NEWS
Tuesday March 12 2019
Nedved: 'Juventus are ready'

Pavel Nedved “looked the players in the eyes and they are ready” to take on Atletico Madrid, but “I don’t know if it’ll be enough for Juventus to qualify.”

They must overturn a 2-0 deficit and the second leg kicks off in Turin at 20.00 GMT.

You can follow all the build-up and action as it happens and give your views on the LIVEBLOG.

“We expect a wonderful evening and a spectacle of sport,” the Vice-President told JTV and Sky Sport Italia.

“We want to win and realise how difficult it will be, but we are ready for a great match. I don’t know if it’ll be enough to qualify, but the players must leave the field at the final whistle knowing they have given their all.

“I don’t see the need to break the deadlock right away, but we should start strong and determined, to ensure Atleti realise it’s going to be a long night for them.

“The stadium is packed, expectations are high and there’s nothing better than playing a game like this.

“It’s a wonderful atmosphere and the lads need that push. They are ready. I looked them in the eyes and they are ready to put in a great performance. I don’t know if it’ll be enough to qualify, but it’ll be a special night for the fans.”

Cristiano Ronaldo leads the attack, but in the starting XI there is also full-back Leonardo Spinazzola, who has never played in the Champions League before.

“Ronaldo scored over 100 goals in the Champions League, while it is Spinazzola’s debut in this tournament. I prefer to have Cristiano on my side, as he is a player made for nights like this.

“Too much tension is unhealthy and leads to mistakes. I believe we’re in the right shape and the lads improved their fitness levels a great deal from two weeks ago.

“We can only go out there and play in front of this marvellous crowd and see what happens.”

Ronaldo was one of the stars rested for Friday’s 4-1 Serie A victory over Frosinone, but did that frustrate the Ballon d’Or winner?

“Ronaldo wants to play, score and win all the time, it’s a marvellous mentality. That is also why we signed him, as he really helps with the team mentality.

“It was better though that he rested at the weekend, as in modern football it’s tough to be at 100 per cent when playing all the time,” continued Nedved.

“I see Ronaldo when he arrives, trains, works in the gym and is the last to leave, so he reminds me of myself. In fact, he’s worse! He’s maniacal about fitness!”

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