Diego Simeone says he and Maurizio Sarri “need time” to rebuild Atletico Madrid and Juventus and is wary of facing “goal animal” Cristiano Ronaldo again.
The two sides are very different from their Round-of-16 tie last season as Juve replaced Max Allegri with the more modern Maurizio Sarri, while Simeone made several changes to his squad.
“Allegri was at Juve for five years, Sarri’s been there for two months. Adaptation takes time, and the same applies us,” Cholo said at a Press conference.
“We have lots of new faces, some without experience in the Champions League. We’re explaining many things to them, but words and training sessions don’t give you experience.
“That is earned only by playing, making mistakes or doing good things on the pitch. We hope to limit our errors and show quickly that we can do something great because the potential is there.
“I’ve reviewed all our matches with Juve, the last friendly as well those in the Champions League, but the 3-0 defeat in Turin didn’t give me great signals.
“There will be many of the starters from that evening on the field, but Allegri’s game is different to that of Sarri.
“Juve’s strength remains and our obligation is to take the game where we want.”
The former Inter midfielder was then asked about Ronaldo, who slayed the Spaniards with a hat-trick, and that goal celebration against the Bianconeri.
“He’s a goal animal. It’s useless to prepare special tactics for him because around the box, he always poses danger or tension.
“He’s strong mentally, he has a great change of pace, he knows how to dribble. He has it all.
“We’ve suffered against him. Sometimes we’ve won, other times we lost, but one certainty remains: he’s a goal animal.
“I’ve already explained very clearly the reasons for my goal celebration at the Metropolitano against Juve last season.
“It was what I felt at that moment. Ronaldo did the same in the second leg, probably because he felt the same things.”
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