My return to Italy with Juventus, some time on from a failed time at Cagliari, was a resounding success. We pipped Inter to the Serie A title and won my first Champions League and the club’s first in 44 years since 1996.
This may well be our final season of this save, given FM21 is now in Beta mode, but here’s a reflection on one of the best seasons of this Journeyman adventure.
Juve key players
The obvious standout player this season was Brazilian left-winger Márcio Roberto, who scored 22 goals and got 12 assists in 38 appearances. However, he did score six of those goals in the first two games of the season, and seven in the first three.
Striker Carl Guillaume chipped in with 20 goals, followed by midfielder Edouard Pierre-Charles with 16, of which 10 were penalties (and he missed four penalties). Right-winger Ivan Barbosa Martins also scored 14 and Zsolt Papp scored 11.
Midfielder Jonathan Montagne got the joint-most assists with 12, along with Márcio Roberto, but claimed the top average rating at the club with an impressive 7.65 from 39 games.
Martins got 11 assists and left-back and captain Franco Muggeri got 10 and right-back Graziano Cenghialta, who’s technically a natural left-back, got nine.
Another key man who went under the radar was holding midfielder Eric Yakubu, who had our third-highest average rating of 7.49 from 49 appearances.
Goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Mutairi set a new club and Serie A record of 30 clean sheets from his 36 appearances, conceding just 7 goals in that time. His replacement conceded three in two matches…
Márcio Roberto won the Serie A Player of the Year and came second in the Top Goalscorer award, four goals behind Roma striker Nikola Barjektarevic. But, strangely, he didn’t make the league’s Team of the Year, which utilised a very strange formation that no team has ever used.
Montagne won the Serie A Best Player award and won the best midfielder of the season, while Daniel Dallera won defender of the season. Montagne was also named as the fans’ player of the season with 58% of the vote, followed by Márcio Roberto (17%) and Yakubu (15%). He also claimed signing of the season and 24-year-old Márcio Roberto was the young player of the season.
Serie A team stats
My tiki-taka focus paid off as we had the second-best possession ratio in Serie A of 59%, only bettered by Napoli’s 62%.
That resulted in the highest goals tally of 83, highest pass completion ratio of 91%, most chances created of 106 and most shots on target of 353. We won an outrageous 18 penalties, which was eight more than the next highest of Inter.
We also had the best defence with just 10 goals conceded, of which three were in the last two games when we rested our entire starting eleven, followed by Inter’s 11. Four of those goals came from corners, one was from an indirect free-kick, we only conceded one penalty and zero goals from direct free-kicks.
However, we do have the highest salary spend of £240 million per annum, £1 million more than Inter but more than double any other salary in the league!
Serie A player stats
Montagne was easily the best player in Serie A with an average rating of 7.72 from 28 appearances. Yakubu and Márcio Roberto were also in the top five, and centre-backs Daniel Dallera and Sergio Carrillo made the top ten.
Márcio Roberto scored the second most goals, but had the best average minutes to goal ratio of 124.41. While Guillaume had the most shots (152) and shots on target (80) in Serie A.
Montagne got the second most assists with 10, only behind Inter’s Jose Alejandro’s 13, and second most key passes of 99, only behind Inter’s Valery Reshetnikov – who cost them £128 million in the summer. Barbosa Martins created the second most chances of 17, and got nine assists.
We also had the top three best passers in the league with Pierre-Charles completing 96% of passes and Yakubu and Al-Mutairi on 95%. And Márcio Roberto completed the most dribbles per 90 minutes of 6.17.
Al-Mutairi conceded just seven goals in 36 appearances, conceding 0.19 goals per 90 minutes, and racked up 30 clean sheets.
A look around Europe
Liverpool defended their Premier League title, winning it with 88 points three clear of Man City. And Monaco defended their title in Ligue 1. While my former club Sporting also defended the Portuguese title. Ajax reclaimed the Dutch title for first time in five years, with my previous club Feyenoord down in fourth.
Real Madrid dominated La Liga, finishing on 97 points and 16 clear of Barcelona to claim their sixth successive title. And Dortmund won a seventh successive Bundesliga, 12 points clear of Schalke with Bayern down in fourth. No wonder we thumped them 5-1!
We of course won the Champions League, and Everton won the Europa League for the second time in three years beating Inter 2-1 in extra-time in the Final.
In other news, my former national side Denmark won the 2040 European Championships!