yeah, we should absolutely get 9 points out of these matches. still, i found it funny that in '19, a club with an 500m income will only have 2 available defenders, one of them being caceres. and i love martin, i'm happy that he's back, i just didn't expect him to start too many matches after he didn't manage it at lazio.
A: Juventus is a group, a family, a united team that pursues triumphs, and now we want to win the Champions League, a nice goal, but very difficult. For that we work. The draw has not been easy because we have played a team very similar to us in terms of values, ideals and characteristics. It is the closest thing to us in Europe. The good starts, but we must say that we did not have a good draw.
Q: How is being the captain of Juve?
A: It is a great honor for me, something very beautiful. I'm here for 15 years in Juve and I know everything. It's my second house. It is an honor and a responsibility because I represent all those who form this club, fans, colleagues, leaders. I must be an example, understand the mentality. We are not the best in the world, but we are part of our history and that is already important. Now Juve is a group of great ethnic diversity, with many nationalities. We can not think that we are facing Juve ten years ago with 15 Italians. You have to know how to adapt, grant and understand everyone. It's like being a captain and teacher.
Q: And a Chiellini who did not mind playing in Serie B with Juve...
A: My situation was a little different from that of other great players who stayed on the team. Buffon, Camoranesi, Del Piero, Trezeguet... they came from playing the final of the World Cup. for me it was not as hard as for them. I was a kid and it was an opportunity to find my place. Those who stayed here continued to grow.
Q: What did Serie B mean in its relationship with Juventus fans?
A: It was not the greatest. It was a very different environment. It was always win, win, win and it was like a kind of party in all the places where we played. After a month we got used to it and it happened very quickly. More complicated was the 2010-2011 season. We wanted to be up, win again, play Champions with continuity and nothing worked. They were two complicated years.
Q: The Juve changed completely and now nobody argues its status as big in Europe.
A: The work of Andrea Agnelli as president, the arrival of general directors such as Marotta, Paratici, Nedvev ... have changed this society, they have made it great. The goal of this club is to reach ten years, at least, followed by the quarterfinals of the Champions League. We have quarters, final, semifinal ... if consistency is achieved, we will end up winning, growing as a team. The goal is that. This club has changed on and off the field. That's why it has been a source of pride for me to be part of this group for 15 years, in hard and good times like now.
Q: Is the Champions League an obsession once it was shown that Italy is too easy?
A: An obsession, no. An objective, yes, but with serenity. We know that he is not the only team that wants to win it. There are five or six other teams that can win it. It is a real goal. To think that we are favorites, would be presumptuous on our part. We all have to win and it is our goal and that is why we want to play our last CL game in the Metropolitan Wanda, not on February 20, but on June 1.
Q: Buffon went without winning the Champions and Ronaldo arrives with the great goal of finally winning it.
A: We miss Gigi a lot, especially as a person. Last year was Buffon, now it is still Chiellini, before Pirlo ... They are players who pass but Juventus stays because they always buy level players that do not allow the field not to be noticed. What is missing is the day to day, the person, so many things lived together during so many years in Juventus or the national team. We live together beautiful things, very ugly, exciting ... We are in permanent contact. The friendship remains.
Q: What is the role of Ronaldo in the aspiration to win the Champions?
A: The arrival of Cristiano is important because he has covered a gap left by Buffon at the level of personality, as an example to follow in the dressing room. Because Cristiano, regardless of what he does on the field and that only a madman can have doubts because he scores goals and gives them, has been important for us because he has been an example for us to improve ourselves. After so many years dominating in Italy we could think that we had reached the maximum, but thanks to Cristiano we are going beyond what we could think, to look for other limits. We have reached two Champions League finals, but to keep growing we needed the best. It has helped us in the culture of work because all of us who are close to him feel admiration and we are always looking, among fangs, to steal something of what he has because he is an example. Bonucci returned after a season in Milan exile ... Seeing him in Milan's shirt was very strange. He has returned and quickly adapted. The followers have accepted his return. He is an important player in the field and outside because he contributes to contribute Italian identity to the team.
Q: Neither Atlético nor Juventus would have wanted to see each other so soon, right?
A: Atlético is the team that has a less Spanish and more Italian philosophy. Game very closed and vertical. It has had extraordinary results. He has players of great quality, who treat ball well, but do not play like Barcelona. He has an incredible player like Griezmann, who makes the difference and makes the game of the Athletic one unpredictable.
Q: And now Morata...
A: Morata is a great friend, a splendid person. He is a golden boy, we expected him to spend much more time with us, but he had the chance to return to his home, Real Madrid. Alvaro for a Champions League match is a very dangerous player, a great performer, who is quick, who handles both legs well, goes well in the lead, but I think that because of how Atlético plays, Griezmann is the most important. And I do not say it only because of the goals.
Q: Remember that Morata already eliminated Real Madrid with a goal at the Bernabéu...
