July 4 2006 was a day all those connected with Juventus hoped would never come, as the Italian Football Federation's prosecutor, Stefano Palazzi, condemned them to Serie C1 as punishment for their part in the Calciopoli scandal.

An investigation by Italian police in May of that year discovered, via telephone interceptions, a network of relations between the Juve hierarchy and referee organisations, and also implicated AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina.

Juve, back-to-back Serie A champions in 2005 and 2006, were however far greater exponents of these dark arts, and were justly punished for playing the most prominent hand in this match-fixing scandal.

On appeal, the Turin giants were able to ensure they were only relegated as far as Serie B, but they were also forced to pay the price for their indiscretions by relinquishing the titles they had won during the previous two seasons.

It was the first time in their illustrious history that Juve had been required to compete in the second-tier of Italian football, but relegation did not prove to be as catastrophic as it might have been, with a number of key players deciding to remain at the Stadio Delle Alpi.

Although the likes of Lillian Thuram, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Fabio Cannavaro all departed for pastures new, Pavel Nedved, Gianluigi Buffon and Alessandro del Piero remained.

The verdict of the Calciopoli scandal affected the latter emotionally more than many others, with Del Piero having spent 13 glorious years with Juventus before their demotion.

Yet the 37-year-old could finish his career at the end of this season knowing he has played a role in restoring Juve to somewhere near their former glories.

Redemption is near for Italy's most successful domestic club, as Antonio Conte's side edge ever closer to a first Serie A title since they were rocked so forcefully by the courts six years ago.

Didier Deschamps had led Juve back to the top-flight at the first attempt, but five managers between he and Conte have failed to launch a serious challenge for the league title.

The beginning of this campaign felt like the birth of a new Juventus, as they left the Delle Alpi behind - a stadium draped in both good and bad memories - for a purpose built new arena.

Juventus Stadium, as it is appropriately named, has quickly become a fortress for the Turin outfit, with Conte's side boasting 12 wins and five draws in 17 league outings at their new home.

The latest victory in Valette could be the most crucial yet, with Juve's convincing 4-0 triumph over Roma on Sunday propelling them above AC Milan to the summit of the Serie A table.

Milan had been four points clear little over a month ago, but Juve have enjoyed a swing of seven points, and remain on course to end the campaign without a single league defeat.

There may still be some distance to run in the Italian domestic season - five matches, to be precise - yet there is the sense that the momentum gained by Juve in recent weeks will be enough to see off any late surge from Milan.

Juve have won their last five matches in Serie A, and face a relatively straightforward run on the final straight; meeting five of the league's bottom seven sides in their remaining fixtures.

When Juventus limped to seventh place last season, some eight points away from the Champions League places, there was an overriding feeling that things could only get better, rather than worse, the following year.

But few would have imagined they could realistically beat Massimiliano Allegri's imperious Milan to the league title, let alone end the season with a domestic double.

Yet, with only three weeks of the current league campaign remaining and a Coppa Italia final with Napoli on the horizon, May could herald legitimate success at the top level for Juve for the first time in almost decade.

Juventus have had to go some way to distance themselves from the scandal that almost ruined the club six years ago, but their journey to redemption is now almost complete.

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