Juventus winger Federico Bernardeschi claims he celebrated his goal against old club Fiorentina on Friday out of respect for fans.
The 23-year-old curled home a free-kick to break the deadlock at the Artemio Franchi before a late Gonzalo Higuain strike secured a 2-0 victory for the Serie A champions.
Bernardeschi celebrated wildly with Juve team-mates on the touchline, prompting an angry reaction from some of the home supporters, but the Italy international does not believe he did anything wrong.
“It’s always nice to go back to where you’ve played before,” Bernardeschi, a Fiorentina youth product who spent three years in the first team before a €40million move to Juve last July, told Sky Sport Italia.
“Coming here, scoring and then leaving with the three points just makes it all the more special.
“I celebrated when I scored because I believe a professional should respect the fans. I’ve always been grateful to Fiorentina, and always will, for the way they looked after me and helped me develop, but I made a career choice and now I play for another team.
“It wasn’t an easy match for me but my team-mates were there supporting me and that really helped.”
Friday’s game was only the sixth Bernardeschi has started in Serie A this season but he insists it is tough to earn a place in the Juve side.
“It’s not easy to come into a squad like this, packed full of top-class players,” he said. “My team-mates and the staff here have made me feel really welcome though so it’s thanks to them if I’ve settled in so well.
“You have to fight for your place every single day here, then of course it’s the boss’s prerogative to pick the team he feels is best. As a professional, you have to respect his decisions and make sure you’re ready to step in whenever you’re called upon.”