Chiesa defends conduct towards former club Fiorentina

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FILE PHOTO: Serie A - Crotone v Juventus
FILE PHOTO: Serie A - Crotone v Juventus

(Reuters) - Juventus winger Federico Chiesa has thanked his former club Fiorentina, where he has been criticised as ungrateful, and says he does not want any more controversy following his move to the Turin side.

The 23-year-old joined Juventus earlier this month but Fiorentina, where he came through the youth system and spent the first four years of his professional career, were disappointed with the manner of his departure.

The club's owner Rocco Commisso said he had not received so much as a goodbye phone call from Chiesa while sporting director Daniele Prade spoke of unrequited love.

"For Federico and his father Enrico we were never an option for the future, but a vehicle to be able to go elsewhere," said Prade at the time. "The transfer took a weight off our man as it had become a soap opera."

On Sunday, Fiorentina supporters applauded referee Francesco Fourneau before the match against Udinese, one week after he sent off Chiesa on his Juventus debut.

Chiesa did his best on Friday to defuse the situation during his official presentation which had been delayed for three weeks due to Juve's fixture pileup.

"I would like to thank Fiorentina and the city of Florence for those 14 years I spent in the youth teams and the first team," he said. "I thank ... Commisso and all the fans who have always supported me, for better or for worse."

He also defended his conduct.

"I have always behaved correctly towards the President, towards Prade and towards Fiorentina," he said. "I don't want to cause controversy and I want to end the matter here."

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis)