Saturday August 11 2012
And we're back!

The Italian Super Cup brought goals, drama, controversy and Napoli throwing a tantrum. For Susy Campanale, it’s as if the season never ended.

It can be a hard time for football fans, those few summer weeks in-between the campaigns. Transfer gossip, friendlies and whatever you call the soccer at the Olympics are all well and good, but the Supercoppa showed what we’ve been really missing. Juventus and Napoli battled non-stop in Beijing, providing us with six goals, two red cards, controversy and the unusual sight of the losing team boycotting the victory ceremony. We’re back, folks!

Italian football is about so much more than just the sport itself and a friendly cannot stir the passions the way a competitive clash inevitably does. There was absolutely nothing friendly about the Super Cup. From the get-go there were crunching tackles and arguments breaking out all over the pitch. Cesare Prandelli tried to introduce a new approach to fair play during Euro 2012, urging his men not to complain to the referee or stir up tension with dissent. Juve and Napoli clearly didn’t get the memo, as having goal-line referees for the first time only served to provide two more people their players could moan at.

The Partenopei had every reason to be upset at the final whistle. They were in front twice, then saw two men sent off just before the end of normal time, followed by Walter Mazzarri. There are plenty of questions over what Goran Pandev actually said to get a straight red card, while Juan Camilo Zuniga could’ve avoided both bookings.

Even with the ever so slightly dubious penalty in favour of Mirko Vucinic, Napoli shouldn’t have gone so far as to boycott the trophy presentation. It’s a lack of class and sportsmanship that I’m afraid has become rather too common under Aurelio De Laurentiis. On the other hand, perhaps it was a good thing not to hear what the Napoli President had to say after this match. It would’ve been hard to translate without the aid of a lawyer and an advanced swearing dictionary.

Juve weren’t exactly better during the match, as they complained about every single decision, while Antonio Conte’s ban provided them with extra motivation. I have already said the Coach did not deserve to be charged with failing to report a potential fix to authorities, but even then the 10-month suspension is utterly futile. If he can continue to work with the team day by day in training, pick the starting XI and hold the pre-match team talk – as long as it’s not in the locker room – then what kind of a ban is it? Don’t expect me to believe modern technology won’t allow messages to filter down to Massimo Carrera from the stands, either... Add to that Siena defender Emanuele Pesoli chaining himself to the FIGC headquarters (with a parasol and a plastic chair) to protest his three-year ban in the betting trial. If he hadn't announced a hunger strike, I bet he would've had a picnic hamper. It looked like quite a pleasant, summery protest.

If the Supercoppa is a sign of things to come this season, then we’ve got a fiery campaign ahead of us and not necessarily in a good way. Handbags are fun, but it’s getting into hair-pulling and eye-gouging territory here.

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
Bla bla referees this, bla bla cheating that, just love the comments made by the anti Juve lot that frequents these boards. Its nice to see the true colours of most Italian Footy fans come out when Juve are successful again. You're all pathetic. Napoli deserved every single yellow, red card and penalty awarded to them. Deal with it. Forza Juve!
on the 12th August, 2012 at 6:41am
To all Juve haters: could you please give me at least one reason why both sending offs and the penalty should have not been given?

Of course it's easier to shout that Juve bought the referee etc etc etc. PATHETIC!!!!
on the 12th August, 2012 at 5:13am
I don't see why everyone is getting all worked up. It was business as usual in Serie A. Juve wins after a succession of dubious calls. Move on.
on the 12th August, 2012 at 4:37am
im a juve fan, and all the comments here really annoys me. ok, now lets put it in reverse. if juve played the way napoli did and lose, you guys would still call us dirty, its well deserved, and so on. no way we could be good if you guys already hate us :)

sorry for bad english, am not a native speaker. forza juve !
on the 12th August, 2012 at 4:36am
with all do respect, I have no respect for you !
on the 12th August, 2012 at 3:56am
@pato lover: dont say u forget abt milan on ref forpenalty last season,, very clear penalty. napoli play rubbish as they only tryin to stop tge player not the ball
on the 12th August, 2012 at 3:39am
welcomwe back JUVE
on the 12th August, 2012 at 3:32am
JUVE are the best! Stop crying on how we are always favored. Last year we had 1 penalty shot. The game today was dominated by JUVE in ball posession, the tackles by Napoli were fierce. Babies have to be treated like babies. That was really bad sportsmanship. Last year's Coppa Italia was totaly gifted to Napoli. The officiating was horrible but yet JUVE stayed & watched Naples get their medals. Didn't hear Naples complain last year when it went their way did you? JUVE are back so enjoy the show!
on the 12th August, 2012 at 3:29am
Educate yourselves guys! What makes you think diving in game is dirtier than spying b4 a game?! Besides, Napoli played roughly.. Zuniga deserved a red since he played like a thug. And Cannavaro's tackle to Gio should've been red too! The point is none of these teams played nicely, therefore accept the result and dont run like looser.
on the 12th August, 2012 at 3:21am
How stupid can people be do u really think Juve would pay off referees after there manager just got banned for 10 months, and I think Napoli should be ashamed of them self for not showing there opponents Juve any respect after they played so dirty, when Juve lost in the Coppa Italia, they came out and showed there respect even thought they fought they deserved a penalty and thought they were cheated.Yes I am a Juve a supporter but my fathers family comes from Naples.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 11:45pm
on the 11th August, 2012 at 11:32pm
on the 11th August, 2012 at 11:30pm
Juve sucksssssss... Always being favoured clearly.. Good job Napoli.. Forca Barca
on the 11th August, 2012 at 11:23pm
Juve....grandchildren of Italian refers .You sure are back. We'll soon see you in serie B again! Loosers!!!! I'd rather not win than follow your motto"win at any cost" Everyone associated to you is corrupt. Go lull your pathetic coach of a cheat. Careers will follow soon. Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
on the 11th August, 2012 at 10:53pm
Juventus was the better team n they deservedly won. Napoli was playing like thugs with their over aggressive reckless tackling, they were determined to push the envelop n got there just deserved red cards. Wherever haters accuse Juve of cheating my love for the Old Lady gets even strong
er. Forza Juve!!!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 10:31pm

Whining ha?

