As Juventus added the finishing touches to their preparations for Tuesday’s Champions League encounter against Dinamo Zagreb, the Croatian side’s coach, Zeljko Sopic, and goalkeeper, Adrian Semper, were busy previewing the tie in a press conference held at the club’s Maksimir Stadium.
“Juventus could win the Champions League,” opened Sopic. “They’re very strong, boasting a squad of 30 players, and therefore have no problems in terms of selection.
“We’re ready for a great game, playing in front of a full house. We’re aware of how strong Juve are, but we do not fear them.”
Semper would echo his boss in stressing the magnitude of the task at hand, whilst emphasising Dinamo’s determination to do themselves proud on the evening.
“We’re coming up against one of the best teams in the world. We’ll give everything we’ve got and look to put into practice what we’ve been working on in training. We’ve done our homework on the opposition and feel ready for tomorrow.”
Rounding up the press conference, the Zagreb-born stopper would reserve praise for his opposite number between the Bianconeri sticks.
“He’s the best of all time, one of my idols,” Semper said of Juve captain Gianluigi Buffon.
And there would also be complimentary words coming the way of Croatian compatriots and former Dinamo stars Mario Mandzukic and Marko Pjaca, both of whom fondly remembered by the recently appointed first-team coach Sopic.
“I played with Mandzukic many years ago. He was still a raw talent back then, but I remember very well what a brave striker he was and still is.
“Pjaca, meanwhile, can become one of the best players in the world. I’ve seen very few footballers with his ability.”