Sami Khedira is to become the eighth German player to wear the Juventus shirt; UEFA.com's Paolo Menicucci selects the best of his Bianconeri predecessors.
Contenuti top media
Sami Khedira has joined UEFA Champions League runners-up Juventus from Real Madrid CF on a free-transfer, with the 28-year-old to become the eighth German to represent the club.
Capped 54 times by Germany, the 2014 FIFA World Cup winner has signed a contract running until 30 June 2019 and will further strengthen one of the best midfield lines in Europe.
Khedira won the UEFA Champions League with Madrid in 2013/14 but struggled with injuries during his last season in the Spanish capital. To mark his move to the Bianconeri, which will become official on 1 July, UEFA.com recalls how his most celebrated German predecessors fared in Turin.
The man who scored the opener in West Germany's 1966 World Cup final defeat by England moved to Juventus in 1968 from Bologna FC, becoming the first German to appear for the Old Lady since Hans Mayer Heuberger and Josef Edmund Hess at the start of the 1900s. Often described as a German player with a Brazilian touch, he helped Juventus win two Serie A titles and came on as a substitute in their 1973 European Champion Clubs' Cup final loss to AFC Ajax. "In five seasons, he become a symbol of our team," said Juve after the death of Haller, aged 73, in 2012.
A world champion in 1990 and a European champion in 1996, Hässler was another gifted midfielder, but he was to spend only one season with Juventus after they noticed his class in a 1989/90 UEFA Cup semi-final against 1. FC Köln. In a team packed with creative players like Roberto Baggio and Paolo Di Canio, Hässler was mostly forced to operate as a winger and was not able to give full airing to his talents with the Bianconeri, who finished the 1990/91 Serie A campaign in seventh place. Hässler moved on to AS Roma in a part-exchange for goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi and would score against his former employers in a 2-1 win for the Giallorossi in 1992/93.
The right-back joined Juve in 1991, along with FC Bayern München team-mate Jürgen Kohler, but his stay was a short one. He struggled with injuries and found it tough to adapt to a new role as a holding midfielder in Giovanni Trapattoni's side. "In Germany I had more freedom to attack," he said. "Here in Italy, I have to focus more on marking my opponents." In 1992, Reuter transferred to Borussia Dortmund, where he and Kohler were to be reunited, featuring in the side that defeated Juventus 3-1 in the 1997 UEFA Champions League final.
That success with Dortmund did not entirely sour Juve fans' opinion of Kohler, who proved to be one of the strongest centre-backs in Serie A, notably engaging in a number of duels with AC Milan striker Marco van Basten. The rock-solid defender remained at Juve until 1995, winning the 1993 UEFA Cup and a domestic double under Marcello Lippi during his final season. A crowd favourite in Turin, Kohler once said: "I'm German – I have played for big teams in Germany – but my heart will always be Bianconero."
The attacking midfielder signed on at Juventus in 1992 and starred in that UEFA Cup triumph the following May. He scored 30 goals in all competitions during his two-season spell, including one in the UEFA Cup final against Dortmund, the team he would eventually join and help to overcome Juventus in the UEFA Champions League deciderfour years later. Trapattoni paid him a huge complement by finding Baggio a new position in order to accommodate Möller. "I cannot put aside Möller's talent," the coach said. "I will therefore ask Roby [Baggio] to play as a second forward."