Friday, December 19 th, 2014
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Vintage Calcio. 1995: when Juventus-Parma was and endless final
Nevio Scala and Marcello Lippi clashed for three titles in that amazing season: Scudetto, Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup
by Federico Formica
Today Juventus-Parma seems a normal fixture with an expected ending, as we are talking about the Serie A leader against a side that's struggling to avoid the drop. It's Buffon, Pogba, Pirlo, Tevez and Llorente against Mirante, Acquah, Lodi, Cassano and Belfodil.

But it hasn't always been so. In the Nineties, Juve-Parma started to be a classic Serie A game. In the 1994-95 season, it was a clash between two Calcio's giants. Dino Baggio, Gianfranco Zola (when he still wasn't "Magic Box"), Faustino Asprilla against Didier Deschamps, Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Baggio. Juventus was a stronger side also in that period, but Parma was a war-machine built to succeed in the knock-out tournaments. Under Nevio Scala's guidance, the Crociati had already won one Coppa Italia in 1991-92, a Cup Winners' Cup in 1992-93 and a European Supercup in the following season. For a twist of fate, that Grande Parma played with a 3-5-2 which was very similar to Conte's in the last triennium: a scheme who could be switched in a 5-3-2 in the defensive phase, with two exceptional full-backs as Antonio Benarrivo and Alberto Di Chiara to make it possible, a great box-to-box midfielder as Dino Baggio and an amazing attacking-duo, Zola-Asprilla, a perfect mix of techical skill, pace and power.

As we said, the rivalry reached the top in the 1994-95 season: Juve and Parma competed for the Scudetto and clashed in the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup finals. On May 21st, Juventus celebrated their 23rd Scudetto demolishing the Crociati 4-0 with a double by Fabrizio Ravanelli and goals by Didier Deschamps and Gianluca Vialli. Lippi's winning cycle has just started and it would have led to 5 titles, a Coppa Italia, 4 Italian Super Cups, a Champions League, an European Super Cup and an Intercontinental title.

But Parma played that match having already reached their season goal, as four days before Scala's men won their first UEFA Cup. The Crociati won the first leg at Tardini stadium (at that time European finals were played in two games, except the Champions League) for 1-0 with a goal by Dino Baggio.

He was an ex Juventus player (he wasn't Roberto's brother) and his revenge wasn't still over, as he also scored in the second leg at San Siro with a winning header, after an hour of desperate attacks by La Vecchia Signora.

Dino scored the equaliser after Vialli's opener. Moreno Torricelli scored the 2-1 for Juve (which wouldn't have been enough to win the Cup) but the goal was annulled for an offside call, as Vialli was beyond Parma defenders' line. Scala's boys raised their first UEFA Cup... and another will come four seasons later under Malesani's management, the last UEFA Cup won by an Italian side.

It must be said that just six years before Parma was playing in Serie B - Italy's second division - and they had never played in the top division since then. That was an Italian miracle, something almost unthinkable today. By the way, some weeks after the UEFA Cup final, the last act of that endless duel ended in favour of Juventus, as the squad led by Marcello Lippi lifted the Coppa Italia beating Parma in both legs for 1-0 and 2-0. The defender Sergio Porrini became an hero for some days, as he scored the winner in Turin with a header.

Porrini also netted the opener at the Tardini stadium, followed by a Ravanelli goal as Penna Bianca finished a fulminating counter-attack. That was the ninth Coppa Italia for the Bianconeri, and last one so far.

Sunday, November 9 th, 2014
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