JUVENTUS are on the brink of a glorious season — and it is all down to their backline.
Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli have proved almost impenetrable as the Bianconeri march to a possible Treble.
Max Allegri’s men had not conceded for five Champions League games before Kylian Mbappe’s consolation for Monaco — and even blunted Barcelona’s potent attack for 180 minutes.
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But is it the best defensive line of all-time?
Here are nine others to rival them…
AC Milan: 1986-1990
Giovanni Galli; Mauro Tassotti, Alessandro Costacurta, Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini
The Rossoneri re-defined football under Arrigo Sacchi with the ‘perfect’ display to beat Steaua Bucharest 4-0 in the 1989 European Cup final.
This side — led by the inimitable Marco van Basten up front — is the last team to successfully defend the continent’s cop prize.
And it was in defence where their real strength was, with two players who would spend over 20 years at the club and be regarded as two of the greatest ever in Baresi and Maldini.
Both their shirt numbers — 6 and 3 — have since been retired.
David Seaman; Lee Dixon, Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Nigel Winterburn
‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ rang the proud chants from the home fans around Highbury in the early 1990s.
Under George Graham, the Gunners were a world away from the attacking style they produce under Arsene Wenger.
Seaman joined in 1990 and they conceded just 18 en route to title victory in 1991.
Gianluigi Buffon; Christian Panucci, Alessandro Nesta, Fabio Cannavaro, Paolo Maldini
How did this backline only make it to the last-16 — and get knocked out by South Korea?
This was Maldini’s last major tournament, and he never achieved major success with Italy.
The Azzurri have been famed for producing the best defenders in football, but surely, even for them, this was something special.
Real Madrid: 1999-03
Iker Casillas; Michel Salgado, Fernando Hierro, Ivan Helguera, Roberto Carlos
Real Madrid’s incredible defence line up for a Champions League match
For all their attacking prowess, the Galacticos had a pretty strong defence, too.
This backline is full of youth, experience, pace and power.
Had they paid more attention on their defence, they could have been ready to dominate for longer than they did.
Petr Cech; Paolo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, John Terry, William Gallas
Jose Mourinho’s side broke all sorts of records in the Special One’s first season in the Premier League.
But, surely conceding just 15 goals all season is one that will never be broken.
The Blues kept a whopping 25 clean sheets that campaign.
AC Milan: 2004-06
Dida; Cafu, Alessandro Nesta, Jaap Stam, Paolo Maldini
Carlo Ancelotti was at the San Siro as manager for eight seasons and produced various defences.
But, despite this side only never winning the Champions League, it was probably the best assembled.
The famously lost the 2005 final and were beat in the semi-finals the following season.
Inter Milan: 2009-10
Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Walter Samuel, Cristian Chivu
Mourinho’s second Champions League success came courtesy of another incredible defence.
Inter famously went to the Nou Camp and kept out the great Barcelona side with ten men.
They had just 24 per cent possession, but the defence was like a wall — and they held on to win the Treble
Iker Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba
Known mainly for a super midfield in and attack, but this backline shows it really was one of football’s greatest-ever teams.
Casillas rarely had a shot to save when this quartet was in front of him.
At Euro 2012, they only conceded once — and that came in the first match.
While they also let in just two en route to World Cup glory in 2010.
Atletico Madrid: 2011-14
Thibaut Courtois; Juanfran, Diego Godin, Miranda, Filipe Luis
A strong defence is the hallmark of Diego Simeone’s Atletico side — his first defence was undoubtedly his strongest.
This side won the Europa League final in 2012, the 2013 Copa del Rey, La Liga in 2014 and reached the Champions League final in that year.
While Godin scored in that showpiece as well as the title-clinching goal and Miranda netted the winner in the Spanish Cup triumph.