Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018

Soccer: Conte doubt hangs over Juve title celebrations


(By Paul Virgo)
Rome, May 6 - A cloud of uncertainty is hanging
over Juventus's title celebrations after coach Antonio Conte
suggested his future at the Turin side was not beyond doubt.
Conte's arrival at his former club in 2011 led to the end
of the long trophyless spell that followed them having to spend
a year in the second tier for involvement in the 2006 Calciopoli
match-fixing scandal.
Former Italy midfielder Conte has given his side the
determination, athleticism and tactical intelligence he had as a
Last season, his debut campaign on the Juve bench, they
charged to the Serie A title with an unbeaten record.
And on Sunday they retained the scudetto with three games
to spare with a 1-0 home win over Palermo.
It is an impressive feat as, unlike last term, Juve were
also engaged in the Champions League this tine and had to cope
for most of the first half of the campaign without Conte on the
bench. This was because the 43-year-old had to serve a
four-month ban for failing to report a deal to fix a match
during his time at former club Siena.
But while Conte's side were dominant on the domestic front,
they showed their limitations in Europe, getting turfed out of
the Champions League quarter-finals 4-0 on aggregate by Bayern
The boss hinted that his future may depend on whether he
gets reinforcements in the close-season transfer market to boost
Juve's hopes of becoming European champions for the third time.
"We need to have an important campaign on the transfer
market to be able to keep developing," said Conte, whose
contract runs until 2015.
"I want to win. I work to win. And now my aim is to bring
home the Champions League.
"Naturally, I'd like to do this with Juventus".
According to media reports, Conte wants two world-class
players to arrive in the close season.
Paris Saint-Germain's Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a
former Juve, Inter and AC Milan player, could be one of them,
some reports say.
Juve General Manager Beppe Marotta insisted that a solution
would be found to make sure Conte stays put.
"The future will be a matter of combining our spending power
with our ideas," Marotta told a radio show on Monday.
"You can always improve in terms of quality. This side won
in Italy showing a lot of that, but on the European front, we
still have work to do.
"The relationship between Conte and the club is excellent.
When a professional manages to make big achievements so quickly,
it's normal for this to make him reflect.
"Conte wants to stay. The club want him to stay".
Juventus are Italy's most successful side on the domestic
front with 29 Serie A titles.
For the Turin side and their fans, however, the tally is 31
as they also count the two championship crowns Juve were
stripped of in 2006 following Calciopoli.
AC Milan and Inter are their nearest rivals, with 18 Serie
A titles apiece. The Milanese clubs are more successful in
Europe though.
Milan have been crowned European champions seven times and
Inter three times.
Juve have been European champions twice, in 1985 and 1996.

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