Gianluigi Buffon and Leonardo Bonucci have spoken to the assembled press in the Juventus press conference before UCL Final #JuveBarca. Here are their thoughts:
Gianluigi Buffon: “This has been a target that I’ve pursued over the last few years with my team-mates and the club. Probably we didn’t think that this would be a good year, or the ideal year, for us to reach the final – most importantly a great change because we have a new manager. We thought it would take two or three years for us to reach the final. We’ve achieved this objective before that, which is a pleasant but very nice surprise – and we’re very happy about it.”
Gianluigi Buffon: “There’ll be an element of emotion involved, but there are a lot of players used to handling the big stage. Barca are favourites, that’s to be expected with the players they possess. But we’re not here to make up the numbers. In a one-off final, quality on the pitch will determine the outcome. As I’ve been saying for the past week, objectively Barcelona are the favourites because they have great individuals with great skills. It’s only fair to say a team with players like [Lionel] Messi, [Luis] Suárez and Neymar, and [Andrés] Iniesta in midfield, are the favourites – of course they are when they’re ;lucky enough to have players like that. However, when you meet a team like Juventus with [Carlos] Tévez, [Paul] Pogba, [Claudio] Marchisio, [Leonardo] Bonucci etc, we’re not scapegoats – we have a chance.”
Leonardo Bonucci: “We’re in the #UCLfinal thanks to our fantastic group. We need to put in a great display.The match against Borussia enabled us to realise just how strong a team we’d become. We’ll show tomorrow night that we haven’t come here to be sacrificial lambs”
Gianluigi Buffon : “@FCBarcelona ‘s goalkeeper has shown himself to be a great this season. He’s also very young and has time on his side. [Ter Stegen]? You gain experience by playing. His campaign in the Copa del Rey and the Champions League shows he’s already a very reliable goalkeeper; he’s confirmed what people were saying about him over the years. When he was at Gladbach he was a very ogood goalkeeper. I’d seen him play and liked his style; this year he’s confirmed my initial impressions were correct. He’s young and I hope he has a long and successful career with many victories – but after tomorrow.”
Leonardo Bonucci: “All I think about is doing my bit for the team, and the same applies for tomorrow. Me scoring the decisive goal? Why not. It won’t be an individual who wins the game, but the team itself. @FCBarcelona are also decent in defence, not just going forward. But I think the #UCLfinal will be won in midfield.Barcelona are not only strong in attack; they only conceded 20 goals in the league so they’re strong at the back as well. The game will be won and lost in midfield, that’s where you’ll see the technical skills.
Losing [centre-back] Giorgio Chiellini [to a calf injury] is important, not just on the pitch but in the dressing room. He’ll be here supporting us but his character and determination would have been important for us. But on the other hand, Italian teams traditionally make the best of difficult situations. We come here knowing we’re a good team and we’re going to do our best to win; we’d dedicate the win to him.”
Gianluigi Buffon: “The history of Juventus tells us that we’re not just here by chance and gives us responsibility. There’ll be great joy if we win tomorrow but we’ll go again in a month and a half’s time. We’re Juventus.”