VILLAR PEROSA – We are history, Francesco De Gregori would sing. The Juventus fans, on the other hand, show that they are history too. Together with the Lambs. And this time more than ever, as we will understand. Two years of hiatus for the covid did not dampen the Juventus love. The fans go up to Villar Perosa with the same emotion as always. True, there is less than in the past in the stands, about two thousand five hundred, but the prices of over 50 euros per seat and the pandemic crisis are made. Not words. So less quantity, but the same quality. Pure passion, with people coming not only from Piedmont who go into a frenzy when the players come out of the locker room to warm up and it doesn’t seem true to see them there, ten meters away. Some idols rush to the field with a twenty meter long “five” to touch the lucky ones, with their arms stretched out towards joy. See Bonucci. Others follow him timidly and after the first few meters they are astonished, see Gatti, making his debut in the fiefdom of the Agnelli.
Already. Villar Perosa is above all the home of the family that in this championship, when it reaches the top in 2023, will celebrate 100 years of Juventus. Something absolutely unique, made even more fascinating by the fact that in the meantime the competitors, to use one of those words dear to those who think they speak well or better than others, have ended up in the hands of Chinese or foreign funds. Juve no. Juve was, is and will be of the Agnelli. In sharing with the Elkann declination, the only recent semantic novelty in a century of history. And the presence of cousins Andrea and John warms the fans in the same way as Vlahovic and Di Maria. When the two materialize at the Villar Perosa stadium, about forty minutes before the family friendly which, as tradition, will last little more than a time before the peaceful invasion, a roar breaks out. And if the players run the catwalk to go and warm up for the game, the two of them really enjoy it, with slow and almost romantic times. They stop to sign dozens of jerseys with the fans who barely hold back their happiness with the shirt that is about to be embellished with a signature that will be shown to the grandchildren. Andrea and John they talk to the fans who ask for the Scudetto, they reply that they will try to win it again this year. John then asks the children their names and they answer with amusement.
The double talk
But yesterday the two cousins arrived at the camp after an unusual and certainly not accidental stage. This time the team was not invited to the family villa, but in front of the family tomb, in the town cemetery. Shortly before the entrance, the Juventus bus stopped to let the troops get off and reached the place where Andrea and John touched the strings of the players with deep thoughts, which start from history. The first to speak, the president of Juventus: «From here, from the field of Villar Perosa all the greatest champions who have worn the shirt since the 1950s have passed. From Sivori to Platini, from Del Piero to Zidane and Baggio. We have chosen to stop in this particular place for a very simple and important reason: in 2023 it will be 100 years that the Agnelli family owns Juventus. It is something unique in the world. There is no sports club of any discipline that can boast such a long-lived property. Know well that if Juventus is what it is, we owe it so much to those who are resting here, from Senator Agnelli who founded Fiat, to his son Edoardo who believed a lot in sport, who wanted to acquire Juventus and founded Sestriere. . Then passing by the lawyer Agnelli and my father. If we are here we owe it to the people behind us. We wanted to pay a tribute to those who have created so much and that it is our hope to return here with one or more trophies. Thus paying homage to tradition“.
As soon as Andrea Agnelli finishes, the baton passes to his cousin John Elkann, who thus speaks to the team and the coaching staff: «The most important thing is to know the past. Only those who know the past can build the future by living the present to the fullest. The coach, the captain and all of you have a great responsibility so that we can live this year of 100 years in an important way. This is a special year that is divided into two phases for the World Cup and we must attack immediately at best. You have to prove that you are from Juventus. Juve has an important history. It is a moment of meditation to remember the past and who built our history. Anyone who has never been to Villar Perosa will see the party, the passion, the warmth and the love of the fans. Appreciate it because you have a responsibility to keep that faith alive“. It would have been impossible to try to get into the hearts of the players even more deeply. So not only the facts, thanks to a quality market destined to be further enhanced, but also the words. The family is thinking of everything to bring the team back to winning on all fronts even if the competition has strengthened.
Towards the end of the first half John Elkann then allowed himself to use Sky’s microphones: «We are very happy to be here, all together, after the pandemic, precisely in the year of an important anniversary such as the centenary of our family together with Juventus. Villar Perosa certainly does well for Juventus, our history shows it, this exceptional decade under the presidency of Andrea and the many titles we have won in these 100 years. We have won 38 league titles with the first men’s team, five with the women’s team, we are the team with the most World Champions and we have all the Cups we have to win on our bulletin board: this is an incentive for us to look to the future, now we have to stay be careful, because compared to the past the championship is more competitive, with very solid opponents like Inter, Milan champions and Roma; it must be said that even in Europe the level of competitiveness has risen a lot. For this family match it is nice to see many champions on the pitch who have been here for a long time: today we also see a competitive Under 23, who plays well and has elements that will also be experienced in the first team. I’m sure Di Maria will give a lot to Juve and Italian football“.
The women and the embrace
So a day full of passion and vibrations. On the stands and on the pitch. For the fans and for the players. But not only. Even the Italian champions, Girelli, Rosucci, Bonansea and Zamanian were thrilled to exhibit, in the interval, the trophies won (league, Italian Cup and Super Cup) with the Bianconere Women to the delight of the coach Montemurro and the manager Braghin also present in Villar. But it doesn’t stop there. Emotions also for a former Juventus player who made history, when in 1982 he transformed a penalty in Catanzaro that handed the Scudetto to Juventus: Liam Brady. Invited by Juventus, the Irishman was honored in the center of the field by the public between one time and another, collecting a real ovation. But the most touching moment he experienced a few minutes earlier, when he met Beppe Furino, his former partner and midfield gladiator, yesterday in a wheelchair due to the after-effects of a stroke: “It was great to see him again and to be able to hug him. If I remember that penalty every now and then? Yes, it happens sometimes, but I did well not to think too much about the importance of that penalty: I shot almost immediately and it was better this way“. An afternoon of love and great respect for the past. Like Bonucci’s gesture, that he gave the shirt to Furino after caressing him gently. Small gestures that can be the seeds for a great season.