Every generation that has followed the fortunes of I Bianconeri since that first triumph has celebrated silverware, and three of the greatest players to wear the Cymru shirt have been a part of the story that forms the history of the club from Turin.
The great John Charles won three Serie A titles during his time at Juventus as well as the Coppa Italia on two occasions. Arriving in Italy from Leeds United in the summer of 1957 for a British record transfer fee of £65,000, it would prove to be a prudent piece of business by Juventus as Charles subsequently made a huge impression during his five years at the club. The leading goalscorer in Serie A during his debut season, Charles would score over 100 goals for the club, earning him the nickname Il Gigante Buono (The Gentle Giant). Considered the greatest foreign player ever to represent Juventus, he is remembered and celebrated to this day for what he achieved at the club.
The British transfer record would be broken by the next Welshman to make the switch to Juventus when Ian Rush left Liverpool in July 1986 for fee of £3.2m, but he would return to Anfield a year later having failed to replicate his goalscoring prowess against the traditionally strong defences of the Italian game. Scoring 40 goals in all competitions with Liverpool prior to his move, Rush only managed seven league goals in his one and only season in Serie A. Rush also suffered off the field as he struggled to connect with his team-mates and missed home, while the intense catenaccio art of defending made it difficult for Rush and his style of play to shine.
Aaron Ramsey brought to an end his time with Arsenal in 2019 when the midfielder agreed a four-year deal to join Juventus. Introducing himself to the media by speaking Italian on his arrival in Turin, Ramsey was asked about John Charles and his legacy at the club, and charmed the traditionally difficult Italian press as he spoke confidently and positively about this latest chapter in his career. Now playing under his third manager in as many seasons at the club following the departures of Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo, a new era under the returning Max Allegri has now begun, and there is an additional pressure to restore the side to former glory having surrendered the Serie A title to Inter Milan last season.
Unlike Rush, both Charles and Ramsey are part of a select group of Cymru players who have competed at the finals of a major international tournament. But while Charles missed the defeat to Brazil at the quarter-finals of 1958 World Cup through injury, Ramsey would miss the EURO 2016 semi-final loss to Portugal through suspension. Both opponents would go on to win the respective tournaments after ending our hopes and dreams, and it is widely-accepted that their presence would have brought a different outcome. However, Ramsey would make history at EURO 2020 by becoming the only Cymru player to score in the finals of two separate major tournaments.
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