Wednesday April 23 2014
‘Final long way off’

Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon says the prospect of the Old Lady playing at home in the Europa League final is still a long way away.

The veteran shot-stopper believes such an occasion would bring the club great joy but is certain that his side’s semi-final opponents Benfica will push them all the way over two legs.

“The chance for us to play in the final at home is, of course, an opportunity,” Buffon said at the Press conference ahead of tomorrow’s first leg.

“It’s not every day you get the chance to play a final in your own stadium. Of course we want to be there but the final is still a long way away.

“We still have two very difficult matches to play if we want to get there, against a team who will do everything they can to come to Turin themselves for the final and deny us an evening of great joy.

“At the end of the day, all of this has come about because of a big disappointment in Istanbul. Now it can be a great opportunity for us.

“In the end there are only two teams who can win European trophies every season. We are in a semi-final, it will be a great match and a big occasion.

“We need to enjoy it and do all we can to make sure we achieve what we are trying to achieve.

“An easy match? I must have missed something because I don’t know which quotes you are talking about!

“From our point of view I can say that we are showing maximum focus and respect to Benfica.

“They are an excellent European team who, like us, are only in the Europa League by chance.

“They undeservedly lost in the final last year and they are a team with all the characteristics and qualities to cause us problems.

“Tomorrow will be a good test for us and a good experience. Really, Benfica-Juventus is a match that should be played in the Champions League but now we both find ourselves in the Europa League.”

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