Giorgio Chiellini believes thwarting the undeniable attacking threat of Real Madrid on home turf will prove a challenging task, but says the Bianconeri’s hunger to test themselves on Europe’s greatest stage will ensure a committed display on Wednesday night in the Spanish capital.
Speaking to the media at the Bernabeu, the 28-year-old began: “Real have plenty of champions in every position. We’ll try and limit them, but we know it will be a difficult task. Having a player whose goals scored exceed his number of appearances tells you everything you need to know.
“Every team who has come here has been made to suffer, even those who have won. However, we want to be at this level and see how we measure up against these world-class players.”
As one of the few survivors from the last Juventus team to taste victory at the home of the Spanish giants, Chiellini has fond memories of upsetting the odds at one of the world’s most iconic stadiums.
Already written off by the media following an indifferent introduction to their championship campaign, the Bianconeri, inspired by an Alessandro Del Piero double, silenced the Bernabeu with a 2-0 victory in 2008.
Recalling the occasion, Chiellini continued: “We approached the game following a disastrous start to the season and, with Real having won 10 of their 11 encounters, managed to emerge victorious. It enabled us to throw the Champions League group wide open and we enjoyed two incredible months in the league. This shows that games like these can bring the best out of you and provide a turning point, but you need to want it.”
When questioned about how the team is shaping up in the face of Fiorentina’s four-goal haul on Sunday afternoon, Chiellini revealed that the late strike conceded against Galatasaray is the moment that continues to play on their minds.
But he remains convinced that the special nature of tomorrow’s clash will ensure the Bianconeri move on quickly from events at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
He concluded: “It’s actually the equaliser conceded against Galatasaray that we regret more, after turning the game on its head, than all the goals we shipped in Florence. Everything happened so fast on Sunday. In any case our encounter with Real is a completely different game in itself and it would have been even if we had won 3-0 against Fiorentina, as we deserved to for 70 minutes.”