‘He has said sorry and he’ll pay the price. He should not be crucified!’ Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini leaps to defence of Douglas Costa after spitting and head-butting shame
- Douglas Costa was sent off in Juventus’ victory over Sassuolo on Sunday
- Forward spat in the face of an opponent having aimed a head-butt and an elbow
- Costa now face as hefty club fine and four-match domestic ban
- Juventus open up Champions League campaign at Valencia on Wednesday
Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini says Douglas Costa should not be ‘crucified’ for the spitting and head-butting shame which has shocked Italy.
The Serie A champions are here in Valencia preparing for Wednesday’s Champions League opener at the Mestalla Stadium.
Talk of Costa, however, has overshadowed the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Spain after the Brazil winger was sent off during the closing stages of Sunday’s 2-1 win against Sassuolo – during which Ronaldo scored twice – when he spat in the face of Federico Di Francesco having moments earlier aimed a head-butt and elbow at his opponent.
Cristiano Ronaldo gives the thumbs up as Juventus arrive at Valencia on Tuesday, with Douglas Costa (bottom left) looking on from inside the Mestalla Stadium
Juventus will begin their Champions League campaign at the Spanish side on Wednesday
He is now facing a hefty club fine and four-match domestic ban but is available in Europe.
Chiellini, though, says the 28-year-old has the full support of his team-mates.
‘The lads are behind him,’ said the veteran defender. ‘What happened on Sunday was very uncharacteristic of him.
‘He has said sorry and he’ll pay the price, but at the same time he should not be crucified.
The Mestalla Stadium will host the Group H Champions League clash
Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini (left) and manager Massimiliano Allegriaddress the media during a press conference at the ground on Tuesday
‘He’ll help us in the Champions League and also Serie A from late October.’
Coach Max Allegri on Tuesday would not confirm if Costa would play against Valencia, as he said: ‘My decision on him for tomorrow will be a purely technical one.’
Juventus are favourites among many to lift the Champions League trophy after the capture of Ronaldo from Real Madrid, where he has won the last three renewals.
Juventus star Douglas Costa spat at Sassuolo winger Federico Di Francesco on Sunday
And Allegri added: ‘Our objective is to consistently be among the top four Champions League clubs. Are we favourites this year? Let’s start winning in difficult places like this and see how we build from there.
‘We have Cristiano, one of the best two players on the planet in recent years, but let’s not forget that we’ve made two of the last four finals.
‘We’re growing in confidence and know that we’re in with a shout.’
Winger Costa had headbutted Di Francesco moments earlier, in front of referee Daniele Chiffi