Antonio Cabrini. Moreno Torricelli. Antonello Cuccureddu. Lilian Thuram. Andrea Fortunato. Wonderful memories, beautiful players and merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the pantheon of great full-backs to wear the famous black and white shirt of Juventus. Yet ask any close observer what the clubs main problem has been over the past few years and - aside from a few who blame Amauri - the majority would tell you that it is the lack of adequate cover in the very same positions.
Perhaps no player sums up the disappointment of last season more than Marco Motta; brought in from Udinese with expectations of being able to excel and realise the potential he had shown briefly at Roma. Instead he went from being part of Cesare Prandelli's first Italy squad, to sitting on the bench while an 18 year old central defender played in his position. That Frederik Sørensen not only had no professional experience whatsoever and spoke almost no Italian only serves to reinforce the point.
Indeed since the sale of Thuram and Gianluca Zambrotta to Barcelona five years ago, the list of players to follow in their World Cup winning footsteps is frightening reading for any fan of the Bianconeri. Jonathan Zebina, Cristian Molinaro, Zdenek Grygera, even Fabio Grosso has been nothing short of horrific for much of his time in Turin. Last year Beppe Marotta, the clubs Direttore Generale, prioritised other areas and tried to patch up this part of the team rather than invest financially in repairing it.
As Argentina's lacklustre performances at the Copa America are proving, never have full-backs been so vital to a teams play, and this summer Marotta has clearly learnt from his mistake. The window has been open little over a week and already he has sealed moves to solve the issues on both flanks.
First to arrive was Reto Ziegler on a free transfer. The ex-Tottenham player was reborn in Genoa as the former winger was converted into a fullback by Sampdoria. There not only can he exploit his offensive qualities but his ability without the ball has also shone, becoming an intelligent and competent defender. He is a set-piece specialist with a powerful and precise delivery that will offer Juve a different option to the right-footed brilliance of Andrea Pirlo and Alessandro Del Piero.
On the opposite side Marotta has spent €10 million to bring Ziegler's international team-mate Stephan Lichtsteiner from Lazio. The right-back is much more of a natural defender - although he has played as a midfielder on occasion - and is a far physical player, but he remains very quick, confident on the ball and excellent at both tracking and tackling opponents. The former Lille man is also very good in the air, winning an impressive 61% of all aerial challenges last season.
So, from having utterly inept full-backs in most games last year Juve now have a competent duo that stands up against any in Serie A. To highlight this comparison we looked at four other teams, widely recognised to have the very best fullbacks; Palermo (Federico Balzaretti-Mattia Cassani), Inter (Yuto Nagatomo-Douglas Maicon), Milan (Ignazio Abate-Luca Antonini) and Juve's previous incumbents (Fabio Grosso-Marco Motta) to see just how well the new signings performed last season.
In completing a combined 43 crosses, they were just one behind the total set by Palermo's stand-out pairing. Lichtsteiner in particular excelled here as he completed 37 - more than any other full-back in the league - which is impressive given his attacking ability is not his strongest suit.
When it comes to discipline, Lichtsteiner is viewed as being occasionally rash and in this department the Swiss duo need to improve. They combined last season for 72 fouls and 12 yellow cards. That is similar to Palermo's totals of 74 and 12, while trailing far behind Milan's 48 and 3 or Inter's 35 and 8. However they were still better than their Bianconeri predecessors who accumulated 73 fouls and 14 yellow cards.
That said, they also won 118 tackles, one more than the Palermo pair, 13 more than Milan's, 35 more than Inter and an incredible 45 more than Juve's Motta and Grosso. It must however be noted that Abate alone won 80 challenges, far ahead of every other player in this category.
Sharing duties with Ziegler will be the fit again Paolo De Ceglie, another left back who could comfortably play as a winger. Technically excellent, he has great acceleration and is a good provider of crosses. Finding a reserve on the other side is essential, but with the addition of the former Grasshoppers pair, Juventus have taken a huge step in the right direction by making a serious upgrade in two key positions.