Of all the European giants that Juventus could face in the Champions League quarterfinals, goalkeeper Gigi Buffon is most concerned about Leicester City.
Last year’s surprise Premier League winners will join the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in Friday’s draw after overcoming a first-leg deficit to beat Sevilla 3-2 on aggregate on Tuesday.
And speaking after Juventus saw off Porto in the night’s other game, Buffon said Leicester present an unknown quantity.
“I want to avoid Leicester,” Buffon told Mediaset Premium. “They have enthusiasm and passion, but also the weapons to hurt a side that wants to take the initiative. We’d have everything to lose against them.”
Buffon kept a clean sheet as Juventus won Tuesday’s second leg 1-0 to complete a 3-0 aggregate victory over Porto, who had Maxi Pereira sent off.
“All games at this level are tough, regardless of the first leg result and them going down to 10 men here too, the moment the tension drops, you can pay for it,” Buffon said.
“We have improved a lot, we gained confidence and that was the objective we had set ourselves five years ago when we started this journey, that Juventus had to be in the top eight of the Champions League every year.
“If you get into the top eight every year for a decade, eventually you are likely to win it.”
Juventus manager Max Allegri was less confident in Juventus’ chances to bring home the trophy this season after what he saw as a less-than-ideal performance.
“We need to improve the quality of our football, which in the second half today left a lot to be desired, as the result isn’t everything,” Allegri said. “The more you try to force things, the worse they come out.
“The guys played an intelligent first half without running any risks, but in the second half against 10 men we weren’t giving the moves any pace and defended badly too, as we risked conceding a couple of times.
“We have to do one thing right: either attack and score more goals or decide to keep the ball and do that until the opposition falls asleep with boredom, but today we did neither properly.
“We had to make the full-backs run and then go into the space when it opened up, but instead we had too many short passes, trying to force our way through, and it wasn’t the right way. It also left us open to the dangerous counter-attacks.
“It was the maximum result with the minimum effort, fine, but we didn’t do it well in the second half. If we’re going to control the situation, control it well. Instead we were too hasty and in a way it’s fortunate, as now we can work on it in training and fix this problem.”
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate