From the Newsroom

Football journalist Rory Smith says West Ham will be welcoming one of world football's giants in August
Football journalist Rory Smith reckons the Juventus are a fitting club to for the Hammers to open the new Stadium on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park against in August…
There’s no doubt that the Hammers’ opponents in the first game at their new Stadium – Juventus – are one of the world’s biggest clubs, something that has perhaps been forgotten in recent years with Barcelona and Bayern Munich taking over.
The Old Lady are massive, though; to think they have won 32 Serie A titles is extraordinary. They say that one in every two football fans in Italy is a Juventus fan, meaning they’re beyond the Manchester United of Italy. You either actively support them or actively support against them over there. It shows what a genuinely massive club they are.
They are one of the three teams in Serie A to own their stadium, they have now won five titles in a row and they are regulars in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League. They obviously got to the final of the competition last season, and many would have backed them to get to the quarters or the semis again had they not met Bayern in the last-16 this year. Even in that tie, they ran the German side close.
They are a team on the up, that’s for sure. They often provide the backbone for the Italy team, and the three of Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci are Italian football-made flesh. They’re brutal, hard and tough – and a little bit snide in a nice way – but also elegant and what you think of when you consider Italian football.
One of the reasons Fiorentina hate Juventus is because they feel they have always been over-represented in the Italy side. Gianluigi Buffon is one of those players who you want to appreciate watching now; there’s a good chance he’s the best goalkeeper who has ever lived. Not just his ability contributes to that, but also how long he lasted at the top of world football for club and country.
I remember him making his debut for Parma when he was 18, and that would have been almost 21 years ago. He’s one of those players that when your grandkids ask ‘who have you seen play?’, it would be nice to answer ‘Gianluigi Buffon’. West Ham fans now have a chance to do that.
Like West Ham, Juventus are a factory team, and they have massive English links with their former managers.
They’re a side full of symbolic Italian players, however they also have some younger, exciting players as well. Paul Pogba is arguably one of the most complete midfielders in Europe; Paulo Dybala is the next Argentinian sensation…there are lots of players who are worth watching.
It is sure to be an exciting game to open the new Stadium that everyone connected with West Ham will be looking forward to.
Rory Smith's new book 'Mister: The Men Who Gave The World The Game' is available now online and from most good bookshops.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily the opinions held by West Ham United.