Former midfielder Emerson has reflected on his controversial 2004 transfer from Roma to Juventus: “I wasn’t a traitor.”
The Brazilian moved across to the Bianconeri almost 10 years ago for a total fee of €32m, but only after a protracted saga was played out, including the player presenting Roma with certification that he was clinically depressed.
“It is true that I was ill. I was in Brazil, I was troubled by the ruining relationship I had with the club,” Emerson has explained in today’s edition of Il Messaggero.
“Take into account that for six months I did not receive a salary and there were other things that I had been promised and that had not arrived.
“I was okay, I had accepted this, I was aware of the situation. But then in comes an important offer and the President tells you no.
“Franco Sensi is a person who did a lot for the team and for me. But in 2003 the club was going through a difficult period.
“He called me and told me that there were clubs looked at me. Then he added: ‘I cannot sell you, I do not know how to explain it to the fans. But we need the money…’.
“At that time, even the employees were not receiving their salaries. I mean, for us players it is one thing, we are rich. But at the club there were also people working there who earned €1,000 a month.
“Why Juventus? To me it was the same. Juventus, Inter, Milan or Real Madrid, all equal. If I had gone anywhere else people would not have understood anyway - the same thing happened to Samuel and Cafu.
“And in any case, I had not chosen Lazio. I was not a traitor. For four years I did my job and did it well. A traitor is someone who earns a good living, does nothing for the team and then he goes.”