Former Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved believes the character of the squad must improve if the club’s powerhouse status is to return.Juventus last won the Scudetto in 2003, and sit seventh in Serie A heading into the final round of fixtures on Sunday.
Czech Nedved – who made over 240 appearances in eight years as a Juve player – is a club director at the Stadio Olimpico, and blasted the players’ commitment to the cause this season.
“I’m as angry as all the supporters are. I’m very angry because the teams results are really disappointing. We must work hard for a better future for this football club,” Nedved said.
“I think Juventus wasn’t a team this season. We lacked the mentality of a team. We were a team more in the newspapers than we were on the pitch. We lacked the unity.”
The 38-year-old said the responsibility fell to the club’s senior players, who failed to meet the expectations set at the 27-time Serie A winning club.
“There were many young and new players this season and a lot of old ones who lost what once was a Juventus characteristic. The new players haven’t understood what it means to play for Juventus and the old ones forgot what it means, so at the end we all know the results,” he said.
Nedved – the 2003 European Football of the Year – praised the achievements of ex-teammate Antonio Conte, after he led Siena to promotion to Serie A. Conte is widely tipped to succeed Luigi Delneri as Juventus coach next season.
“I know it was his (Conte’s) fate to become a manager because, if I remember well, he always was a great player. He was the pillar of the Juventus I played for, we always counted on him. Becoming a great manager was his fate and I wish him a great career,” Nedved said.