Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has been slammed as "cowardly" for his challenge which broke the leg of Catania forward Gonzalo Bergessio.
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Argentinean forward Bergessio has been ruled out for at least two months after X-rays revealed the he had fractured the fibula in his right leg, although the player still completed the 90 minutes of Wednesday's 4-0 home win at the Juventus Stadium.
Chiellini has been condemned by Catania president Antonino Pulvirenti, although Bergessio has accepted the Italy defender's apology.
"It was an unnecessarily violent, arrogant and cowardly challenge," Pulvirenti told La Repubblica. "[It was] committed when it was 4-0, from behind and in midfield by somebody who knows that he enjoys immunity from punishment."
Chiellini was quick to apologise after seeing Bergessio's tweet, which showed an X-ray of the damaged fibula. "I want to apologise publicly to Bergessio for my foul which caused his injury," he wrote on Twitter.
"I was sure I would win the ball, but he got there first and, unfortunately, I hit his leg full on. I'm truly sorry and I hope he recovers quickly."
Buongiorno a tutti, ci tenevo a scusarmi anche pubblicamente con Bergessio per il mio fallo che ha causato il suo infortunio. — Giorgio Chiellini (@chiellini) October 31, 2013
Sono intervenuto sicuro di prendere il pallone, lui mi ha anticipato e purtroppo ho colpito in pieno la sua gamba.
— Giorgio Chiellini (@chiellini) October 31, 2013
In return, Bergessio tweeted: "These things happen and he didn't do it on purpose, so I accept his apologies. All's well."
@sportal_it @juventusfc @MomentiRossazzu @chiellini sono cose che accadono, non lo ha fatto a posta accetto le scuse , tutto bene
— Gonzalo Bergessio (@gonzabergessio) October 31, 2013
As for Pulvirenti, he would not be so surprised to see Bergessio back in action before the end of the year.
"It won't necessarily be two months for Bergessio to return," he said. "It's a compound fracture but just look at the lad's dedication -- he wanted to get back onto the field despite the injury."