Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini insists that expectations are really high this season for the Old Lady, and we are ready to challenge for every competition, as this is the strongest Bianconeri team in recent years. The Italian defender also gave his verdict on Douglas Costa’s spitting case.
The Italian Champions will open their Champions League campaign against La Liga side Valencia on Wednesday and Chiellini looked very optimistic in his pre-match press conference.
“I certainly feel proud and over the years I’ve seen more or less everything here,” Chiellini said.
“We have grown exponentially in recent years. I do speak to Buffon regularly, but it’s to remain as friends and not to ask for advice. I can’t wait to see him back playing in the Champions League.
“Tomorrow will be a very complicated match and a truly difficult test awaits us, because few teams win at the Mestalla. There are big expectations around us and we feel stronger than in previous years, but then we have to do our talking on the pitch.
“We feel stronger than before and have done every year, but that’s a long way from being favourites for the Champions League. We know full well the difficulties of this tournament and it’ll be a good taste tomorrow for those who aren’t yet sure what it’s like.
“There are at least five or six teams on our level, and anything can happen in the head-to-head clashes. Last season Roma and Liverpool got to the final four and nobody thought they were among the favourites.
“We believe, the way we always do, but we also know the difficulties. It’s all about the form of the various sides in March. For a team like ours, with our experience, we can’t talk about extra pressure. We must prove on the field that we’ve grown, that we have reached the level necessary to win the trophy.
“Douglas Costa’s situation ? We are very close to him, as over the year he has always behaved well with us. He knows he got it wrong, he apologised and will pay the price, but he shouldn’t be crucified.
“He made a mistake and everyone makes mistakes. He understood that and we hope he can help us out during the month in the Champions League. He’s a lovely lad, he just lost his head.
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