Over 7,000 Juventus Fans Sign A Petition Calling For Antonio Conte's Star To Be Removed
Antonio Conte might have succeeded Luciano Spalletti as Inter Milan manager, but Juventus fans were outraged after he was linked with the Italian club in the first place.
The 49-year-old Italian managed the Old Lady from 2011 to 2014 before he became the head coach for Italy, and while he has been out of management since his stint at Chelsea, his return to Serie A with one of Juventus' rivals has caused backlash from fans.
The outrage has led to a user creating a petition on Change.org that calls for Conte's star to be removed from the Allianz Stadium.
With a target set of 7,500, the petition has amassed 7,415 signatures at the time of this writing.
"Antonio Conte was a beloved captain, who also played with his heart," reads the petition.
"Then he became our coach and won us an unexpected Scudetto without a top squad after Calciopoli and seventh places.
"That could be compared, I think, to winning a Champions League, precisely because of the historical importance attached to it... then he left for reasons that are probably not entirely clear, two days before the start of the season.
"Not a nice thing but, so far, it still falls into logic... What will be, as far as I'm concerned, an indelible divide with Conte is his landing at Inter...
"We know coaches, as well as players and directors, are professionals, who have every right to make professional choices that go beyond 'belonging.'
"If [Mourinho] came to Juve, he would've done nothing wrong to Inter, just as if [Maurizio] Sarri did or [Fabio] Capello to Roma in the past, because things that are said during the course of a season all add up in dialectical clashes dictated by the moment, from situations on the field...
"In the case of Conte at Inter, I think it's something very different. He's not just a former Juventus player or a professional going to a rival team. Many have done that in the past...
"Here we have a person going to a club where, internally, even today, there are individuals like [Javier] Zanetti or [Pirelli chief Marco] Tronchetti Provera, to pick two names at random, who have never hid their opinions about Juventus, who stole Scudetti from the same Juventus that Conte played for and was a protagonist for.
"Going to Inter isn't a professional choice for Conte. A professional choice would be to go to Napoli, Roma, Milan...
"Going to Inter means joining a club who have tried, luckily without succeeding, through several more or less clear channels, to destroy us and throw dirt on the history of which Conte was undoubtedly the protagonist...
"Going to Inter isn't a professional choice. Going to Inter will mean trampling on one's dignity first...
"As far as I'm concerned, the star at the stadium represents what being a 'juventino' is about and not just the past...
"In making this jump, Conte no longer represents the 'juventino' spirit and values that embody the other stars.
"[Zbigniew] Boniek wasn't given one for the same reason, and he was more worthy of it than Conte right now."
Inter Milan finished fourth in Serie A under Spalletti and have once again qualified for the Champions League.
It had previously been reported that one of Conte's top targets for the summer transfer window is Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, who has been open about his desire to play in Serie A.
"A new chapter in my life is beginning, I'm really excited," Conte said.
"I have chosen Inter because of the club it is, because of how ambitious it is.
"I was struck by the club's transparency and the desire to bring Inter back to where it belongs."
Inter Milan president Steven Zhang called the club's new manager "one of the best coaches out there."
He added: "I'm certain he'll help us achieve our objective and fulfil our mission, one which has always remained the same: to make this club one of the best in the world again."
Will Conte be a hit at Inter Milan?
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Featured Image Credit: PA