Giorgio Chiellini says the Bianconeri are relishing the opportunity to show how far they have come since they last contested a Champions League quarter-final in 2013.
The defender states he and his team-mates have grown in stature since suffering a last eight defeat to Bayern Munich, and are ready to affirm this tomorrow evening against Monaco.
Speaking to the media at Juventus Stadium, the 30-year-old said: “We’ve got plenty of respect for Monaco, but we’re ready. Our group is more mature than it was two years ago and we’re ready to go after an important achievement. We won’t allow ourselves to be affected by what’s being said on the outside and we certainly won’t make the mistake of underestimating our opponents.”
Tomorrow’s opponents have received plenty of plaudits for their performances on the European stage this season, and Chiellini believes boss Leonardo Jardim has found the perfect blend.
“Monaco are a team possessing a mix of players with international experience and youngsters who are coming on leaps and bounds. They’re regaining consistency and confidence in their abilities.”
Looking to keep the Bianconeri at bay tomorrow night is Monaco defender Andrea Raggi, a man who Chiellini is no stranger to after joining him on Under-21 duty in the fledgling years of his professional career.
He ended by paying tribute to his former team-mate, who has earned rave reviews since joining the Ligue 1 outfit from Bologna in 2012.
“I’ve known Andrea for a while now, we played together for the Under-21s and I’m happy he’s displaying his abilities at such a high level. He’s done well to seize his opportunity at Monaco, where he’s proving himself with decent performances.”