Kudos for Juve after fifth straight title

Jubilant Juventus players celebrate their 2-1 win over Fiorentina on Sunday. Napoli's loss to Roma on Monday meant that Juve are confirmed Serie A champions for a fifth straight season.
Jubilant Juventus players celebrate their 2-1 win over Fiorentina on Sunday. Napoli's loss to Roma on Monday meant that Juve are confirmed Serie A champions for a fifth straight season.PHOTO: REUTERS

MILAN • Club legends Alessandro del Piero and Dino Zoff hailed Juventus after the Italian giants' record-equalling fifth consecutive Serie A title on Monday.

Juventus, emulating their feat of 1935 when they won a fifth straight title for the first time, went 12 points clear of Napoli with a 2-1 win at Fiorentina on Sunday.

Napoli had to beat Roma on Monday to maintain their slim hopes of snatching a first Serie A title since 1990.

But Maurizio Sarri's men were stunned when Radja Nainggolan hit an 89th-minute winner for the hosts, ending Napoli's slim hopes of overtaking Juve .

Del Piero, who holds records for goals (290) and appearances (705) for the club, posted a message on Twitter which read: "You are part of history. This is Juventus. Well done lads!!!"

Last month, veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon set a new Serie A record for not conceding a goal in 974 consecutive minutes, surpassing the previous record of 929 minutes held by former AC Milan keeper Sebastiano Rossi.

"He's had a great season," said former Juventus legend Zoff.

"I always say that you can only improve by enduring the hard times. Looking at our season, it makes me even more proud," said Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri, recalling the early part of the season when Juve started poorly and seemed out of contention.

"Serie A isn't the final of the 100 metres, but a marathon. You need patience to find the right rhythm."

Allegri had also steered Juventus to their first league and Cup double in 20 years in his first season in charge last year.

Defender Leonardo Bonucci, who was seen soaking fans with champagne at the club's Vinovo training ground, told Sky Sport: "They had us dead and buried in October, but Juve never die."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2016, with the headline 'Kudos for Juve after fifth straight title'. Print Edition | Subscribe