It is a widespread and, therefore, widely shared opinion that it will be Inter, this evening, to give the definitive blow to Juve, beating them clearly and sending them completely away from the Champions League.
I can only follow this prediction, having been the first and – for a while – also the only one to argue that the bianconeri not only would not have won the Scudetto after nine consecutive, but that they would also have missed the qualification for one of the other three places. Those who mocked me have been served, but the worst is yet to come.
This evening, in fact, Conte will take another revenge on Andrea Agnelli by remembering at least two things.
The first: the grudge that Agnelli has brought to him since he resigned from Juventus after just two days of retirement.
The second: the insults of the president of Juve himself, in the second leg of the Coppa Italia, after Conte had raised his middle finger (does not stand in the midst of the power of) following the provocations from the home bench.
Now for Conte there could not have been a better opportunity than the one that presents itself. Getting to physically tear the Scudetto from the chest of the opponents and, at the same time, humiliate them with a defeat that also takes away the last chances of a true Europe.
It will be said that the hand was armed by the bianconeri and that Conte didn’t need a couple of more reasons to take revenge cold and hot too. But that’s the way it was and I wouldn’t want to be in Agnelli’s shoes after the match, when the eyes will inevitably cross and the Inter coach will miss at least a grin, it is not known whether more than satisfaction or mockery.
Of course, you should know how to win. And it may also be – even if I think the opposite – that at the final whistle Conte amazes us for its elegance and refinement. However, knowing the precedents, that is the two defeats suffered last year with Sarri and the spite of the elimination in the Italian Cup (with the very controversial return to Turin), I believe more in the blunt version of the Inter coach. It is probably not competitive malice, but the inability to control oneself in the face of extreme joy. And that of beating Juve for the second time in the league always is, but this time much more.
Hard game, real game, as they should all be even near the end of the championship. But I think it won’t be like that. Napoli, for example, the only team on which Juve can make their theoretical race, will play at Fiorentina, saved and historically an enemy of Juve. Is it possible that he won’t win? And, if ever they don’t win – but I have to see -, would Juve ever be able to beat a crazy Inter?
I wrote it on Wednesday night and I repeat it now: Juventus fans have to get used to the idea of the Europa League and Andrea Pirlo surrender to an inevitable exemption given how the championship is ending.
And what about the Coppa Italia on Wednesday evening?
Given that Juventus will face another scorching defeat, because Atalanta is more of a team, they are in better shape and, overall, they have played better and better, there is really someone who considers that eventual success, in some way restorative compared to the lack of Champions?
Obviously not. Nothing is more serious, economically and sportingly, than having been ousted from top-tier Europe. Therefore Pirlo will not be the only one to pay.