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20 Sep 2012

Buffon praises Juve fighting spirit

The shot-stopper hails the Bianconeri’s battling qualities: “We’re competitive and the other teams should respect us”

Gigi Buffon celebrated his 400th Juventus appearance in style by playing his part in an epic fightback against reigning European champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The goalkeeper was beaten twice by debutant Oscar, and could only compliment the Brazilian on his second strike:  “It was a wonderful effort and in these instances you have to take your hat off to him.”

The 34-year-old was satisfied with the eventual outcome but believes the Bianconeri could have avoided conceding in the manner they did. 

“We’re happy because we managed to secure a draw at a difficult venue. But analysing the game we found ourselves two goals down in a casual fashion. The scoreline was harsh for what we had displayed on the pitch and the personality shown up until then.

“However, it went as I expected it to. We needed to put in this type of performance to confirm our belief. Of course, we could also have lost, but it still would have shown people that we’re competitive and deserving of respect.”

Gigi remained philosophical when asked if Juventus could realistically aim for a Scudetto-Champions League double.

“It would be presumptuous to think that midway through September. We’ve strengthened and thanks to that we’re able to face every game in our own way, displaying quality and imposing our own style of play.”

The Bianconeri were cheered all the way by a vociferous travelling support and gave them the perfect reward for their loyalty.

Buffon concluded: “I’m one of the few who has been through the epic moments, but also the six difficult years, and I can assure you that six years is a long time. The fans, but also the players, had the dream to win the title and get back to competing on the European stage. This doesn’t necessarily mean winning it, but having the respect of the other teams. And we’ve done just that.”