Juventus became the first Italian team since Inter Milan back in 2010 to reach the final of the Champions League.
They were seen as one of the underdogs in the tournament, but still managed to knock off the likes of Real Madrid and set up a match against Barcelona. Overwhelming favourites Barcelona managed to clinch the trophy 3-1, but it could have been very different had not been for some poor finishing by the Italians. After having based much of their game on a strong defence, Juventus found themselves extremely unlikely to lose goals via mistakes.
Their former manager Antonio Conte, who is currently in charge of the national team, says that the form shown by the club this season has certainly surprised him. During his few years with the Turin-based outfit,Conte managed to attain legendary status after having seen them get promoted from the second division to becoming the champions of Italy once again. If there was a criticism ofConte, it was that Juventus did not do well in the Champions League. In his defence,Conte was having a team that was still being heavily rebuilt for the European campaign. Since taking over the Italian national team after a disappointing World Cup,Conte has overseen a mediocre performance in the Euro 2016 qualification phase. Read more »
When Italy toppled England in their first group match in the World Cup in Brazil last year, they sent a signal to the rest of the World. They made the statement that they were well and truly in the fight. They were there to become the Champions again.
Nine months down the road, here we are feeling pity over the situation of Italian Football.
How unpredictable can the Sports be at times?
The England win that the Azzurri achieved to get started in Brazil, that was followed by a couple of defeats and let alone winning the competition, they had been knocked out before the knockouts.
Something had to give and that happened to be the resignation of Cesare Prandelli.
Prandelli, while leaving, blamed the clubs in the Italian top tier for not working in tandem with the national team management and not cooperating enough. But, at that point of time, it was seen just as a mere excuse from the outgoing manager to hide his failure.
However, the new man Antonio Conte seems to have started feeling the same now. He has had to deal with the reluctance of the clubs to let the players go on national duty that often.
The players get released if a FIFA game is there in the schedule, but, apart from that, there is no allowance from the clubs, not even for short camps and that is becoming a reason of frustration for Conte now. Read more »