Juventus coach Antonio Conte has discussed his early season suspension in his new book, which will be released tomorrow.
As part of a betting investigation, Conte was suspended for 10 months – considerably less than the prosecutor’s request of 15 months – but later reduced on appeal to four months.
“The thing that causes me the greatest pain in those days is reading dramatic prospects from some who say my career is over,” wrote Conte in his new book, which is being serialised in Tuttosport.
“I haven’t even been called by the prosecutor, let alone charged, and already papers are listing my possible substitutes on the Juve bench.
“My career based on sacrifice, sweat and in which nobody gifted me anything, which I worked for with study and application, discipline and great severity for myself as well as others, risks coming to an end because one person lied.
“Or rather, this person invented an entire scenario, which is different to modifying reality into a lie. There is no time to complain: the meetings with lawyers came hard and fast.
“I immediately take an important decision, that I will be protagonist of my defence case. I will not subject myself to decisions that I do not share, realising that only by actively taking part can I choose the right solution at the right time and, who knows, maybe even understand why I ended up in this situation.
“I approach legal issues with the same method as my coaching, constantly asking questions and keeping the pressure up on my team.
“Reading the motivation released by judges on a different sporting trial that had already concluded, once again based on the declarations of those who ‘confessed’ on behalf of others, we spot an element that can be fundamental: the judges in that trial said the defence has to produce proof of innocence, proving the accusers are not credible. Just saying they are not credible isn’t enough.
“That was the foothold we were looking for. We’ll be the first to take the path of defensive investigation.”