It has been two weeks since the 2011-2012 Serie A season has ended, but ever since Week 37 when Juventus defeated Cagliari 2-0 to mathematically secure the Scudetto, there has been a lot of discussion with regards to the number of titles the Old Lady holds. Is it 28 or is it 30? For every ten titles, a star is added to the team’s jersey.
In 2006, Juventus won the Serie A crown for the 29th time in their history. But lo and behold, the scandal known as ‘Calciopoli’ broke out in which Juventus Director General Luciano Moggi, was found guilty of match-fixing. As a result, the Bianconeri were stripped of two Serie A titles which reduced their tally to 27 and were demoted to Serie B (the second division).
As a rabid Juventus supporter, much to the delight of jealous fans of the other Serie A teams, this was a bitter pill to swallow. Demotion meant the loss of funds, sponsors, Champions League action, and the sale of star players who did not want to remain. In other words: having to rebuild a dynasty from the ground up during a time of economic crisis.
It has taken Juventus six years, millions of dollars, and a massive overhaul of players and administrators to get back on top of the Italian league in order to add another cup to their cabinet – number 28. But the club, players, and fans feel that La Vecchia Signora deserves recognition for winning 30 domestic trophies. That said, Andrea Agnelli, the Juve president, is adamant of adding a third star to the jersey for next season. Gianluigi Buffon, the man who many regard as the world’s best goalkeeper, recently said in an interview that if anyone were to ask him how many titles he has won, he would reply that according to him, he has won five, but the league is only counting three. The players, especially those who played in the Juve side of 2004-2005 and 2005-2006, feel that in their hearts they deserve recognition as Scudetto winners for those seasons having worked hard to win on the field.
On the other side of the fence is the Italian FA president, Giancarlo Abete, who states that Juventus will be forced to follow the proper protocol meaning that it is Scudetto number 28, not 30 and there will be no third star added at this point in time.
I would love nothing else but to see another star added to the Bianconeri chest. But in my opinion, I think it is more important to respect the rules of European football. It would have been 30 had Calciopoli never happened. Unfortunately, it did. In addition, considering that Juve was not expected to finish top four this season let alone top spot, I think we as Juve fans need to count our lucky stars and just accept that it is what it is. Let’s just enjoy the moment as Serie A champions and hope that the club successfully strengthens the team for next season to open another winning cycle and dynasty, and perhaps taste Champions League glory which has been missing since 1996. So in closing, sorry Juventus FC and fellow supporters of the Old Lady of Italian Football, but according to the record books, we only have 28 official Scudetti and not 30. In our hearts, we have 30, but one day, in the near future I hope, we will all see that third star sewn on.
…and that is the Last Word.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to add comments below.