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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tragedy Strikes Juventus Once Again

Yesterday, two youth team members of Juventus FC accidently drowned in a tragic accident in an artificial lake near their training ground. Apparently, Alessio Ferramosca and Riccardo Neri climbed a fence to retrieve a few balls after a Christmas party. Neri would have celebrated his 17th birthday today.

Legendary Juventino, Ciro Ferrara, who directs their youth sector, was beyond words. "This is the worse day of my life... I knew these boys and it will be strange not to see them again. I am destroyed. Please don't make me speak. I can't manage it right now." Neri was a goalkeeper who was slated to begin training with Gigi Buffon.

This tragedy follows the near fatal accident of Juventus team manager Gianluca Pessotto from this past summer. Fortunately, Pessotto is recovering from his serious injuries. The Serie B match between Juventus and Cesena was postponed last night.

Juventus has a history of tragic deaths. In 1985, the Heysel Stadium tragedy took the lives of 38 Juventus fans, along with one Belgian. In 1989, one of the best defenders of the modern era, Gaetano Scirea, died in a car accident during a scouting trip in Poland. Andrea Fortunato, a popular player, died from leukemia in 1995. And now this tragic loss of life of two promising youth players.

Juventus is the most loved and hated team in Italy. But today and tomorrow, in stadia throughout the peninsula and its islands, a moment of silence will be held for Alessio and Riccardo.

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