A: Enough, enough, that goal stays at the Bernabéu. No more.
Q: What will you say when you see him?
A: Nothing. A big hug. I will not talk to him about the game and more about his wife and children.
Q: Why has Morata failed to settle in a team?
A: I think because he lacks continuity in a championship. He is still young and I think he can prove he is an incredible player.
Q: At what level is Cristiano Ronaldo after seeing how he trains and how he plays?
A: I did not think it was a real possibility because I did not believe that a club like Real Madrid was going to let a player like that go, so decisive. Real Madrid miss Ronaldo because he is a player who makes a difference and shows in each game that he is the best in the world. Mysteriously he did not win the last Golden Ball. Ronaldo and Messi are Lebron James and Kobe Bryant. They are extraterrestrial, with a higher level than the rest and for us the luck is that one of them is here. Create a good atmosphere and we have felt like a family. We told him to work quietly and he is demonstrating what it is and not only talk about the field, I speak in everyday life.
Q: Is Chiellini the best defender in the world? Everyone wants him for his team.
A: No, not really. Atlético has one of them as is Godín. When he is not there, Atlético completely changes. Already in the time of Villarreal followed him and looked a lot for efficiency. He is a defender who knows how to keep the line and I think he is the soul of this Atlético. I know that its renovation is complicated. Two years ago it was said that Chiellini was going to play for Chelsea or Manchester United, but I do not see it possible.
Q: How do you approach the game?
A: I have returned to playing football now and what I hope is that you see two great games, with much respect for the rival. Not many goals are expected and attention and concentration will be the most important.
Q: And Oblak, what do you think of him?
A: I have a bad memory of him because one year ago, in the semifinals of the Europa League with Benfica, he stopped everything and did not let us win. It is among the three best in Europe. You grow a lot. We have Szczesny, the best of Italy by far and who is also among the best in Europe. He has the intelligence to be in a goal like ours. He makes two stops and decides to split. It does the easy and the difficult.
Q: Let's take a look at the past, was it a penalty from Benatia to Lucas Vázquez a year ago?
A: No, no, please. For us it was not and for Real players, yes. It was a difficult and difficult moment for the referee. We were winning 0-3 in Madrid, in the last second of the addition ... imagine. Maybe my colleagues and I do not act well for that reason. He is a good referee, young man. It was not a pleasant situation, but understandable, although I do not want it to be an excuse. History will remember it. Last second and could be a penalty and could not be. It was like in the final in Berlin with a very similar situation over Pogba in the final with Barcelona. Nobody remembers that play. We turn page. Real Madrid and Juve are two great clubs. We are wrong with the referee and we must forget. Enough.
Q: What do you think of Sergio Ramos?
A: I already said it before our tie last year. Now he even takes the penalties. He is the best defender in the world at this time and deservedly so. He hardly makes mistakes and if he does make one, it is because we are all wrong and it wasn't actually his mistake. He is a leader, both in the field and outside. He is one of those players who can influence both teams. Last season, ninety-something minute it was 0-3 to our favor, but I think with Ramos it would not have happened. Not because Varane, Nacho or Vallejo are not good, because they are, it is because he not only plays the game, but he makes others play. It's the difference between a good player and a champion. Sergio is an outside class, a top, of course he fails, but he does so many things that good, that he is the best.
Q: Where do you get the time to study and to be already a graduate in business administration?
A: Time? My wife is the one who works. I like to spend a lot of time with the family. I have a girl of a year and a half and I like to be with her. I study economics because you always have to improve and study is what you have. There are situations in which you can improve and that comes with the study. At least you have to try. I'm 34 years old and I'm still playing, but you can always be more.
Q: And the future? Coach? Leader?
A: I think leader. The coach's life is very hard, much harder than the player's. I have been playing for many years, always traveling, neglecting the family. Imagine, thinking for 30 people, not thinking about yourself, about thousands of other things. I've been in Turin for 15 years, in Juve, but a coach can change teams every year. There is no stability. You must have a vocation that pushes you to it. When I retire, I will have a year of relax, to think.
Q: Are you worried about the violence around football?
A: We are the first ones that we have to do something, soccer players, media ... The attention has to be in football, something beautiful and the sport more often in the world, from the richest to the poorest. Many times we talk more about hatred than about football. We have to see the games as a show and not as the scenario of hatred. Violence is in society, especially in the Latin world. You can not play life for going to see a football game.
Q: You have been one of those who took the step of joining the Common Goal of Juan Mata for which you are donating one percent of his salary...
A: Juan is a person who has always been spoken to in an exceptional way. I only knew him on the field. I found this initiative very interesting because of the impact it could have. It is growing and many things can be done. It's one of the things that I do charitable. It is a vehicle that could show many things to the world, something more public. In Turin and Livorno, my second and first city, helps people with problems.