Friday, November 9, 2007

Juventus Is Class

This is what classy footballers do. Respect!

(taken from
After the collision with Figo, which caused the Portuguese player to break his fibula bone, Nedved has been accused of tackling the Inter Milan midfielder violently and with the intention of hurting him. Pavel has always been someone who plays vigorously, but at the same time he has always played very fairly, and so he decided to reply with a letter to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the newspaper that attacked him more explicitly. exclusively publishes a preview of the message

Dear Editor,

I'm sorry I caused Luis Figo's bad injury, I apologised to him directly, as is right and proper. But I think it's also right that I defend myself from judgements borne of emotional states, and most of all from the trial carried out regarding my intentions, which, it seems to me, have dominated the papers' articles and comments. I wish to defend myself, because I don't recognize myself in the portrait of me that emerges, among others, from the “Gazzetta dello Sport” articles.
I am not a violent player; I don't play to hurt my opponents. Not only did I not have any intention to hurt Figo, but there was no ill feeling, least of all resentment towards Inter Milan. It was an excess of match ardour and a wrongly-timed effort on my part. However, I did not tackle with both feet or with my foot in the hammer position. It was a normal foul: it was obvious Luis was moving the ball to his right and I tried to intercept his move. I touched the ball with my foot (TV footage clearly showed this), even if in doing so I hit Figo's legs with my shin too. I'm very sorry about the consequences, but I would appreciate it if it was noted that this wasn't a violent foul.
Sure, I can be self-critical and I understand that character, enthusiasm and determination in trying to equalize may have made me exaggerate, both in protesting with the referee and in my tackling. But I'm not the kind of player who hits opponents when play is stopped, or who just wants to hurt them. It seems absurd to me that anyone could even think I have it in against Inter Milan. For me Inter vs. Juve is just simply a great sporting contest, made exciting and interesting by the strength of the two teams and by the traditional rivalry between the two Clubs.
I know I'm a lot of people's favourite player and I also know I'm an example for many kids. Their judgement matters a great deal to me and I would be very hurt if they thought I was an unfair and violent player. It is for them that I decided to write this letter.

Best regards,

Pavel Nedved