It hasn’t been the easiest of journeys but finally they are back. When the Champions League anthem is played over the Stamford Bridge PA system on Wednesday evening, the eleven men wearing the famous black and white stripes of Juventus will be the first to do so in almost three years.
Indeed, the last time the Turin side played a fixture in Europe’s elite competition was a 4-1 humbling at the hands of Bayern Munich in December of 2010. That loss saw them fail to progress from the group stage, and having been eliminated by Chelsea in the Second Round the previous season, the grand Old Lady of Italian football will be looking to give a better account of herself than anytime in recent history.
Read more at Independent.co.UK
When Argentina were drawn against host nation Italy in the 1990 World Cup Semi Final at Naples Stadio San Paolo, Diego Maradona attempted to exploit the resentment felt among Neapolitans by asking them to support Argentina instead of the home nation. Provoking outrage and shocking locals, the pleas of their captain failed, a prominent banner in the stands proclaiming “Maradona, Naples loves you, but Italy is our homeland”.
Read more at Life’sAPitch.co.uk
Upon winning the Scudetto in 1987, Napoli fans daubed the words ‘You don’t know what you’re missing?' on the wall of a local cemetery. The graffiti became one of the most iconic images of the incredible seven year spell through which the southern Italian team were blessed with the brilliance of Diego Armando Maradona. It was a period in their history littered with memories and joy that the clubs fans will never forget.
Read more at SI.com
Thirty-eight games of effort, skill and determination all culminating in securing that prestigious fourth spot. A summer spent having very public transfer negotiations with Barcelona for a highly influential player who not only wants to leave, but has stated his desire to move only to the Camp Nou club.
At first glance Udinese have very little in common with Arsenal, perennial contenders of the latter stages of the Champions League.
Read more at ESPNsoccernet
The word idol has numerous definitions and, rightly or wrongly, is often used to describe athletes and sportsmen. Iconic status is bestowed upon players almost instantly but the more enduring come to fulfil every one of its meanings. Inter’s Wesley Sneijder is most certainly one of those and as speculation regarding a summer move continues to grows it may not be too long before another set of supporters queue up to pay homage to a player among the best in the world.
Read more at ESPN.com