08 December 2016
Through to the Champions League last 16, top of Serie A with a Super Cup final just around the corner; naturally, there was plenty for Stefano Sturaro to be positive about when sitting down with the Sky cameras this afternoon.
Restored to the squad after a lengthy injury lay-off, the combative midfielder believes that the Bianconeri are "right on track" to meet their seasons' objectives so far as they reach a critical moment of the campaign.
And, with the small matter of a local derby to navigate this weekend, who better to ask about big-game emotions than a player who always wears his heart on his sleeve?
"Overall, we're performing well.We've ticked off one big objective for the season and we're right on track to achieve the other. We're looking forward to the Champions League draw and we'll see if luck is on our side or not; whatever happens, you have to beat the best teams at some point in the competition if you want to win it.
"Moments and matches like those stick with you for ever. I knew that I was going to get the nod to play since the boss we were rehearsing our game plan in the week before. I was ready: I remember my nerves just disappearing as soon as I stepped onto the pitch. It's all in the past now though; my full focus is on my future and winning with Juventus.
"The derby is always a great occasion and it's the kind of fixture that I prefer, one that gets the fans' hearts racing. Even as a supporter, I loved the feeling of excitement before a big game and now that I'm a player, I feel it more intensely.
"We'll be coming up against a very strong Torino side that has improved a lot since last season. Form goes out the window in derbies so we must make sure we play the game we want to play straight from kick off."
"I've always looked to contribute to the squad from wherever I'm stationed on the field. Football is changing: defenders are becoming playmakers now and forwards must know how to track back and defend. I'm a team player at heart and that means putting my team-mates before myself. The group always comes first."