Thursday April 10 2014
Conte: 'Nothing easy for Juve'

Antonio Conte snapped at those who “think everything is easy just because we are Juventus” after reaching the Europa League semi-final.

The Bianconeri become the first Italian side to reach a European semi-final since Fiorentina in 2007-08, having beaten Lyon 2-1 on the night, 3-1 on aggregate.

The other semi-finalists are Benfica, Sevilla and Valencia, who crushed Basel 5-0 in extra time.

 “I think that when we reach these levels, we meet excellent teams who are well organised,” the Coach told Mediaset.

“It’s not that just because we are called Juventus we are greeted by a red carpet ushering us through to certain victory.

“Anyone who thinks everything is easy just because we are Juventus is deeply wrong. There is always a journey to go through.

“This season, even though the competition is different, we are still having an important journey in Europe. Juventus hadn’t reached this phase in Europe for 10 years.”

Carlos Tevez again failed to score, as his goal drought in UEFA competitions stretches back to 2009.

“I am happy because he played a very good game. Now we are going into a very important match against Udinese.

“We’ve got to keep our feet on the ground and not forget three years ago this team wasn’t even in the Europa League.

“We have won a great deal over the last two years and are protagonists this season too. The fans must stay close to the team for 90 minutes and I hope this can happen, so we never forget the past.

“We cared about reaching this objective and hope all of Italy can be happy with it. We represent Italy and that has to bring satisfaction, as there hadn’t been a European semi-finalist for six years.”

Conte elaborated on this point in a later interview with Sky Sport Italia.

"Nobody gives a damn about the UEFA ranking in Italy. They are either Juventini or anti-Juventini. Let's not beat around the bush, it's a question of local pride. We wouldn't expect Juve to support Inter, so we're not so hypocritical as to say we want Inter fans to cheer on Juventus.

"What happened on the goal? We fell asleep. It's that simple. We thought it was going to be easy. I want everyone to remember it's always a battle and we have to keep pushing. I am referring to the crowd too, as they should always support this team. I didn't like the crowd much tonight.

"As for the semi-finalists, I'd say Benfica are the strongest opponents we could get in the draw tomorrow."

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