Juventus Experience Rare Early Champions League Exit

Juventus coming up short in Champions League is nothing new, especially in recent years. However, they generally hadn’t had much trouble advancing past the group stage. The last time they had bowed out so early was in Antonio Conte’s final season in 2013, La Gazzetta dello Sport points.

The Bianconeri had to beat Galatasaray in the final matchday. The game got postponed because the pitch was in abysmal conditions due to snow and mud. It wasn’t much better the following afternoon, and a goal by Wesley Sneijder did them in. Turin hosted the Europa League final that year, but their run ended at the penultimate stage at the hands of Benfica.

Conte uttered his infamous quote a few months later: “You can’t sit down at a €100 restaurant with a €10 bill.” Juventus won Serie A by setting a new point record, but the gaffer bolted in July, likely thinking that they couldn’t concretely compete in the Champions League. But Massimiliano Allegri reached the final twice in the ensuing campaigns.

The first group stage elimination dates back to 2000, with Carlo Ancelotti at the helm. The Bianconeri got knocked out as they lost against Hamburg, where Edgar Davids and Zinedine Zidane were sent off, and Panathinaikos because of multiple blunders by Edwin van der Sar. The fans protested at the airport after the last game, and Paolo Montero brawled with some of them.

The Old Lady couldn’t advance in 2010 either, when Ciro Ferrara was on the bench, due to defeats versus Bordeaux and Bayern Munich. The coach got the ax in January, and veterans Fabio Cannavaro, Mauro German Camoranesi, and David Trezeguet saw their runs come to an end in the summer.

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