Champions League Final: 'Juve not here to be the victims': Buffon
Veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon insisted on Friday that the Italian champions have not come to Berlin to lie down against favourites Barcelona in the Champions League final.sports Updated: Jun 06, 2015 14:51 IST
Veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon insisted on Friday that the Italian champions have not come to Berlin to lie down against favourites Barcelona in the Champions League final.
"I think it would be fair to say that, objectively, Barcelona are the favourites because they have great individual players with great skill," said the 37-year-old Buffon ahead of Saturday's game at the Olympic Stadium.
"Any team with player likes Messi, Neymar and Suarez, with (Andres) Iniesta playing behind them, are the favourites.
"They are lucky to have such players in their squad, but when you meet a team like Juventus with (Carlos) Tevez, Paul Pogba and (Leonardo) Bonucci etc...
"I think we're not necessarily here to be the victims, we have a chance."
Like Barcelona, Juventus have already secured a domestic league and cup double this season and are now looking to win what would be an unprecedented treble by adding a third European Cup.
But the Catalans' star-studded attack of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, who have scored a stunning 120 goals between them this season, give them the edge.
Messi alone has scored 58 and is bidding to become the first player to score in three Champions League finals having also netted in Barca's 2009 and 2011 triumphs.
However, Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri says rather than focusing purely on trying to stop Barca's South American trio, his forwards Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata must look to test the Catalans' German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Barcelona's Neymar celebrates scoring his second goal with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during their UEFA Champions League semi final against Bayern Munich in Munich. (AFP PHOTO)
"Neymar, Suarez and Messi, it's the usual question we have been pondering since we reached the final: how do you stop them?" said Allegri.
"They are excellent players and we'll have to be at the top of our game to stop them, but we won't be playing for a draw. We need to score."
Defender Leonardo Bonucci echoed Buffon's assertion that Juventus are ready to put up a fight at the Olympic Stadium.
"This game can't just be summed up by saying it's a strong Barcelona attack against the Juventus defence," said the Italy international.
"We certainly got here with the awareness we are one step below Barcelona, but it's a final and just one game.
"We're going to put on a good display as a team, just as we did against Borussia Dortmund (in the last 16).
"I think that was the turning point, because we realised we are a great team and that is what got us here.
"The differences will be reduced, it will be up to all eleven of us to try and fight for every ball. We aren't here just to make up the numbers.
"I think the game will be won and lost in midfield, because that is where you will see different skills and qualities."
First Published: Jun 06, 2015 14:45 IST