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Cristiano Ronaldo in at No. 1; Miralem Pjanic makes Juventus tick

After a busy summer, Juventus' squad is set for another assault on Serie A but will they finally claim that elusive Champions League? One man has been brought in with that in mind: Cristiano Ronaldo. 

With the new season underway, we look at who joins the Portuguese superstar among the most important players at Juve.

This list is not extensive and has been ranked according to varying factors. Some players still with a part to play have been omitted. Performance, potential, the ability to make an impact and influence the course of a game, other options in that area of the field, the ability or inability to replace them and market value have all played a part in selecting the 15.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Tasked with winning Juventus win the Treble, or the Champions League trophy at the very least, Juve shattered all Serie A transfer records for the reigning Ballon d'Or winner. Even at 33, Ronaldo will be expected to not only score the goals, improve those around him and strengthen the mentality, but win everything. No pressure, then.

2. Miralem Pjanic

Pjanic is in charge of making Juve tick from midfield and unleashing a forward line the club have invested so much money on. A master of set pieces, this is the year he needs rise up, make the difference in the big matches and ensure his teammates always have a steady stream of perfect passes that unlock defences.

3. Paulo Dybala

While his talent is not in doubt, his mentality continues to be. If Dybala plays to his potential, he can form a beautiful partnership alongside Ronaldo and truly take off and secure the world's attention. When he delivers, he can overcome any opponent but it's up to him to provide the consistency Massimiliano Allegri has long demanded of him.

4. Giorgio Chiellini

Some may ask if a defender should be so high up the list. Absolutely. If Allegri can ensure his centre-backs are playing like the warriors they are -- in tune, and with intelligence and solidity -- then he can go all out in attack. Chiellini is not only the best defender Juventus have but he represents the never-say-die attitude typical of a Bianconero.

5. Leonardo Bonucci

Juventus traded their future, in Mattia Caldara, to bring back the services of the defender from Milan after only a year. Bonucci not only helps to launch Juve's attacks but works so brilliantly and seamlessly in a defensive unit that has long won plaudits for its strength and unity.

6. Mario Mandzukic

Juve's only No. 9 and one of their best defenders too, Mandzukic is the king of grabbing a goal in the big games and working tirelessly to help the team in any way he can. A warrior who embodies the spirit of the club.

7. Douglas Costa

A hard worker with pace to burn and an eye for finding space as he dribbles his way past opponents, Costa will be tasked with ensuring Juve can be direct, opponents are dribbled past and opportunities are provided. He's improving week on week.

8. Federico Bernardeschi

Virtually on a par with Costa in terms of importance, Bernadeschi may not always be consistent but he's unstoppable when he's playing to his potential. His intelligence, determination and understanding of the game elevates Juve's performance in the final third.

9. Alex Sandro

When he's playing like he did in 2016-17, he's one of the best full-backs in the world. Not always the most defensively reliable but capable of overlapping, providing the crosses and working in tandem with those playing alongside him. An attacking asset.

10. Joao Cancelo

Juventus will have to work hard to ensure they plug the gaps Cancelo will leave behind when he charges forward. But he always delivers accuracy, opportunities and energy.

11. Sami Khedira

He may no longer boast the energy levels of a few years ago but few understand tactics as well as the German. Aware of space and how to make an impact, he's an asset as long as he's provided with enough cover and help alongside him in midfield.

12. Blaise Matuidi

Speaking of which ... Matuidi may not always provide accuracy, but the Frenchman has relentless energy, a hardworking nature and discipline. He always carries out his instructions perfectly, offering balance to a midfield usually in need of his presence.

13. Juan Cuadrado

His experience, pace and penchant for a goal or two has often rescued the Old Lady and he always chases seemingly lost causes. Guilty of a poor decision or two and has a habit of slowing down certain moves, but when he's playing with discipline and concentration he can be breathtaking.

14. Emre Can

Yet to really show what he can bring to the table, Can is the versatile player who can prove to be a mainstay if he develops under Allegri. Technically gifted yet physical, he must speed up his decision making and maintain composure under pressure if he is to secure his place in the starting XI.

15. Wojciech Szczesny

While he'll never quite be Juve's Gianluigi Buffon, Szczesny has proved a reliable presence at the back and has won the confidence of his defence. Capable of excellent saves and leading from the back, he will need to play with authority and excellence if he is to be the man Allegri will rely on for years to come.


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