Fiorentina defended Emiliano Viviano after the goalkeeper was spotted apparently throwing Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus shirt to the ground.
“I had no intention of lacking respect towards Pirlo, who I admire a great deal, nor Juventus and the Turin fans,” explained Viviano.
“Borja Valero promply picked up the jersey he had exchanged with Pirlo after we had saluted the fans.”
The incident occurred after a 2-0 defeat in Turin on Saturday, as Borja Valero was walking around with Pirlo’s shirt slung over his shoulder.
Viviano was seen whispering something in the Spaniard’s ear, removing the jersey from his shoulder and flinging it to the ground.
Juventus fans were furious and saw this as a huge sign of disrespect, especially as Viviano is a lifelong Fiorentina supporter who has a tattoo of the club symbol.
However, Fiorentina sources spoke to Sportmediaset and assured them Viviano’s move was out of a sense of responsibility.
Borja Valero was heading to the away end to salute the fans and it might’ve been ‘insulting’ for them to see him wearing the shirt of their bitter rivals.
It is claimed Viviano was far more aware of the Fiorentina ultras’ feelings about these matters and was trying to protect newcomer Borja Valero from criticism.