Nicolo Fagioli claims Sandro Tonali introduced him to illegal betting site as Juventus midfielder reveals 'break your legs' threat from debt collectors

Fagioli received a 12-month suspension from football for placing bets on illegal websites, although only seven of those will be served away from the field, the rest will be made up of alternative methods.

The midfielder was investigated by the Italian Football Federation's (FIGC) prosecutor and he revealed that Tonali, who along with Nicolo Zaniolo is also implicated in the scandal, was the person who first registered him on betting sites.

"In the training camp of the Under 21 national team, he suggested that I play on an illegal site," Fagiolo said in his deposition, according to Tuttosport. "I saw him playing and asked him what he was doing, he told me that I could do it too because there was no trace of betting. And he made me register via a account to the site in question.

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"I placed the first bets on tennis and then football events. I placed bets on irregular sites, I remember one called Betart and another, Icebet, there were others but I don't remember what they were called because they changed names every month."

He continued: "I bet on football matches, casinos and tennis. I started in the summer of 2021 when I was in the U21 training camp in Tirrenia: the others did it, I didn't ask myself the question of whether these sites were regular or not, for me the difference between the legal site and the illegal one is that on the illegal one you can play without paying any money in advance, on credit.

"It was fun, a pastime. First mainly on tennis for a year, then from January 2022 when I arrived in Turin I was in a state of stress due to the accumulated debts and from September of the same year I also started with football and with huge sums to try to recover."

However, the Italy international developed a serious addiction and racked up incredible debts, leading to him receiving threats of broken legs from debt collectors and asking team-mates for loans.

"I stopped sleeping at night. The more time passed the more the debt obsessed me," he said. "The money I owed continued to increase and I thought of playing just to try to recover.

"I'll break your legs, they told me. But the debt was now so much that even if I won the bet I didn't get anything. It all just lowered the amount of money I still owed these platforms."

He added: "Yes, I asked for loans to pay off my gambling debts, so I decided to ask some friends and a partner for money, from whom I asked for €40,000, telling him that I needed it to buy a watch and that my mother had blocked my accounts.

"[Juventus team-mate Federico] Gatti lent me the money which I have not yet returned and which he is still asking for back. Another loan was made to me by [ex-Juve youth star Radu] Dragusin, currently registered for Genoa... and by some friends from Piacenza. Again of €40,000, also credited via bank transfer to the jewellery shop where I bought the luxury watches to be delivered to the platform managers.

"I want to clarify that it is my intention to pay off all the loans received from my friends and companions who were unaware of the real reasons why I asked for the money."

While Fagioli will now serve his suspension and take mandatory therapy sessions, Newcastle star Tonali faces an even more severe punishment as it was revealed he risks a three-year suspension for betting on matches involving AC Milan when he was still at the club.