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Why Winning Isn’t the Only Thing



There is something I have always hated about Juventus: their entitled mentality. But that has morphed into something more sociopath than humane. They are so hell bent on winning that literally nothing else matters. Not their players, their directors, their fans, or even human beings in general. It is a horrible disease, and when people ask if I am jealous of Juventus, I am quick to say no, absolutely not. Because not only do I bleed red and black, but also I have a conscience and I value human beings. Juve’s motto may be “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,” but it has created a club devoid of all human decency.

Get out. In 8 months. Then get out, Capitano.

Del Piero
While some Juventus fans had previously alerted me to their merciless ways with online abuse, my first memories of the indifferent traits of the club were in October of 2011, when Agnelli announced that this would be Alessandro Del Piero’s last season with the club. You know, their captain, bandiera and talisman? And no one was more surprised by that announcement than Del Piero himself. But he played through the rest of that season, despite being told he was being pushed out just two months into it, and was a model captain and completely professional. However, when winning is the only thing, who cares about the man that sweat blood for your team for 18 years, stayed with the club during relegation, and led your team with dignity and class?

No more winning. No goodbyes.

Marchisio
Another bandiera that got the ruthless treatment from his lifelong club was Claudio Marchisio. He literally played for Juventus his entire career, from youth on, a full 25 years for Juve. One of the nicest guys in football, and a model athlete, he was called in on the last day of the transfer market this summer and told that he needed to leave. Literally, Juve were so harsh that they didn’t even give him a whole day to try to find another club in Italy or even England. He had to pack up his things and leave, and eventually signed with Zenit St. Petersberg, since their transfer market closed later. Unbelievably merciless, but that’s not all. He asked to come to their first home game of the season and just go out on the pitch to say goodbye to the fans. No. Not even that. Who does that? Even when you have to put down a pet, they let you say goodbye. But not Juventus. Because winning is literally the only thing.

No more winning for you. But the trophy stays.

Marotta
Not even their own CEO and General Manager of Sport was safe from their callous ways. Recently, Giuseppe “Beppe” Marotta, announced that he, too, was being pushed out. Citing differences with Agnelli, he is leaving the club later this month when his contract runs out. He took the team from seventh place to winning the Scudetto seven years in a row, and has shrewdly built one of the most formidable teams in football, even if they still can’t figure out how to win the Champions League. But hey, why stay loyal to the man who made your club what it is? And now he is most strongly linked to Inter, as well. Why on earth would you give him to a rival club? I mean that doesn’t even match the psychopathic need to win. It just feels like Juventus have gone mad with winning and cannot even see straight anymore.

Ronaldo Controversy
This storyline is the most disgusting and disconnected from reality. It starts with them kicking out their €94m record breaking signing of two years ago, Gonzalo Higuain. Even if it meant loaning him to a direct rival, he and his 40 goals in 73 appearances had to get out. And don't let the door hit you on the way out, Pipita. In spite of the fact that he was a model player and never caused any problems or evaded taxes or raped anyone. Because winning. And winning meant beating that record transfer fee to get Cristiano Ronaldo, even if Juventus was his second choice. (He had wanted to go to Napoli, but they couldn’t afford him.) Winning the Scudetto was now expected, but like an addict, buying the player that beat them in the Champions League was their next fix. Because winning.

Winning. Professionally.

Ronaldo may come with a lot of fans and a lot of bling and a lot of glory, but he is no model human being. First there was the tax evasion in Spain. After denying it was true, he agreed to pay an €18.8m fine and a suspended jail sentence this past June. While it is unlikely that he will serve any time in prison due to a first offense law in Spain, that is a lot of money to pay if you are truly not guilty.

But paying money to get out of trouble is apparently what he does best. Recently, a prior rape case against him was reopened here in the United States. Of course justice must still be served, however a very alarming part of the case is a nondisclosure settlement agreement with Ronaldo and his accuser in which he paid her $375,000 to not talk about it. And that settlement agreement is a matter of public record. He definitely paid her, even if the rape has yet to be proven.

But this is where Juventus comes back into the story. Obviously, when one of your own is accused of a serious crime, there is a need to make a public statement. Offering support to the person is probably also appreciated at a difficult time. However Juventus seemed to lack all awareness of the severity of the crime or the human being claiming to be the victim. Let alone the ramifications for the club should their player be found guilty. Here are the statements from their Twitter account:


There was much outrage about these statements, even from Juventus fans, and how “tone deaf” they were. They could have retracted them, but they didn’t. They could have benched him for at least a game or two, but they didn’t. And they didn’t stop there. Both Allegri and Paratici then made statements of “total support” for him, lauding his "professionalism" and his being "very active on social issues." Because apparently, him not raping any of them during training somehow made him not guilty of ever raping someone at all? I don’t know. I have a soul, and I don’t support Juventus, so I am really lost as to how these people think.

Ronaldo’s sponsors still have souls, though, and brains, too. Nike released a statement on the issue: “We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation,” And EA Sports also spoke out: We have seen the concerning report that details allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo. We are closely monitoring the situation, as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA's values.” They then removed his image from most of their website and social media. Because winning isn’t the only thing to them, being a human being comes first. And making money. And a football star potentially going to jail is neither of those things.

Addicted to winning?

But see, Juventus don’t care about his accuser. She is not going to help them win. They don’t even care about their own stock prices, which dropped sharply when the news became public. Because winning is more important than money, too. Winning is the only thing. They probably don’t even care about the 8,000+ people that liked their sick and twisted tweets. Only winning. Winning is the only thing. Cristiano Ronaldo is going to help them win the Champions League. That is all that matters. Winning. And if he doesn’t? Well I’m sure they’ll have no problems kicking him out, too. He’s not even a bandiera. They do not sit up at night worrying about their club’s reputation. Winning is the only thing. They don’t worry about anyone who stands between them and winning. Not bandiere, or CEOs, or players accused of rape who paid a lot of money if it didn’t happen. Winning is the only thing.

As Juve fans told me after Marchisio’s and Marotta’s being shoved out of Juventus, “No one person is bigger than the club.” That is true at all clubs. But at other clubs, they still look at their personnel as people. Juve have completely lost site of the humanity and brotherhood of football. Like when tragedies such as the loss of Astori happen, we all come together as human beings and mourn and look at each other in the eyes and cry together. For example, when Bonucci’s son was ill and he needed to miss a couple of games to be with his family, their own fans harassed and abused him for it. But his sick son wasn’t winning.  Winning is the only thing. All of the abuse they serve up to their own and opposition players, and also to rival fans… it’s all okay as long as Juventus are winning. Winning is the only thing. They aren’t worried about people or anything else but winning. Winning is the only thing. For a club that is heartless enough to shove its bandiere and even their CEO out like they did, it’s not a shock that they choose to put their “total support” behind a man accused of a serious crime. Because he’s a winner. And winning is the only thing.


Note to Juventus fans: This post is not all-inclusive, meaning I am not saying that every single Juventus fan believes every single point. Why I must always say that to you is beyond me. But please direct all hate to @Juventusfcen. Because this post was written for the rest of us, who have to deal with you monsters and your “winning mentality.” We’ve already received plenty of hate from you. Now go back to your soulless winning.


This post inspired by the music of Radiohead’s “Creep”