Hernanes says he is making the most of every moment of his Champions League experience, admitting he considered his chance to play in Europe’s elite competition to have passed him by.
Having already run out for his native Brazil in the World Cup, the Champions League was the only major tournament missing from the playmaker’s career, meaning his appearance a fortnight ago at the Etihad Stadium, in the Bianconeri’s 2-1 win over Manchester City, represented a real dream come true.
The 30-year-old covered a variety of topics during this afternoon’s chat with Jtv, but Europe, and in particular last night’s win over Sevilla, was naturally the first subject on his mind.
Here is a selection of quotes from his exclusive interview:
“My road to the Champions League has been a long and hard one. If it wasn’t for my persistence and technique I’d never have got there. When you’re 30 years old, having already played in the World Cup, it seemed like that moment was never going to come.
“Instead it arrived in Manchester, and it was an unforgettable night. The Juventus Stadium atmosphere was fantastic and last night represented a truly important moment of our season. I hope we can pick up where we left off yesterday evening and maintain our winning momentum.”
That winning feeling
“Winning breeds confidence but we also need to learn how to deal with both positive moments and those less so. The Italian league is one of the toughest in the world and always has been. You can lose against any team, both home and away. We’ll use last night’s game as a springboard to rebuild our season.”
Boss and team-mates
“I’ve got a very good relationship with Allegri. He’s a great person and has plenty of belief in me, which is something I’ve appreciated. I get on very well with my team-mates, but after a month here I still haven’t been able to speak a great deal with everyone. I’m able to chat a litte more with the Brazilians.”
“There have been many I’ve held in high regard over the years, but one in particular is Felipe who played for Vasco, Fluminese, Flamengo in Brazil and was a left-footed player with exceptional class. He was an example for me, I wanted to be like him.”