Tag Archive: Antonio Conte


The most expensive man in football - but is Gareth Bale enough for Real Madrid to overturn their arch-rivals, in Spain or in Europe? (Image via faniq)

The most expensive man in football – but is Gareth Bale enough for Real Madrid to overturn their arch-rivals, in Spain or in Europe? (Image via faniq)

It has to be said – we are all relieved that the football season is now back in action. A lot of transfers have occurred this summer with a lot of teams willing to spend immense sums, such as Real Madrid and Barcelona (on Gareth Bale and Neymar respectively), and others choosing not to break the bank such as Manchester United.

The Armchair Pundits takes a look at the potential fortunes of the big 3 in Europe and offer predictions of who will be league champions in their respective countries.

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Allegations: The investigation into Lazio midfielder Stefano Mauri has inevitably drawn comparisons with the highly-damaging 2006 scandal. (Image | The Daily Mirror)

Lazio captain Stefano Mauri has been arrested by police investigating fresh allegations of match-fixing in Italian football. Head coach of Juventus, Antonio Conte, is also being questioned, as well as Domenico Criscito, a member of Italy’s 25-man squad for the European Championships.

In 2006 the match-fixing scandal commonly referred to as “Calciopoli” emerged. It resulted in the demotion of Juve, who were stripped of two Serie A titles, and points deductions for other teams, including AC Milan and Fiorentina.

The events of this year were extremely damaging for Italian football, in particular prompting the mass exodus of star players from Turin, and affecting the quality and reputation of the Serie A. According to the BBC’s Alan Johnston, the investigation has been going on for some time.

“For many months now this investigation into match-fixing in the Italian game has been widening and deepening. While up to now much of the suspicion has fallen on teams and players in the lower divisions of the game, the prestigious Serie A is increasingly being drawn into the scandal.

“More painful and damaging, allegations and revelations lie ahead.”

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All hail the (nearly) invincibles

Alessandro Del Piero is Juventus’ all time leading goalscorer, and his name is synonymous with the club. He will be a free agent from this summer after nearly 20 years at the club. (Image | Wikipedia)

Forever remembered as a golden time for Italian football, 2006 saw the national side winning that year’s World Cup. But Italy’s international glory was sullied by a story much closer to home. It can be summed up in one word: calciopoli.

The scandal that rocked Italian football sent shockwaves throughout Serie A, and those tremors were felt most keenly at Juventus. The then reigning champions were stripped of their two previous league titles, and demoted to Serie B, starting the following season on -9 points. This was incredibly damaging to the Old Lady, arguably Italian football’s most famous club side. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the playing and coaching staff didn’t come to Turin to work in the second tier.

As a result there was a mass exodus.

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