TORONTO – Two women in black leather rode up in their motorcycles to the iron grill fence separating Lamport Stadium from its adjacent parking lot.
One of them got off her bike and yelled comments in Italian at Italian side Juventus, which was training on the field at the time. Many of the players heard and turned their heads in the direction of the women.
After saying her peace, the woman climbed back onto her bike and rode away with her friend.
When asked what she said, Canadian-Italian reporter John Molinaro of CBCSports.ca remarked that she said that the storied club was a disgrace to its fans and its history for finishing seventh in the just-completed Serie A season.
It appears that some in Toronto, a long-time Juventus support hotbed, took the finish personally.
“They’re absolutely correct,” said Amauri, when asked the fans’ outcry back in Italy over the club’s performance. “There’s no question that we played terrible and the fans have every right to say what they’re saying.”
Juve is in the midst of turning the page on a forgettable season as they practiced ahead of their friendly against AC Fiorentina on Tuesday at Rogers Centre.
The most storied club in Italian football came off a subpar campaign finishing seventh at 16-15-9, behind the likes of Sampdoria and Napoli. It’s uncharted territory for a club accustomed to annually contending for the Serie A championship and an UEFA Champions League berth.
“A lot of things went wrong, it was a disastrous season,” said striker and former Italy international Alessandro Del Piero. “Hopefully we’re going to rest, recalculate what we’re supposed to be doing and come back strong [next] season.”
Juve seemingly haven’t fully recovered from the match-fixing scandal that led to their demotion to Serie B in 2006 and that resulted in the exodus of Sweden international Zlatan Ibrahimovic and 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year Fabio Cannavaro.
Though they left, others – including Del Piero, former French international David Trezeguet and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon – remained loyal to the club that has yet to return to championship form.
Juve’s US tour didn’t get off to a strong start, with the Torino-based club falling 3-1 on Sunday at Red Bull Arena to a New York side comprising mainly reserves.
Del Piero and Trezeguet, along with former Italy World Cup 2006 hero Fabio Grosso, will headline Juve’s lineup against Fiorentina – who drew 1-1 Sunday in Montreal against the Impact of USSF Division 2 – when the two play each other at Rogers Centre on Tuesday.