Benfica manager Jorge Jesus and midfielder Enzo Perez have sent out their battle cry ahead of the Europa League semi-final first leg against Juventus, stating their belief in their ability to rise to the big occasion tomorrow night and get the better of a strong Bianconeri side.
The duo acknowledged Juve’s tactical strength, but also stressed their own confidence and experience of top-level fixtures as they look to make Antonio Conte’s men their latest victims at a ground where no side has ever managed to beat them in the competition.
Speaking to the media at tomorrow’s venue, the Estadio Da Luz, manager Jesus began: “Being an Italian side, Juventus are tactically very well prepared, but I know how to tackle them.
“It’s a meeting between two excellent teams and it will be a great clash, but tomorrow’s game won’t decide who reaches the final.”
Sitting alongside his boss was Enzo Perez, and the midfielder showed similar hunger to overcome the Bianconeri visitors.
The 28-year-old began: “We have respect for our opposition, but tomorrow is a semi-final. We’ve got faith in our own system and we’re relaxed. This type of experience isn’t something new to us and we’ve trained well in these last few days.”
Concluding Benfica’s press conference was Jesus, who went on to discuss the qualities of his opposite number in the Juve dugout. Like the 59-year-old himself, Antonio Conte managed to win a domestic league title in his debut season, and the Eagles’ manager was full of praise.
“Conte has brought organisation and a high level of work to Juventus. He’s succeeded in winning two consecutive Scudetto titles and is on the verge of securing another. That shows his capabilities.”