NEWS
Tuesday November 21 2017
Pjanic: 'Respect Barcelona, but want victory'

Miralem Pjanic said “there is always something to learn from Barcelona and we have great respect, but obviously we are Juventus and want to win.”

It kicks off on Wednesday at 19.45 GMT at the Allianz Juventus Stadium in Turin.

“Barcelona are a great opponent, one of the favourites to win the Champions League,” said the midfielder in his Press conference.

“We can secure our qualification and Barcelona were not happy to lose here last season, just as we didn’t like losing there in September.

“We have a great deal of respect for Barcelona and obviously want to win. We are playing at home, we are Juve and we want the three points.

“I scored against Real Madrid, the big enemies of Barcelona, when I was playing for Lyon. There is always something to learn from watching Barcelona and players like Busquets, Iniesta or Xavi are examples to be studied and followed.

“It’s a different Barca lately, but the club is doing very well. Tomorrow we face them simply as any other opponent, but last season we had good memories of facing them and hope it’ll be another wonderful night for us tomorrow.

“Juve reached the Champions League Final twice in the last three years, so it’s not as if we’re doing that badly. Anything can happen in a single game, but our objective is to get through and go all the way to the Final again. We are the only Italian club to have reached the Final in recent years, which is not to be taken for granted, as getting there past so many great clubs is a big achievement.”

Juve are coming off a surprise 3-2 Serie A defeat to Sampdoria, though they had been 3-0 down until the final minutes.

“I know full well when I play a good game or not. I know I have to get back in shape quickly. We shouldn’t have lost to Samp, now we must prepare for tomorrow, we spoke in the locker room with the Coach and will always give our response on the field.

“We have to take responsibility and realise with victories, things can always improve. There was disappointment after the defeat to Sampdoria and none of us are happy with what we did at Marassi.

“I wouldn’t say there is a problem. We are conceding too many goals and everyone has to work differently, the way we did last year, to create more solidity. It’s not just the defence, but the midfield and forwards who must also work hard to resolve these details.

“We are four points off the top of the table, the head-to-head matches are coming up and there will be responses to be given.”

Pjanic was asked if his position changes with the 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation.

“To be honest, it’s not really a two-man midfield, because Paulo Dybala or someone else goes deeper to help out. It changes nothing and I just try to give the supply to the quality forwards ahead of me who can make the difference.”

Rodrigo Bentancur’s performances with Juventus have helped him earn a senior Uruguay spot.

“Bentancur is a player I really like and we’re all very happy to have him. He has things to improve and learn, but he’s a good kid, humble and with a bright future ahead of him.”