During the 1990s, Zdenek Zeman established himself as Juventus’ public enemy number one after making serious doping accusations.
While the Bianconeri were acquitted in court, the charges surely did the club’s image at home or abroad no favors.
Therefore, the Czech coach remains a hated figure among Juventus fans.
However, the 75-year-old insists that he was actually a Juventus supporter himself during his youth, and that his fight was only against those in charge of the club at the time.
“I have always been a fan of Juventus. As a child I used to go to sleep with the Juve shirt”, Zeman said in an interview with Corriere della Sera via ilBianconero.
“I had some tough controversies with the club that Moggi, Giraudo and Bettega managed. But Juventus neither begins nor ends with them. It was my team.”
Zeman also praises Juventus legend and current vice president Pavel Nedved. He takes credit for bringing his compatriot to Italy during his tenure in Lazio.
“My passion for Juventus started with my uncle Cestmir Vycpálek, who represented the club.
“He was the biggest talent in Czechoslovak football before Pavel Nedved, whom I brought to Italy.
“The difference is that Nedved, a manic worker, also wanted to train on Christmas day. My uncle, on the other hand, loved the finer things in life.”
Finally, the veteran strategist revealed some of his conspiracy theories, alleging the existence of a secret alliance between Juventus and Milan in the past that was aimed at expelling other clubs, including Inter.
“I pointed the finger at the system, not just against Juve, who had a huge following.
“The problem was not just drugs. It was also the false passports, the relationships with the referees and the overwhelming power of finances.
“In the North, there was an alliance between Juve and Milan; Inter was excluded, and they too were trying to get into the system.
“When the doping scandal broke, the players found positive invented childish excuses. Couto from Parma, who was a long-haired man, blamed the shampoo.
“Another player, who was going bald, said it was due to a lotion that prevents hair loss. Bucchi and Monaco of Perugia blamed boar meat. Edgar Davids and Pep Guardiola also ended up in it… And I paid a very high price.”