Straight from the dark heart of Italy
The last decade was dominated by Calciopoli and as a new decade starts, a central figure of the match-fixing scandal is back in the game.
Along with “Lucky” Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo, Roberto Bettega was part of the all-powerful, all-scheming triad that held sway over Italian football for many years.
Bettega may have been cleared of being a naughty boy, but the old silver fox will forever be associated with the grubby side of the game.
Juve sneaked the slippery customer in through the back door when the whole of the country was still digesting Christmas lunch, and his irony-free statement that the “true” Juventus would soon return has sent a icy chill down the spines of all football followers.
The “true” Juventus? So much for turning over a new leaf by ushering in a new clean-cut organisation.
There have been reports that Bettega has already apparently been on the phone to Uzbekistan to check on Luiz Felipe Scolari’s availability.
If that drew a blank then there is always that other rent-a-coach Guus Hiddink, who may even be holed up in Turin at this very moment – and deepening the intrigue is the case of reported transfer target Rafinha going AWOL from Schalke at the turn of the new year.
Poor old Ciro Ferrara has already had his confidence shot to pieces even before a dismal year ended with a home defeat to bottom side Catania.
The dreaded vote of confidence from the suave Jean-Claude Blanc, who has been paving the way for Bettega’s return since the start of the season, will have done little to calm Ciro, who looks like the proverbial 'dead man walking'.
It should be a short walk as well.
With defeat at Parma on Wednesday bringing the axe down on the loyal club servant’s time at the top table, word has it he will probably be offered a role back with the youth set-up.
However, it's thought that he will choose to leave the club altogether, instead returning to Marcello Lippi’s Italy set-up for the World Cup.
So not all bad then for Ciro, but even with Bettega back and apparently already attempting to pull the strings, the world has moved on and the Old Lady will not be receiving any favours in 2010.
Back in third place and now nine points off Inter, the Bianconeri may be less concerned with catching the champions than holding off the chasing pack; there are certainly enough sides beginning to run into form.
Heading the pursuers are AS Roma – who of course just happen to be under the tutelage of Claudio Ranieri, unceremoniously dumped last season by Blanc and his cohorts.
The likes of Napoli, Fiorentina, Palermo and even Genoa also now look well-equipped to mount a challenge – and here's hoping so, because Juve’s decision to delve into their murky past does not deserve to succeed.
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Afraid of great Juve back in action,so England clubs wont dominate Europe anymore..Cmon,i tought this is page for fans who acctualy uses brain
Tifoso - English clubs don't dominate Europe.
English clubs have only won the Champions League twice in the last decade, and have been much worse in the UEFA Cup.
If I had to, I'd say the Spanish dominate Europe.
What a terrible article full of inaccurate statements. For a start Bettega was never accused of anything in Calciopoli, and is free to work wherever he likes.
Secondly no evidence linking Moggi, Giraudo or Juventus to match fixing exists. All the evidence in Calciopoli points towards a set up aimed at destroying Juventus and the Triade, as some got fed up at just how good they were at their jobs.
Thirdly there's a series of anti-Juventus statements on this article which can only be described as defamatory. Linking Rafinha going AWOL to Bettega's arrival at Juve is disgraceful and hugely disrespectful.
I'd expect a higher standard of reporting from FourFourTwo than this which is full of lies and anti-Juventus propaganda.
Maybe Mr Rossi is an Interista and is scared of the truth of Calciopoli. If he is, he should be because it'll all come back to haunt Inter one day.
Juventus - 29 times champions of Italy, and proud of it.
Usually enjoy this blog & find myself agreeing with most of what you write. Today am very disappointed in your view on one of the true greats - & true gents - of Calcio. Roberto Bettega not only wasn't accused of having any part in the Calciopoli scandal, he remained the only member of the pre-Calciopoli backroom staff to stay with the club.
A Turin-born native he was as hurt as any Juventino by what had happened to his club, & he stayed another year to help the Old Lady when she needed it most. Coboli-Gigli decided not to renew his contract as it expired in 2007, but Blanc has simply moved to rectify this clear error of judgement.
To call it a return to the dark ages is narrow-minded, & quite honestly in poor taste. Of all clubs involved in Calciopoli, Juventus were the only ones to make changes. Even now the people implicated continue to run Fiorentina, Lazio, Milan and Reggina, yet no comments on their "murky" past.
Mr. Rossi with all due respect I think you have misinterpretted the remark, I am sure that what is meant is that we will soon see the Juve we are used to seeing, winning games and challenging for all competitions rather than crashing to Catania and collapsing in the Champions League. Come on, be serious!
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