Home » Michele Padovano acquitted: “They took 17 years of my life”

Michele Padovano acquitted: “They took 17 years of my life”

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Michele Padovano acquitted: “They took 17 years of my life”

The former Juve striker was arrested in 2006 for drug trafficking: “At times I thought I couldn’t make it. Many doors closed, very few continued to stand by me and Vialli was among them. Today he would be happy for me”

“It’s the end of a nightmare, but I’ve never stopped believing in it.” Michele Padovano repeats this when he comments on the verdict of the Turin Court of Appeal which acquitted him of the charge of having financed drug trafficking from Morocco. In an interview with Corriere della Sera, the former European champion Juve striker, now 55, retraces the toughest moments of this story that began with his arrest in 2006. “Seventeen years are a lifetime. Justice is It was slow, but I never stopped believing in it. And today I want to dedicate this result to my wife and my son, who accompanied me in this battle. I owe everything to them and to my lawyers”.

True friends

Padovano continues: “It’s the end of a nightmare. They have been very difficult years and in some moments I was afraid of not making it. In my heart I knew I hadn’t done what I was accused of, but I also doubted I could prove it. first time the judges didn’t believe me and that 8 year sentence was a blow to my heart. This story took away everything I had, I lost property, money, fame. My family was destroyed, but together we found the strength to react. I lost my job and had to say goodbye to football, my life. Many doors were closed. I was looking for work and in words they were all kind and cooperative, but I read the prejudice in their eyes. Only two people continued to believe in me: Gianluca Vialli and Gianluca Presicci. When they arrested me, Vialli called my wife every day. He was a person and a friend, I know that today he would be happy for me. I miss him a lot”.

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The ransom

Then on the three months in prison: ” In the first ten days in Cuneo I couldn’t talk to anyone, it seemed they had arrested Pablo Escobar. Then they transferred me to Bergamo and there I met a great humanity. I was lost and my cellmate helped me a lot. We still exchange a few messages today.” And now? “I want to go back to life, without recriminating about the past. Now is the time for redemption. This sentence gives me back dignity, confidence, hope for the future. I’ve never given up, I’ve never done it on the field or in life. And I never gave up. I didn’t even give up in court: you must never give up”.

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