Gigi Buffon tries to reassure his ‘distraught’ Juventus teammates after another Champions League exit. ‘We didn’t go as far as we wanted to, or thought we’d get.’
The Bianconeri had to overturn a 1-0 first leg defeat to Lyon, but when Memphis Depay converted a penalty in Turin for a precious away goal, even Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace was not enough.
“We prepared this tie to not give Lyon any advantages that could result in goals. After 12 minutes, that failed entirely and it didn’t help,” Buffon told Sky Sport Italia.
“I think we did well to stay calm, try to remain organised, create chances and not just go mad pouring forward. When we were 2-1 up, we really did begin to believe, having come back from 1-0 down, but three goals were not going to be easy.”
Considering he did not play this evening, why was Buffon attending the post-match interviews?
“Aside from my role on the field, I think I have enough experience to understand that in these moments a few lads are so distraught that they might not even have the right words. I can speak to you and try to communicate something from within the dressing room, so that also is my role here.
“We certainly didn’t go as far as we wanted to, or thought we’d get. There is a lot of disappointment, as every time we go into this competition, we dream of reaching where we’ve not been able to reach, and every year it seems like the right year.
“Unfortunately, I think our exit this time was down to the bad first leg performance and not the game we saw this evening.”
Are Juve moving into a new era next season or building on the foundations set in the current one?
“When you win the Scudetto for the ninth time in a row, that is something truly extraordinary that ought to be underlined. Even if you are stronger on paper, being able to continue winning with a certain degree of comfort is not usual.
“There were some moments of light and some shadows, so our utopia is to push the clouds away and bring in the light constantly. Obviously, that’s never possible to do it all the time, but it’s what we work towards.”
It has been suggested the ‘spark’ never quite arrived between this Juventus squad and Maurizio Sarri.
“Sometimes, sparks come from unexpected moments that can change the inertia of a tournament or a season entirely, sweeping up the positive vibes of everyone involved.
“Considering the difficult circumstances of the campaign, and of this evening, we never really had the chance to get that spark to light up. That is the most disappointing thing.”
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://www.premiersports.com/subscribenow