Last Tuesday, the referee had only just blown the final whistle to announce Juve’s elimination from the Champions League, as Andrea Pirlo and his men were subjected to all types of criticism, condemnation, and even insults.
Whilst judgement is a part of the sport, this one felt a little bit excessive, especially when the Corriere dello Sport wrote “Ronaldo betrayed Juventus” on its headline in the next morning.
Although the word ‘betrayal’ was used figuratively as a reference for the fact that the Portuguese turned his back on Porto’s free-kick which eliminated the Old Lady, such a negative term should have been avoided.
The Roman newspaper was not the only one to use it, as a journalist asked Alessandro Del Piero whether CR7 betrayed Juventus on the big European night.
The Bianconeri icon didn’t deny it. Whether he meant it or not, il Pinturicchio is arguably the greatest legend in the club’s history, and therefore is entitled to freely speak his mind about the team.
Nonetheless, others should be more careful with what they say, especially those who have left the Old Lady in her hour of need.
Thus, when Fabio Capello comes out to claim that the Juventus veterans only appear to take credit in victories and hide during defeats, this is when the irony bells begin to ring.
Calling the former England manager a “traitor” for leaving the club amidst the Calciopoli scandal in 2006 would be unfair. As a professional, Capello had the right to seek a shinier destination than Serie B.
However, the Italian coach is not in a position that allows him to accuse people of turning their backs on the club.
Moreover, Capello decided to interrupt Pirlo’s post-match interview, and instead of offering some support for a young colleague who just had received the first major blow of his career, he went on to berate him for his role in the “wall incident”.
The 74-year-old proudly stated that he would always choose the players who would stand in the wall, and the current Juventus manager had nothing to say but “this has never happened before”.
Thus, the old tactician managed to put the already-mentally exhausted Pirlo in a weak position, even though that Capello’s European record with the Bianconeri wasn’t much better (despite having one of the best squads in Europe at the time).
It should also be noted that Inter – who currently possess a strong and deep squad – never received such a backlash after their early elimination, nor did they get thrashed this badly for failing to score a goal against Shakhtar Donetsk and finishing at the bottom of the group.
In conclusion, this needless witch-hunt needs to stop as soon as possible so the team can be able to shift its focus back to the remaining objectives, otherwise the club risks drowning in a sea of negativity.