Cagliari Coach Zdenek Zeman is known for his vicious criticism of Juventus, but reveals he “slept with their jersey on.”
Zeman was the most vocal critic of the Bianconeri in the years leading up to the Calciopoli scandal and felt vindicated when the club was demoted to Serie B in 2006.
However, he told the Guerin Sportivo magazine that his reputation as a Juve ‘hater’ is wildly off track.
“I have never had a problem with Juventus as a club,” insisted the ex-Roma and Napoli Coach.
“I was born a Juventus fan and slept with their jersey on at night, as I grew up in Turin. I was angry with certain people within Juventus and I’d have said the same things about them if they had worked for another club.
“Would I have taken the Juventus job? Of course I would.”
While the ‘Triade’ of directors Luciano Moggi, Antonio Giraudo and Roberto Bettega were blamed for Calciopoli, Zeman believes there was more to it.
“If it was an entire system, then it couldn’t have been just three people responsible. After Calciopoli we could’ve started from scratch and tried to improve the football world, but instead the same old faces are still there.”
As things stand, Zeman is vilified by Juventus supporters and he is abused every time he goes to Turin.
“When I said those things, I was aware there would be repercussions, but I hoped for more care. Unfortunately every time I go there it’s chaos, as my mother is insulted from the stands.
“I asked the Lega delegate if he could hear the insults and write them down for his report, but they never write them down. Curve are closed for abusive chants towards black people, not white.”
The laws clamping down on racist or territorial discrimination have seen several stadiums shut down either completely or in sections last season.
These cover both racist abuse and that against Neapolitans.