Seventeen days on from Juventus’ defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, there’s no question Juve’s players will still be reeling from that night in Cardiff.
Drawing 1-1 at half-time, the dream was well and truly alive for Max Allegri’s side.
But Madrid blew them apart after the interval, goals from Casemiro, Cristiano Ronaldo – his second of the match – and Marco Asensio ensuring Mario Mandzukic’s stunning equaliser will be remembered as the greatest Champions League final goal to count for nothing.
Juve, of course, suffered defeat to Barcelona at the same stage of the competition two years ago.
There were no rumours of discord then, which helped the Old Lady bounce back by winning a domestic double in 2016, but the recent defeat has sparked rumours of a bust-up between Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala at half-time.
The story was reported by La Repubblica and La Stampa, and was brought to our attention by the Mirror.
Bonucci ‘slapped Dybala to wake him up’
Apparently Bonucci told Dybala, who looked downtrodden after being booked in the 12th minute, to step it up in the second half and even slapped the 23-year-old in an attempt to wake him up.
Bonucci is also said to have asked Allegri to substitute Andrea Barzagli for Juan Cuadrado after noting how successful Marcelo had been down Juve’s right side.
Things didn’t stop there. Allegri and Bonucci reportedly had a heated row over tactics.
Bonucci responds on Facebook
Bonucci, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League, responded to the rumours on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon.
Unsurprisingly, he’s dismissed them as complete and utter lies.
The 30-year-old wrote: “With regard to what has been written over the last few days by some press reports concerning alleged arguments and verbal clashes which would have seen the members of myself and others as protagonists, I think it is time to make one point:
“Nothing of what was written, told or rebuilt is true.
“There was no dispute, no physical acts involving me or anyone else. The interval between the first and second time of the ucl final was an interval like many others where, I repeat, nothing happened.
“These are the only words I have to say about this, and I hope they are the last. If they were not enough to clarify the situation and restore the truth, I will be ready to address my lawyers to protect my name and honour.”
It’s safe to say he’s not a happy man.