity. The big Frenchman jumped highest to meet the free-kick, but saw his header fall safely into the hands of Milan’s Brazilian goalie. A minute later Stam received the first caution of the match for a foul on Chiellini. The incident typified the physical approach of both sides in the first half with Chiellini and Gattuso receiving yellow cards for similar challenges.

The second half began in much the same way as the first, with both teams struggling to create clear-cut chances. Both Del Piero and Nedved went close without ever really challenging Dida, whilst at the other end Inzaghi was twice denied by the pace of Buffon. On 65 minutes a stray clearance from Kaka’s corner found Gattuso on the edge of the box whose powerful header was well saved by Buffon. The fiery Italian was involved again minutes later when he received his second yellow card of the match and was sent off. From this point Milan were forced to play deeper and frustrated Juve’s attempts at victory.
The game finished 0-0 with both sides taking a point, but there is no doubt that the bianconeri will be the happier of the teams, retaining their ten point lead at the top of the table.

JUVENTUS: Buffon; Zebina, Thuram, Cannavaro, Chiellini; Mutu, Emerson, Vieira, Nedved; Ibrahimovic (45’ Del Piero), Trezeguet. All. Capello. A disposizione: Abbiati, Balzaretti, Camoranesi, Blasi, Giannichedda, Zalayeta
MILAN: Dida; Stam (14’ Costacurta), Nesta, Kaladze, Serginho; Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf (34’ Ambrosini), Kak? ; Shevchenko, Inzaghi (67’ Gilardino). All. Ancelotti. A disposizione: Kalac, Rui Costa, Vogel, Jankulovski
REFEREE: De Santis
CAUTIONS: 12’ Stam, 27’ Chiellini, 40’ e 69’ Gattuso, 20’ Nesta
SENT OFF: 69’ Gattuso (Two yellow cards)
RECEIPTS: 1.294.782

Posted by ildico1 at 12:58 PM CET
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Saturday, 11 March 2006
Who is Patrick Vieira?
Mood:  flirty

Patrick Vieira (born June 23, 1976 in Dakar, Senegal) is a French football midfielder, who currently plays for Juventus. He captained Arsenal and won the World Cup with France in 1998.

Born in Senegal in the Cape Verdian community, Vieira's family moved to Paris when he was aged 8; he did not return to Senegal until 2003. Vieira first played for AS Cannes, where he made his debut at the age of 17 and captained the team aged only 19. Soon after that, in the summer of 1995, he was snapped up by Italian giants AC Milan, though he mainly stayed in the reserves and only made two appearances for the first team.

In September 1996, the incoming Arsenal coach Ars?ne Wenger asked for him to be bought from AC Milan before he took up his position. Vieira's height, stamina and physical strength meant he settled in England quickly, while his composure and the quality of his passing meant he became an integral part of Wenger's stylish attacking side. While at Arsenal, he made his debut for the French national side, in 1997 against the Netherlands.

Forming a midfield partnership with compatriot Emmanuel Petit, Vieira won the Premiership and FA Cup Double in 1998, his first full season at the club. That summer, he was called up to France's 1998 World Cup squad. Vieira came on as a substitute for Youri Djorkaeff in the final against Brazil, and set up Petit for France's third goal in a 3-0 win.

Vieira's time at Arsenal was beset by disciplinary problems - in 2000-01 he was sent off twice in two consecutive matches, though after returning he didn't accrue a card for 28 matches. In all he has been sent off eleven times in his career (nine for Arsenal, once for Juventus and once for France).

Vieira would go on to win Euro 2000 with France, as well as a second Double with Arsenal in 2002. After Tony Adams's retirement in 2002, Vieira (already vice-captain) became club captain, since which his temper and associated disciplinary problems cooled somewhat. Though he missed Arsenal's 2003 FA Cup final win with injury, Vieira lifted the trophy jointly with captain for the day David Seaman.

In 2003-04 at Arsenal, he captained the side on a historic unbeaten season in the Premier League, and in the 2005 FA Cup Final he scored the winning kick in a penalty shoot-out after a 0-0 draw with Manchester United. In total, Vieira played 407 times for Arsenal and scored 33 times. For France, Vieira has appeared 83 times, scoring four goals as of December 2005.

Vieira's starring performances for Arsenal earned the attention of several major clubs abroad. In the 2003 and 2004 offseasons, he was strongly linked with a move to Spanish superpower Real Madrid. The Spanish side reportedly offered Arsenal ?23 million for him, which Arsenal had agreed to, but after much deliberation Vieira decided to stay at the club where he made his name. However, a year later Vieira was finally tempted away from Highbury. Arsenal accepted a bid of ?20m (?13.7m) from Italian giants Juventus on July 14, 2005, and Vieira agreed a five-year contract with the Serie A side the following day. In his autobiography, he cited the main reason for his leaving Arsenal as the board's 'neutral' position over the Juventus bid.

With Vieira, Juventus coach Fabio Capello hopes to improve a midfield around consisting of Brazilian Emerson and Czech Pavel Nedved. He started his new season with Juventus in a remarkable fashion, scoring goals and helping Juventus to its record best start with consecutive victories. Meanwhile without him, his old club, Arsenal, begins to falter in the Premier League, looking to end its 1-2 domination in the league table.

Posted by ildico1 at 8:10 PM CET
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Vieira: "I had a feeling that this might happen"
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: General
Champions League - 10 Mar 2006 - 3:55 PM

The draw for the Champions league quarter-finals has been made. In Paris this afternoon Juventus were drawn against Arsenal. The first leg will be played away from home at Highbury on 28th March, whilst the return leg, at the Delle Alpi, will be played on 5th April. Arsenal – currently fifth in the Premier League – will present a similar challenge to the one Juventus faced against Werder Bremen. Strong both technically and on the counter-attack, they play at a high-tempo preferring to keep the ball on the ground and pass through the opposition than resorting to long-balls. Their star striker, Thierry Henry, will be familiar to Juventus fans from his brief sojourn at the club before his transfer to the Gunners in 1999. The ex-bianconero helped to secure Arsenal’s qualification to the quarter-finals having scored the decisive goal against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. Aside from Henry, Arsenal boast the talents of Reyes, Ljunberg and Fabregas, who have been at the forefront of an unbeaten European campaign that has seen them concede only two goals so far.

Domestically, Arsenal have been one of the dominant forces in English football for the last ten years. Since the arrival of their manager Arsene Wenger in 1996, they have won the FA Cup three times and the Premiership four times. When they last won the title in 2003/2004, they played the entire season undefeated, earning them the title ‘The Invincibles’. The draw will also present an interesting challenge to Patrick Vieira. The bianconeri midfielder left the Gunners this summer, having spent nine years there. For many, Arsenal have been in a period of transition since his departure, seeking to fill the defensive-midfield role that he dominated whilst at the club. Speaking after the draw, Vieira said: “At times fate can surprise you, in fact I had a feeling this might happen. Obviously it will be a very personal challenge for me, particularly to go back to Highbury as the opposition, but putting my emotions to one side, I can only think about the fact that we have to win.”

Posted by ildico1 at 8:04 PM CET
Updated: Saturday, 11 March 2006 8:11 PM CET
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