I didn't see any Juventino blame the referee when Juve lost the Coppa Italia Final when your disgraced defender, Aronica, tackled Marchisio from behind inside the box when it was 0-0.

So, that was a penalty, and a man down !

So, the gist from my bubbling is this:

on the 11th August, 2012 at 10:23pm
I feel sorry for the Juventus fans..Do you have confidence that any of the games you 'win' were actually won on the 'field'?

Hollow victory..the ref TURNED the game into Juve's way. Napoli winning with 15 mins to go and GIFTS juve a penalty and the GIFTS uve with an extra man or 2.

Anyways my beloved SERIE A is crumbling...its only a matter of time befoe juve are picked up again for some dodgy dealing.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 10:01pm
"**NOTE: Juventus is the best team in Serie A"

How can anyone know this already? The season hasn't even started and someone "in the know" can already tell who the best team of the season is? And there is no match fixing by RuBentus, right?

This Super Cup told everyone who's going to be crowned Scudetto winners, not who plays the best. Only who pays the best.

**Note: The team that won the Scudetto last season isn't always next season's best team. People who know the future paid in advance.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 9:57pm
Both teams are a direct reflection of their coaches.

Juve - winners, battling for every inch on the field, hated by everyone else.

Napoli - whiners, good at their job but not in the top bracket, always looking for someone to blame when it goes wrong.

When Juve are top it's always the same and always will be the same, I take comfort in everyone crying about Juventus after every game.

Blissful normality.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 9:38pm
Zuinga's foul decicsion on giovinco was pathetic, giov clearly dived as most juve players do all season they are a bunch of divers and keep surrounding the ref everytime he blows his whistle, pathetic. Nothing new thu, all went as expected, still alot more will be seen in Serie A, Giovinco was already on a yellow when he was offside and still kicked the ball after the whistle, isnt that another yellow card? unbelievable
on the 11th August, 2012 at 9:07pm
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! Poor, poor Juventus. Getting a persecution mania? No? Really? The referee gifted this match to Juventus and shame on him and his crew for ruining a great, competitive match. Napoli should have collected their medals but they have a perfect and justified right in protesting at this sham! Juventus know all about protest - they're experts at it!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 9:05pm
Oh yes another juve victory and another chance to SHOW we are
The best in Italy.susy sorry to say you are a idiot and Napoli you guys
Are worse than inter go cry yourselfs to sleep.hahahaha
on the 11th August, 2012 at 9:00pm
Why are you Juventino's even trying to defend yourself's.. Let the haters hate.. It shows that Juventus are back and strong! Them haters are scared.. This said by an EPL fan. I saw the match and it was like an el clasico, very dirty match but the only team paying dirty was Napoli and they could have had more red cards. What Pandev said we dont know. But the penalty was 100% correct!!!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 8:54pm
Napoli hit self-destruct and turned on otherwise competitive affair into a walk-in-the-park for Juventus.
All three sending-offs were avoidable, but players (and a manager) with a club president who is a perpetual whiner and conspiracy theorist should not be expected to behave any better.
The FIGC has work to do. DeLaurentis' perenial petulance, the resurgent perception of the Calcio as "dirty" and the needless tensions being stoked are an ill-wind that bode well for no one.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 8:27pm
1. The penalty was not dubious.
2. Juve tried to play football, Napoli just tried to counterattack
3. Napoli might get away with hacking players down left and right in the San Paulo, but luckily this game as played on neutral ground.
4. Sulking like little babies in the locker room instead of showing up for the victory ceremony is just pathetic.
5. To all the Juve haters: Zzzzzzzzzzz......
on the 11th August, 2012 at 8:02pm
Napoli and their small team mentality. When things start getting difficult, the toys get thrown out the pram. Napoli blowing the big occasion yet again.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 7:56pm
Superb start to the upcoming season! The match was a fabulous angst-ridden opera. We tifosi love our squads fervently, and hate all others with all our hearts. Such is Calcio in Italia. Tonight was every bit as good as Tosca. Bring on the season, forza Parma, a pox on Juventus and AC Milan!!!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 7:43pm
So all Penalties awarded are the result of bribery and match-fixing? All Red Cards shown are the result of referees being bought? All results are determined before kickoff? I really feel sorry for you losers. Why do you even watch football is this is how you really think? Or is it just when big, bad Juventus wins that you think this? **NOTE: Juventus is the best team in Serie A. Sometimes the best team wins. In fact, almost always.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 7:28pm
Nice to see my comment being critical of Susy and RuBe was heavily moderated despite not having included a single swear word. Not even a symbol substitution for a letter that looks like a swear word. Certainly no more in bad taste than the fawning for a blatantly cheating RuBe in the article above.

So called "journos" such as this are as much to blame for sporting fraud as any team as they are constantly protecting and apologising for dirty play. I hope they are paid at least as well as the ref
on the 11th August, 2012 at 7:13pm
How come that excuse of a football team have any credible's morally wrong
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:55pm

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