Eni Aluko has spoken openly about the way she was treated during her time in Italy at Juventus due to the colour of her skin.
The English forward signed for Juve in June 2018 and won the Serie A, Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italia before leaving the club last month.
Now, the 32-year-old has recalled scenarios off the pitch where she was on the receiving end of racist comments.
‘Every time I landed at Turin airport, I was being treated like Pablo Escobar. Sniffer dogs were being set upon me,’ Aluko told The Daily Telegraph.
‘[In shops people would ask me] “What are you doing here? Why are you here?”.
‘The minute I say I play for Juventus, the whole atmosphere changes. But if I didn’t play for Juventus, the whole atmosphere changes.’
‘I found myself having conversations in broken Italian: “You cannot make
me feel as if I’m about to rob the store just because of your fear and your ignorance”.’
The former England forward, who worked as a pundit on Amazon Prime’s coverage of Premier League football last week, left Chelsea a year ago to explore pastures new abroad.
She was the club’s top scorer as they won three trophies in 2019, but now Aluko admits she is tempted to pursue opportunities off the pitch.
‘I feel like I can continue playing but the mind and body are different things,’ Aluko said.
‘You can feel very tired mentally but good physically. Am I passionate about it still, regardless of how I feel physically?’
Italian football has had various instances of racism this season, with Romelu Lukaku on the receiving end of chants in Cagliari at the beginning of the season.
In addition, the front page of Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport last week made the news for the wrong reasons.
Headlined ‘Black Friday’, with photos of Lukaku and Chris Smalling below ahead of Inter Milan’s clash with Roma, it was highly criticised worldwide and led to AC Milan and Roma banning the publication.