While many of the Bianconeri were away competing in international fixtures over the weekend, Federico Peluso and the rest of the squad were conscientiously working away on the Vinovo training pitch.
And, speaking this afternoon on Jtv’s Filo Diretto in response to questions sent in by fans, the 29-year-old defender credited this exclusive focus on the task ahead as a valuable opportunity: “For those not involved with national teams, the break is constructive because it allows you to work hard.”
The game Antonio Conte’s men have been preparing for is Sunday’s Serie A fixture against Livorno, a test which Peluso believes is by no means an easy one.
“It will be difficult and we need to approach it with the right level of commitment, not least because of the multiple absentees. We’re behind at the moment and we need to catch up.
“Roma and Napoli are dangerous rivals, but this group of players are always hungry to keep on winning. Second place would be considered a failure at Juventus.”
The trip to the Stadio Armando Picchi kicks off a testing week for the Bianconeri in which the most important game is FC Copenhagen’s visit to Juventus Stadium. It’s a test which Peluso is fully aware of the need to overcome.
“Reaching the knockout stages is something that matters to all of us. When we played them away from home, we were really unlucky to concede from a set-piece and see so many chances to take the lead go begging.
“Unfortunately that draw and the subsequent one against Galatasaray have made qualification an uphill battle, but the two excellent performances against Real showed us we can give anyone a good game. We know that it’s all in our hands, and that our task is to win.”
Peluso concluded by describing how he still feels tingles of excitement when he lines up for Juventus now almost a year on from his move from Atalanta.
“Arriving here was a dream come true for me – the very best I could have aspired to – and I’m very proud. I’ve worked hard throughout my career to earn the right to wear the Bianconeri shirt, something which pushes me to keep improving, and I’d like to wear it for as long as possible.
“The Scudetto won in May was my first trophy, a satisfaction I wish everybody could experience. Obviously it’s not easy getting the chance to play in a team with so many champions, but I need to keep giving my all and waiting for the right moment.”