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Juventus - A History In Black And White

9.99
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Juventus - A History In Black And White

9.99

The story of Juventus FC, one of world football's truly great clubs and one of the oldest on the peninsula, is truly the story of Italian football. 

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The story of Juventus FC, one of world football's truly great clubs and one of the oldest on the peninsula, is truly the story of Italian football. 

By Adam Digby

The story of Juventus FC, one of world football's truly great clubs and one of the oldest on the peninsula, is truly the story of Italian football. Known as La Vecchia Signora ("The Old Lady") she is a perfect blend of flair, artistry and skill, combined with a ruthless determination and will to win that constantly flirts with the less savoury elements of the game. For every Michel Platini or Alessandro Del Piero to win the hearts of fans of the beautiful game, there has been a Claudio Gentile or Paolo Montero waiting their moment to launch a well-timed elbow into an opponent. For every Gianni Agnelli to woo the crowds with his sartorial elegance and well chosen words, a Luciano Moggi lurks, playing the perfect villain and serving to heighten the levels of hate felt towards the club by rival supporters. It is all encapsulated by those starkly contrasting stripes which have become synonymous with the Turin giants. This is that story, a history in black and white.

5 Stars - World Football Commentaries

'Juventus is one of the most storied clubs in Italy and author Adam Digby does a wonderful job tracing the history of the club' - Soccer Nomad

Author Bio

Adam Digby is a football writer who contributes to Four Four Two, IBWM, 8by8 magazine and many more. Papa, Mister & Juventino per sempre.

Extract

In lifting their first league title of the post-Calciopoli era, Antonio Conte had ensured that in just over twelve months in charge he had revitalised Juventus, helping the Old Lady rediscover her desire for victory. Overhauling almost every facet of the club, he had quickly reminded everyone of that famous Juventus spirit, that anything other than winning was, in essence, failure.

His relentless drive and motivation was constantly on the verge of maniacal, an obsessive winner who simply refused to accept defeat. The Scudetto would be sealed in a match in Trieste against Cagliari and then a joyous afternoon at Juventus Stadium against Atalanta the following week saw them presented with the trophy. That would see the sad end of Alessandro Del Piero’s time in Turin however, with the club confirming their tearful captain would no longer be pulling on the famous black and white stripes.

In a strange paradox, it would be helpful to the coach that his undefeated Bianconeri would ultimately still end 2011-12 as losers. Having eliminated Roma and Milan en route to the Italian Cup Final, Conte’s men would be thoroughly outplayed in the showpiece event by Napoli, seeing their perfect season tarnished in its very last match. They would take that defeat personally, beating the same opponents in August’s Super Coppa curtain raiser before marching into their second campaign the way they had finished the first one.

It would be a season that would begin in odd circumstances however, with Conte and assistant coach Angelo Alessio banned for their alleged failure to report a fixed match whilst still at Siena. Even that would fail to slow this incredible side even slightly and Technical Director Massimo Carrera would lead the team impressively in the absence of the pair, relinquishing control to Alessio who returned slightly ahead of his boss.

Between this unorthodox trio, Juventus would march impressively to the 2012-13 winter break eight points clear atop the Serie A table, qualifying for the quarter-finals of both the Italian Cup and the Champions League thanks to that same heady blend of passing, pressing and belief which had served them so well throughout the previous campaign. But Conte was understandably far from happy at the situation, launching into a tirade at a press conference shortly before he was banned.

“I think”, he told reporters, “that credibility is something you earn every day and I think that throughout my life, I have gained great credibility. Unlike those who have sold matches, sold themselves, their families and their team-mates for the past three years!” Those words, the first among many others, formed part of a lengthy press conference shortly after his first appeal against the ten-month suspension handed to him that summer. It was a hearing that dismissed one charge against Conte and upheld another, but failed to deliver any reduction in sentence meaning the reigning Serie A champions would effectively be without their leader for the entire campaign.

Just over a month later and the Italian Olympic Committee would cut the punishment to just four months for one count of “failure to report” an allegedly fixed match while he was in charge of Siena during the 2010-11 campaign. However, even before the original punishment was handed down, Juventus had chosen to install Carrera as stand-in coach meaning Conte had effectively started his ban before any judgment was made.

“I see a caged lion”, Gianluigi Buffon said as he saw how his coach was coping with being removed from active duty. The goalkeeper added that “It’s not like Conte’s suspension is helping the team, a coach like him influences in the same way in the changing room and from the bench during the game.” However, looking from the outside, the ban seemed to have hardly affected the side at all.