Wednesday April 30 2014
‘Final would make Juve proud’

Leonardo Bonucci says Juventus reaching a Europa League Final would be ‘a source of pride’, whilst he also pays tribute to ‘silent leader’ Andrea Pirlo.

The Bianconeri will host Benfica on Thursday evening in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final chasing a 2-1 deficit for a place in a final they will host at Juventus Stadium.

“Since our last European trophy in 1996, we haven't been this close to winning a final, so for us it would be a source of pride,” Bonucci has considered to UEFA’s official website this week.

“It would return Juventus to being one of the best teams in Europe.

“Benfica? Any team that gets to this stage of the competition is strong.

“They’ve shown their individual talent and reached the final last year, risking everything and only losing to a great side like Chelsea.

“I also say that in football, aside from ability, you also need a slice of luck.”

Bonucci also considered the influence Andrea Pirlo continues to have on the Old Lady.

“He's a leader - a silent leader, but one who knows how to carry his team through difficult moments.

“He showed that in Florence, ensuring that we won the match and progressed. He then also scored an important goal which helped us get past Lyon.

“Outside of football, he's a great man and has been one of the world’s best midfielders in the history of the game.”