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Football | Italy

Juventus players celebrate © Reuters Images

Italian press salute Juve title



Newly-crowned Italian champions Juventus dominated the sports pages on Monday as the Italian press hailed their league win but dispute raged about exactly how many times they have won the Serie A crown.

Juve were stripped of the titles they won in 2005 and 2006 for their role in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal, meaning this was officially their 28th crown.

But players and club officials defiantly proclaimed the number 30 when interviewed following their 2-0 win over Cagliari on Sunday night with the difference in numbers reflected in the written press.

Tuttosport, a newspaper noted for its pro-Juve line, opened with a huge number 30 and the players faces superimposed inside the number with the headline: "Juve Pride".

They delighted in recounting that when the players returned to Turin: "The number 30 was everywhere. The city is in delirium for the title party."

La Gazzetta dello Sport, which is seen as leaning more towards the two Milan giants, made a point of insisting it was the 28th title.

On every second page up to page 15 the number 28 was printed at the top.

Corriere dello Sport, which traditionally favours the Roman clubs, largely avoided the polemic, quoting Juve general manager Giuseppe Marotta's insistence that the club have won 30 titles but remaining quiet themselves.

In general though, newspapers concentrated on Juve's victory and the party that followed.

"Juve, it's yours! Inter rolled over Milan and gave them the scudetto," said Gazzetta.

Leader writer Andrea Monti added: "It all happened in one night, and what a night!

"Six years after descending into the fires of hell Juve rediscovered, and unquestionably deserved, the glory and the keys to paradise," he said evoking images from Italy's favourite poetic work, Dante's Divine Comedy.

"And sending them there, to the (Pearly) Gates of St Peter, was Diego Milito, the hat-trick specialist who wears the blue and black shirt, that of their arch-enemies of today and forever."

Juve and Inter Milan are the traditional rivals in Italian football and their matches are known as the Derby of Italy.

The irony was not lost that it was Milito's hat-trick that helped Inter down Milan 4-2 and gift the title to Juve.

La Repubblica went so far as to say that Milito was "the black and white's hero, three goals to wipe out Milan's last hope", acknowledging, too, that Juve had a "perfect season" and were ready for Europe.

"The secret: (coach Antonio) Conte, (playmaker Andrea) Pirlo and a group made of iron," it added.

Corriere instead paid tribute to Juve's elder statesmen Gianluigi Buffon and Alessandro Del Piero right the way up to club president Andrea Agnelli.

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