Monday March 11 2019
Chiellini: 'Atleti similar to Juventus'

Giorgio Chiellini assured Juventus are accustomed to pressure going into the Champions League showdown with Atletico Madrid, “the European team most similar to ours.”

The first leg ended 2-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano, but the decider for a place in the Champions League quarter-final is on Tuesday at 20.00 GMT.

“We’re not concerned at the talk of failure, because we have a lot of enthusiasm, are in the Round of 16, so we want to go on to the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the final,” said the captain in his Press conference.

“Anyone at Juve is accustomed to feeling the pressure of the media and it makes no difference. We need great enthusiasm and an electric atmosphere to experience a magical Champions League night.

“All of us within us thought at least once every day about this game. We did our duty in the other matches, but a thought before bed was always there.

“Tomorrow we need to go out there and do it, to want it more than them, and I feel those will be decisive elements. We have great respect for a solid team and we know their quality, but we all want to continue this adventure.

“We know it won’t be easy, because we’re not mad, but we are also not going to assume we’re done for. If we get past this obstacle, that could give us a real boost for the final months.

“In modern football, a moment can change anything and boost enthusiasm on one side or tear down the confidence of the other.

“We’re not in our best moment, but it’s not disastrous either.”

Chiellini took over the Juventus captaincy from Gigi Buffon, who was knocked out with Paris Saint-Germain by Manchester United in another last-gasp penalty.

“I felt bad for Gigi, as I was cheering him on and was disappointed by how that ended.”

All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo, especially with his excellent record against Atletico Madrid.

“I am 100 per cent convinced Cristiano Ronaldo will be Cristiano Ronaldo tomorrow.”

This will be Chiellini’s 500th official appearance in a Juventus jersey.

“I hope it will be a game worthy of being memorable among the 500. I think one of the best memories in the Champions League was the 0-0 at Barcelona, because not everyone keeps a clean sheet at Camp Nou. I hope tomorrow’s will take over as the most memorable.”

Diego Simeone caused controversy with his celebration in the first leg, where he pointed to his crotch.

“We have such important objectives that we have no interest in what others do. We want to celebrate for ourselves, not in the face of anyone.

“Atletico Madrid are probably the European team most similar to ours, as they are solid in defence and have always achieved their results as a team and not just with individuals. That doesn’t mean they don’t have weak points, as we all do, nor does it mean they’ll keep a clean sheet tomorrow.”

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