Agnelli basks in 'paradise' of Juve triumph
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli feels his club has gone from "hell" to "paradise" after clinching their 28th league title last night. I Bianconeri won 2-0 in Trieste over Cagliari to bring the scudetto to Turin for the first time since 2003.
Juve were stripped of their 2005 and 2006 scudetti for their involvement in a match-fixing scandal that rocked Italy six years ago. The club was also relegated for the first time in its history to the second tier as part of its punishment. "From paradise to hell and back to paradise," Agnelli said after last night's achievement.
Juve surpassed their pre-season aim of a top-three finish, which would qualify them for the UEFA Champions League. They had failed to play European football after disappointing seventh-placed finishes in the previous two campaigns. "It's extraordinary and fantastic," Juve coach Antonio Conte said. " We are delighted to have conquered an extraordinary campaign."
Juve have shown few signs of weakness en route to the Scudetto. They are unbeaten in the league and have collected 81 points in 37 games, four more than closest rivals AC Milan heading into the final weekend. "Credit goes to my players and to the fans that have believed in us from the start," Conte said. "We have faced a very strong rival like Milan in the race for the title."
Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta says the 42-year-old Conte is the one who is most responsible for the team's impressive year. The former Juve midfielder had led Siena in their promotion-winning campaign last year before being put in charge of the Turin giants last summer. "This is everyone's scudetto but it is mainly Conte's scudetto," Marotta said. "Conte has been the added value of the squad.
"As a club, we have improved with respect to the work we carried out last season. There is no question that we merit this scudetto because we have done a great job. It is a historic scudetto."
If Juventus get at least a point against Atalanta on Sunday in Turin, the club would join Perugia and AC Milan as the only outfits in Serie A to have gone undefeated in a given season. "To end the campaign unbeaten would be something historic," Conte said. "To have taken positive results in 37 consecutive games in the league is something to be proud of."
The season can become even sweeter for Juventus as they are in the Coppa Italia final on 19 May against Napoli.