Gianluigi Buffon has spoken of his pride at seeing Juventus back where they belong in Europe’s top four.
The goalkeeper is viewing tomorrow’s decisive semi-final return leg against Real Madrid as a deserved reward for all the hard work that has gone into restoring the club as a genuine force on the European stage.
Speaking to the media in Spain, the captain said: “It’s a proud occasion for all associated with Juventus: players, backroom staff, club and fans. After years of suffering we’ve deserved this opportunity.
“I’m very proud of the journey that’s brought us here and I’d like to thank the lads who have stayed here to get the legend of Juventus up and running again.”
With a 2-1 advantage from the first leg at Juventus Stadium, Buffon says the Bianconeri must avoid the temptation to sit back and protect their slender advantage at the Santiago Bernabeu, especially in light of Los Blancos’ prolific scoring record on home soil.
“Plenty of teams have lost here and the goalkeeper usually leaves the field having conceded at least one goal. They’re that good up front that we’d end up coming away with a few regrets if we just tried to sit back and defend. We’ll aim to play with intelligence, given that we have an advantage, minimal as it is.
“We’ve exceeded every expectation considering we’re also in the Coppa Italia final. Each of us harbours the desire to make this dream come true, but we know that the only way to get to the final is by going out and playing football.”