Football

A museum with a message

There are exhibits which pay tribute to legends Michel Platini, Roberto Baggio and Alessandro Del Piero.

In one corner of the modestly-sized Juventus museum are panels that detail the birth of the club and how they rose to the summit of Italian and European football over the 20th century.

There is a tribute to past Juve managers, headed by the cigar-smoking Marcello Lippi, who won five Serie A titles and one Champions League trophy during two spells in Turin.

It is not until near the exit of the museum that a visitor will find an indistinct poster detailing the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal of 2006.

It recounts, under the heading "To hell and back", how Juve were found guilty of "fixing" Serie A matches by the authorities, sent down to the second division and stripped of two league titles won in 2005 and 2006.

The "hell" of 2006 no longer resonates among the fans, especially after their team clinched a third successive title last Sunday, their 30th Serie A crown, after beating Cagliari 3-0 at the Juventus Stadium.

Banners among the 40,000 fans in attendance read "32", however, as if to say no one can take away what they've won.

"To us fans, it will always be 32 (titles won). The league and the rest of Italy can say what they want," said Juve fan and taxi driver, Luca Sangelli.

"The fans never gave up on the team even when we played in Serie B. When the (Calciopoli scandal happened), most of us saw it as the (Italian) Football Federation's way of trying to kill us.

"But Juve have too much tradition, too much support. We recovered quickly, and now, Serie B feels like a long time ago."

After five managers in five years since returning to the top flight in 2007, coach Antonio Conte took over in 2011 and they've gone from strength to strength.

Success, it seems, is synonymous with the Grand Old Lady.

A quote from Sir Alex Ferguson, located among the first few exhibits in the museum, encapsulates the club's winning tradition.

"Juventus were an example of my Manchester United. I had players watch videos of Lippi's team and then tell them, you need to have that desire to win."

The Scot was referring to Juventus' appearance in three Champions League finals between 1996 and 1998, beating Ajax Amsterdam in the first one before losing to Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid.

Indeed, the next step for Juve is to reclaim their status on the continent.

Conte has hinted that the club need to steer their ambitions towards Europe, a quote from Lippi at another exhibit in the museum brings home the message: "At Juventus, success cannot stop. There is always something to win. There is never time for celebration."

- ALI KASIM