After Saturday’s league win, Juventus are now directing all their focus on their third Group D match in the Champions League. With Allianz Stadium set to play host to Lokomotiv Moscow, Head Coach Maurizio Sarri and Cristiano Ronaldo previewed Tuesday evening’s fixture and the status of the team.
Ronaldo: “We are confident”
“We are playing against a strong team. They are having a good season and are better than everyone expected them to be. Lokomotiv know how to close games well, they are dangerous when they steal possession in the middle of the pitch.
“We have the good fortune of having both Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain in great condition. I am content regardless of who will play.
“At this stage of the season, we are creating more than what we did at the beginning, but we aren’t being clinical. I think we’re on the right path, we just need to improve the conversion percentages.
“I think don’t think Aaron Ramsey will play. He is working hard to get over the muscular fatigue. Danilo is doing well but I don't believe that he has 90 minutes in his legs yet. I am happy with Adrien Rabiot’s improvement. He deserves the merit for the work he has put into training.
“Cristiano Ronaldo has an extraordinary mentality. He manages to set personal goals and those for the whole team in a phenomenal and contagious way.
“I think the team is much better and we are more confident. We play, in my opinion, a different type of football, in attack with more possession. My role is similar, maybe a bit freer in the way I feel comfortable and the way I feel good. Step by step we should be Juventus. We have a different coach, a new system, new players and I think we have changed for the better. We are happy.
“Football every year is a challenge, not for me but for Juve, we want to win of course Serie A, the Champions League and Coppa Italia. I think Juventus should think big, they are a big club and we need to think in a big way. We want to win the league and Champions League.
“We know if we win tomorrow, we are 50% qualified. We should carry on like that.
“I like the way Sarri wants the team to play. I think the team is more confident, we create more chances and you can see that by the way we move the ball. I am happy. We play more forward and with more confidence.
“I am not thinking about the 700 goals, it is past. I want to help the team and that is more important. I want to be on the pitch and help the team win the trophies. I am, of course, proud to score 700 goals but the priority is to win with Juve. The individual records will come in a natural way.
“To win games and enjoy myself is what makes me happy, and coming home and seeing my kids. That's what motivates me to come to the training ground and to play at the stadium and entertain the fans.
“Age is just a number; I can show that through my performances. Both Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain are great players as are Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi and they can all make the difference.”
Yuri Semin: “Sarri's words are a sign of the good work we've been doing. I thank him for the compliments. Two days ago we came to watch Juventus. They put in a good performance and we got a lot of useful information from watching them. Nobody has been able to stop Cristiano Ronaldo yet, but we have to focus on stopping the whole team, not just one player. Doing that would be a mistake, as they have great players in every position. I spoke to Hoewedes about Juventus, he knows the environment well here. Just like the last time these two teams faced each other in 1993, Juve had a star-studded squad. They have always had great players. Juventus are certainly one of the favourites to win the Champions League because they have some of the strongest players in the world."
Vedran Corluka: “Juve and Atletico are two exceptional teams but are both different from each other.”