Ex-Juventus and Italy midfielder Mauro Camoranesi has spoken about his best and worst moments as a football player.
During an emotional interview with Sky Sport Italia (via Corriere dello Sport), Camoranesi has recalled the year when the Calciopoli scandal damagingly hit Juventus and proved lethal for the Serie A giants, who were relegated to Serie B.
The scandal rotated about the club's CEO and directors, who, for several years, were responsible for corrupting Serie A referees into helping Juventus win their matches.
"I am still sorry that I and my colleagues were made part of a crime that we didn't commit: quality players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Patrick Vieira had nothing to do with the fact that the executives, the club and Italian football had made mistakes.
"It was such a hard thing to deal with from a sports and human point of view for me; we footballers, who are those who make this sports work, were damaged because of someone else's fault. I was truly gutted."
Fortunately for him, the former Juventus midfielder still has very good memories of his career, the best one being winning the World Cup with Italy in 2006. A few week's after the national team's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, it was natural for him to draw a comparison between now and eleven years ago.
He said: "That year we had a leader, Marcello Lippi, someone that we all knew. Those like me who were playing at Juventus knew very well his mentality, his determination.
"He used to inspire his players by boosting their confidence. All my teammates were all mature already, at the apex of their careers."
The lack of compactness and a weak sense of belonging were pointed some of the reasons why Italy won't go to the World Cup. Camoranesi's team, instead, was quite the opposite: "I think that we realised how good we were in the quarterfinals. Foreign media would have us already hopeless, but whenever we would enter the changing rooms we knew that we were a solid group."