Gianluigi Buffon faced the media on Monday, discussing Juventus’s poor start to the season, achieving a first this week and Manchester City’s embarrassment of riches.
Ahead of a game such as this, are you a bit afraid or wound up to play?
Gianluigi Buffon: There is a huge amount of enthusiasm ahead of the game. Firstly because for me it is the first time I have been able to play at this stadium; secondly, because Manchester City are potential winners of the Champions League this year; it is really good for us to start with such a tough test and gauge where we are.
What advice would you give your younger team-mates before this match?
Buffon: None really. I think the best way of helping each other in general is to recognise each other’s abilities, values and what we stand for as players. To know who we are and what we can do to ensure we all have a single objective, a single aim: to make sure that we are all striving to go in the same direction.
What do you make of City’s attacking strength?
Buffon: There is no doubt as far as I am concerned that City have seven or eight attacking players who could play in the top five teams in Europe. Our good fortune is that they probably won’t play more than three at a time! At certain moments you might even think it is a bit of shame almost or a bit of a waste not to see all of these players playing at the same time.
Is this a good time to get Juventus back on track after a difficult run?
Buffon: It is what it is; there’s no point wringing our hands over it. It irritates me if we seem to be bemoaning our lot. In sport, in life you have to be proud, particularly when you know that you are strong. We are a team with a good future ahead of us. We just need to try to get to know one another very, very quickly and speed up that process.
We can’t be happy with what has happened so far, but at the same time we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. Far from it. We all expected more in light of the last four years. It is pretty bizarre to see a team like Juventus struggling and the players have to carry some of the blame. You have to accept responsibility, you can’t just trot out excuses.