IT. IS. DONE. Jesus tap-dancing Christ, IT IS DONE! JUVENTUS ARE BACK!
After all we’ve had to suffer in recent years, I don’t believe any gestalt-psychologist in the world will ever have witnessed a primal scream equal to the one bellowed by Juventini worldwide after yesterday night’s Scudetto win! It’s all a bit of a blur still, but let me take this opportunity to let out a silent holler of, yes, unbridled joy, but also – and I do think I breathe for all Juventini when uttering this all too wordy sigh of – relief.
Yes. RELIEF. A feeling much underrated at times, but one that has been a long time a-coming for fans of this club. The feeling of a heavy weight being lifted. The slow, very pleasant, emotion of past injustice, incompetence, and incredible underachievement leaving your body. The feeling that NOW, finally, we are where we should be. Can you feel it?
The screams of joy are still echoing in my ears, the tears, dammed up over 6 years of frustration and 20 years of dedication, have been cried (many, perhaps too many for a grown man like myself), and the last drops of Prosecco (that is for the record, Prosecco wine, not pro-Secco… just so we are clear on that) are awaiting their fate in the glass beside me.
Still moist around the eyes, may I suggest we take a look back? Just to put things into perspective.
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Back in May last year, not much was going right for the Old Lady, and despite the obvious failings in the side, many supporters (myself included) were very worried about the future of our beloved club going on to fire the fourth coach in two years, even if the table dictated it.
That the replacement for Delneri would be Antonio Conte generated, in me at least, an ambivalent feeling. On the one hand, I was sure Conte would bring an injection of much needed grinta into the team (and as is widely known, I value this trait over anything else), but I was very concerned as to how a relatively inexperienced coach would fare at a truly big club, should he face adversity, like fellow club legend Ciro Ferrara had done only two seasons prior.
Conte’s response to my concerns was a simplistic but rather emphatic one, though: not to. Not as in ‘not respond to crisis’, but rather to not have one at all! Not only a wise way of going about things, but as us intellectuals like to reference it, a BADASS way.
For while it took a bit of bedding in before the system(s) were in place, and heaven knows we could have won more games in the fall than was the case. But every Juventino with even the slightest grasp of reality would have donated a limb to see us right up there at yuletide, and for all that’s been said about the run of draws experienced in early 2012, the much-eared Annual Winter Breakdown™ did not happen this year. In fact, personally, I only remember two games that were genuinely disappointing in 2012, namely vs. Chievo and vs. Bologna, two sides we have continuously struggled to break down over the last few years.
While the 0-0 scoreline against Genoa was also truly disappointing to me, it was when things changed for the better again: the performance and the team was all up to (if not above) par, especially the midfield and that enigmatic figure called Mirko Vucinic! Had we won that game – which we maybe would have but for Pepe’s disallowed goal – the re-emergence of form and attitude would perhaps have been more obvious.
As it happened, all that was needed for the world to see the power of this Juventus was a trip to the Artemio Franchi. Nothing quite says pick-me-up like a 5-0 away victory to archrivals Fiorentina. Especially one taking place in the beast’s lair, Florence!
After that, the Bianconero-machine just kept on churning out the results: ousting Milan in the Coppa Italia semi-final (yup, we’ve still not left the field defeated, Mr. Galliani) before beating Inter, Napoli, Palermo, Lazio, Roma, Cesena, and Novara in quick succession in the league to claim our longest winning streak so far.
Surely the draw vs. Lecce was a harsh one to swallow: for anyone even remotely tuned into Buffon’s – or indeed Conte’s – psyche, it was a blow, but only one to react to if you are a true Campione. And while it wasn’t always pretty in Trieste yesterday, it became so, not just pretty, but absolutely wonderful! With the aid of the omnipresent tifosi – and a little help from our foes over in Milano – WE WON IT!
And so it came to pass that the Old Lady was able to celebrate with her adoring fans the 30th on-field Scudetto. And by my reckoning, the most important one in her glorious history!
WE ARE CAMPIONI D’ITALIA! No other words are really necessary.
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As for us here at JuventiKnows, we’re quite thrilled that our maiden season proved to be the one providing you with the Scudetto! Thank you for reading, and thank you all, each and every one, for having the faith, grinta and tenacity to have made this journey with us!
And, lest we forget, there is a Coppa Italia final to be played too, on May 20th!!
What a shirt we might be wearing next season! I swoon at the mere thought.
★ ★ ★ Fino alla fine, FORZA JUVE!! ★ ★ ★