Football

Gary Neville: Juventus side of the mid-1990s the best I ever faced

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Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has revealed that the Juventus side of the mid-1990s was the best ever side he faced as a player.

This statement is historically justified, with United going down to a 1-0 defeat both home and away in the Champions League group stages.

Top class

The Juventus side boasted talent such as Zinedine Zidane, Alessandro Del Piero and Didier Deschamps, all playing under a world-class manager in Marcelo Lippi. Juventus reached three consecutive finals during the period that golden period.

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In his Telegraph column Neville was ringing the praises of each and every player that featured in that team under Lippi, highlighting the way they used to grind out or bully opponents with the many qualities they possessed. 

"When I think of Juventus, it immediately brings back fond, but sobering, memories of my time at Manchester United during the mid-1990s when we were growing as a team and learning all about how to succeed in the Champions League," Neville wrote.

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"Juventus were the benchmark, with Marcelo Lippi’s team reaching three consecutive finals during that period, and we came up against them eight times in the space of seven years.

"We measured ourselves against them and I still look back on the team of Alessandro del Piero, Zinedine, Zidane, Alen Boksic and Didier Deschamps as the best I ever faced.

"They had everything that I would love to have in my team. Up front, they had the silk of Del Piero, the power of Christian Vieri and a tremendously quick and clinical striker in Boksic."

Unforgettable season

The Red Devils famously came from behind to beat the Old Lady in the Champions League semi-final on their way to winning the unforgettable treble in the 1998/99 season.

The Juventus side of today won the Serie A title for the fourth consecutive season this term, as well as the Coppa Italia. Massimiliano Allegri's side were a game away from completing the treble for the first time in their history, but they came unstuck against Barcelona and their incredible strikeforce of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez & Neymar.

United fans, can you name the best team you've ever seen your team face off against? If so let us know your choice in the comments box below.

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Topics:
Football
Gary Neville
Manchester United

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