Monday October 21 2019
Semin: 'Juve were always full of stars'

Yuri Semin was the Coach of Lokomotiv Moscow against Juventus in 1993 and is still on the bench for tomorrow’s Champions League clash. “They’ve always had fantastic players.”

It kicks off on Tuesday at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT) in Turin.

“I thank Maurizio Sarri and Juventus for the compliment in saying we are a dangerous opponent,” said the 72-year-old tactician in his press conference.

“The trip to watch Juventus play Bologna on Saturday was certainly worth it. They put in an astonishing performance, as always, and we gained some useful information.

“They play more attacking football this season, pass it more in the opposition half, but also I noted they win the ball back much quicker when it has been lost. They are certainly one of the candidates to win the Champions League.”

Lokomotiv Moscow are in an injury crisis, with Anton Miranchuk, Jefferson Farfan, Fedor Smolov and Maciej Rybus all long-term absentees, now joined by Luka Djordjevic.

“Nobody has been able to stop Ronaldo yet in his career, so why ask me how to do it? The whole team has to work together to stop all of Juve, because this is a squad packed with star names. The attention cannot just be focused on one player.

“We did talk to Benedikt Howedes about his time at Juve, but not just that. He has a good eye and can sense certain things.”

Lokomotiv Moscow have only played Juventus before in the 1993 UEFA Cup, but incredibly, the Coach 26 years ago was also Semin.

“It was the first European fixture for Lokomotiv. I think Juve had won the UEFA Cup the year before and were full of stars. You can talk about Ronaldo today, but back then they had Roberto Baggio and Alessandro Del Piero. Baggio scored with a free kick against us.

“The second leg was in Moscow, they won 1-0 with a goal from Giancarlo Marocchi. I remember they had Massimo Carrera, who recently won in Russia as Coach of Spartak Moscow, Fabrizio Ravanelli and Antonio Conte. Juve have always been full of fantastic players.

“We too had a good team back then and played well in the first half, but fell away after Baggio’s free kick. That was the first ever game Lokomotiv played in Europe and we were considered the fifth biggest club in Moscow. Things have changed.”

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