Juventus have accused a major Italian sports newspaper of encouraging prejudice against the club with a story concerning Gianluigi Buffon.
La Gazzetta dello Sport published an article on Friday in which they used paraphrased quotes purported to have come from the veteran goalkeeper, in which he suggests that Serie A opponents give the champions an easy ride.
Buffon is claimed to have warned team-mates after their 1-1 draw with Lyon on Wednesday that they should not expect the same lack of opposition in their Champions League campaign.
The story quotes Buffon as having told team-mates: “Guys, we’re going nowhere like this. We win in Italy because the others step aside, but it doesn’t happen in Europe.
“The only two teams in Italy who didn’t do that beat us [Inter and AC Milan].
“We need more personality, anger and to be willing to help each other otherwise we’ll complicate our path in the league and struggle in the Champions League.”
The article also included a claim that head coach Massimiliano Allegri had been furious with the injured Paulo Dybala for playing basketball when he was due to be in a session with physiotherapists.
Juve have since issued a statement denouncing the story as false.
It read: “Following an internal inquiry, Juventus wish to communicate that the content of the Gazzette dello Sport article entitled ‘And Buffon again raises his voice’ is false and has the sole objective of feeding an unpleasant prejudice against the club, its members and supporters.”