It may have proved a storm in a teacup, expect Antonio Conte is now Azzurri boss. Formerly of Juventus, his resignation last July shocked the faithful赌场注册网址. In three years Conte had taken the Old Lady from the doldrums to a winning force again. To fans the sight of him taking training one day and walking away the next felt like a sucker-punch. To those who accepted Conte wanted a break, seeing him announced as Italy boss in August was a body blow.
Reports suggest 30,000 tickets have been sold for the match. It will be interesting to see the reaction towards the Lecce native for what is his first game back at the stadium he helped to turn into a fortress. Juventus are a club steeped in tradition and if the positive welcome is anything to go by, fans will show appreciation.
Marchisio’s injury was declared not as serious as first feared after follow-up tests conducted by Juventus. He may even be back in time for their Champions League quarter-final tie with Monaco. But by then Conte had reportedly received death threats from irate fans. Already disillusioned with the Italy position this furthered his discontent. Conte stormed out of a weekend Rai interview after being asked another Marchisio-related question.
As Turin prepares for Italy against England tonight, it’s hard to think of another time when the relationship between Juventus and the Azzurri has hit such a low. There’s a poisonous atmosphere and a number of factors combining to swell the ill-feeling.
The Marchisio incident fuelled bad blood, with club patron John Elkann declaring Conte not a coach but a ‘cherry-picker’ and wondered why the players worked so hard. “I wonder why Elkann didn’t ask me that when I was at Juventus? We don’t work ‘hard’, we work well,” Conte snapped back. Yesterday, whispers emerge365bet体育排名d that Fiat – run by Elkann – would drop its sponsorship of the Nazionale. Evidently the wound has not healed.
At Coverciano last week, Claudio Marchisio clutched his knee. Initially diagnosed as a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, Bianconeri fans were left angry about of their players being hurt on international duty. With Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo already sidelined it looked a huge blow.
Conte could hardly be blamed for the incident given Marchisio was conducting a warm-up when it occurred. The actions of a minority to level death threats at Conte was deplorable. That went too far for a person who has “the memory of an elephant.”
Conte says the match will be a good test for his squad. Perhaps the real test is between he and the fans which supported him for three great seasons, and his former employers. Tonight could be the first step in the healing process between two great institutions which, for better or worse, are forever linked.
This is an individual who gave 16 years – 13 as a player and three as Coach – to Juventus. He does not deserve such treatment. So too must Conte remember that both times the club provided him with an opportunhg棋牌平台ity, plucking him from Lecce and Siena. He did well to grasp those chances. It would serve both sides well to remember what each has done for the other.
No club side has enjoyed as fruitful a relationship with its national team as Juventus. The Bianconeri have provided a record 24 World Cup winners, including 22 Italians. When Juve are strong, the Nazionale follows. It’s true of 1934, 1982 and 2006. And when the Old Lady have fallen, like in the mid 1950s and 2010, Italy too have struggled.
Recently the Calciopoli scandal reached some sort of resolution, but not one which left Juventus satisfied. Their quest since 2006 has been retrieving what they feel is rightly theirs – two Scudetti revoked in the original trial. Then there’s the €443 million Juve are asking from the FIGC in damages. It’s not exactly the perfect backdrop to welcome the Nazionale and Federation chiefs. Nor was the championship slogan which normally adorns the Stadium entrance, with the numbers 3 and 2 clearly visible alongside the Scudetto. That was covered up on request of the FIGC.
Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli asked the furore to cease and for a calm atmosphere for the game. Fans in Turin gave Conte and the team a warm welcome on Sunday. As locals clamoured for photo opportunities his importance to Juventus over the years, most recently in their revival, was stressed.