The incredible story of a rivalry that the billionaire owner ignored and caused outrage

It’s hard to say exactly when this historic rivalry began, but many point out that Fiorentina’s anger started in the 1981/82 Serie A.

Most of the clubs in Italy are considered great rivals of Juventus due to some historical injustice. All have records of a “robbery” against them by the Bianconeri in the past, although few are considered as personal, damaging and cruel as the one from Fiorentina.

Although fans of the juventus They also admit that they don’t like the florentinethis is usually a very unbalanced rivalry, in which one side takes and the other is always forced to give. Fiorentina have won 10 major trophies in their history, the most recent in 2001, while the juventus he has won the same number of trophies in the last six years.

The last big blow for Fiorentina fans came in January, when Viola’s main star, Dusan Vlahovićtarget of some of Europe’s biggest clubs, chose to accept the Turin outfit’s offer rather than go to the Premier league. The move came just 18 months after Federico Chiesaone of Italy’s stars at Euro 2020, also left the florentine to play for the Vecchia Signora, and three years earlier, Federico Bernardeschi made the same decision.

rocco Commisso, American businessman who owns the florentinewas heavily criticized by fans for his role in the game of Vlahović to juventuswith a banner of the ultras that showed Commisso as a clown of the famous Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

Commisso arrived promising to make big changes, with the fans of the florentine openly frustrated with their predecessors, the unambitious Delle Valle brothers. However, since his arrival, Commisso has only “supervised” the transfers of the club’s two main superstars to their great rivals.

It is difficult to say exactly when this historical rivalry began, but many point out that the anger of the florentine started from the circumstances that allowed Juventus to take the title of the A league on the last day of the 1981/82 season.

Long before the Calciopoli scandal of 2006 (where Juventus were demoted after being found guilty of trying to choose and influence referees along with other clubs, including the florentine), the idea that the referees in Italy favored Juventus prevailed in the A league.

Fiorentina felt they had ample justification when, with the two teams level on points in the final game of the season, they had a goal they considered perfectly legal disallowed in a goalless draw with Cagliari. Meanwhile, the opponents of the juventus that day, Catanzaro, they had a clear penalty that was not signaled before the Turin giants got a penalty in their favor that was more questionable. Liam Brady took the opportunity to win his 20th championship title and embroider a second star on his white jersey.

This, in many ways, set the stage for what would happen just eight years later, in 1990, when, weeks after the juventus beat the florentine in the UEFA Cup final, the superstar Roberto Baggio was forced to leave florence to Turin in a transfer record at the time. The transfer deal was worth $10.83 million.

As rumors of a move to the juventus, Baggio he had made it clear that it was not his preferred option. The day the transfer was made official, the owner of the Gazzetta dello Sport he said: “To Juve by force, not by love”. Meanwhile, fans rioted in the streets of Florence, with up to 50 injuries and nine arrests reported. Owner Flavio Pontello was forced to lock himself in the Artemio Franchi stadium as fans packed the clubhouse.

The return of Baggio to Florence on April 6, 1991 was a historic moment in Italian football as he refused to take a penalty against his former club. Baggio He was substituted and when he left he took a Fiorentina scarf and put it around his neck on the bench. The hobby of juventus demanded an explanation from Baggio about his refusal to take the penalty when they arrived at the club’s training ground, and his justification was that he feared his exporter knew too well his way of taking penalties.

While Juventus continued to dominate Italian football throughout the 1990s, things went the other way for Fiorentina, which went bankrupt and briefly ceased to exist in 2002. It was reborn as AFC Fiorentina and started in the Italian third division after be bought by the tycoons Diego and Andrea Delle Valle. By 2004, they were back in Serie A and soon became regular contenders for a place in the Champions League. Following Juventus’ relegation to Serie B due to the Calciopoli scandal, Fiorentina managed to fend off Juventus’ interest in their best players.

In the late 2000s, Stevan Jovetic was the star of Fiorentina and, just days before his 20th birthday, he made headlines with two goals in a 2-0 win over the Liverpool in a Champions League group stage match. He also scored a decisive goal as Sporting qualified for the competition and two more in a 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich in the round of 16, which eliminated them on away goals.

As the club continued to sell its best players (Jovetic joined the manchester city in 2013 despite the great interest of the juventus), at least they made sure their stars stayed out of the clutches of their most hated rivals. But it became clear in the late 2010s that Delle Valles had lost enthusiasm, as the florentine went from being a regular club of the European League one more than each year fought against relegation.

Their position was untenable when they decided to sell to the juventus for 40 million euros to the young prodigy bernardeschithat had been compared to Baggio and he had even been given the famous number 10 shirt. Naturally, he scored in a 2-0 win in his first game in Florence, amid a barrage of insults from an angry home crowd.

Commisso bought the club for approximately €160m in 2019 and arrived with big plans and ambitious promises. However, while the club’s problems continued (the florentine finished 10th and 13th in the last two seasons and failed to get past the quarterfinals of the Italian Cup), committed the sin of sending two key players to Juventus in a short period of time.

It may be bittersweet, but this is one of the most one-sided rivalries you’ll find in Europe. For Fiorentina, the semifinal of the Italian Cup this Wednesday is more important than the final. overthrow the juventus it would trigger great celebrations, street parties and avenues painted purple. For the juventusIt would be just another game. Perhaps, to be even more cruel, a meeting to observe future recruitment targets.