Juventus opens old wounds with title victory

Juventus opens old wounds with title victory

TORINO - Reuters
Juventus opens old wounds with title victory

Juventus players and staff celebrate winning ‘Scudetto’ on a bus in Turin. REUTERS Photo

Hundreds of Juventus supporters invaded the pitch after their team clinched the Serie A title on May 5, forcing the players to hold their celebrations in the dressing-room.

Juventus also re-opened old wounds by claiming to have won its 31st Serie A title when only 29 are officially recognized by the Italian league. Juve was stripped of the 2005 and 2006 titles in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal but the club includes those in its tally.

When the game ended, a giant club badge was laid in the centre circle bearing the number 31. “How many scudettos have Juventus won? It seems to me to be 31,” defender Andrea Barzagli told RAI television.

As soon as the final whistle blew, fans ran onto the field at the Juventus stadium, defying orders from stadium announcers to leave the pitch clear.

Juventus has dominated the season, winning 26 of its 35 games and losing only four. Last year, it was unbeaten.

“It’s been a triumphant march from every point of view,” coach Antonio Conte, who was thrown into an ice bath by his players, told RAI. “It wasn’t easy to win again as last season, the Champions League took a lot out of us and so did the Italian Cup.”

The celebrations were also tinged with uncertainty over the future of Conte, who has won the Serie A title in each of the two seasons since he joined Juventus.

Conte said on May 4 that he would sit down and discuss his future with the club.

“What I said yesterday was clear,” he said. “At the end of the year and after two extraordinary seasons, it’s fair to sit at a table and discuss things in a serene fashion. We know that next season we will have to do better and it’s going to be difficult.”

“It’s easy to say that we want to win the Champions League but we have to be realistic and not make useless proclamations,” the former Italy midfielder said.