Turin, April 12 (IANS) Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon has warned the Italian football giants that they should not take FC Barcelona for granted despite a 3-0 lead in the first leg of their Champions League tie.
Paulo Dybala’s first-half brace and a Giorgio Chiellini header in the second half gave Juventus a 3-0 win on Tuesday at the Juventus Stadium.
But Buffon, 39, has asked his teammates to keep their feet on the ground ahead of second leg in Barcelona next week as they were aware of Barcelona’s 6-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) after going down 0-4 in the French capital.
“The feelings are positive. This was no fluke result today. We deserved it and we have no reason to fear anyone,” Buffon told Juventus’ website.
“We played our game and showed what we’re capable of but you only have to look at the PSG match to remember that we must be careful. We’re happy, but we’re not through yet,” he added.
The match-up was a repeat of 2015 Champions League final where Barcelona prevailed over Buffon-captained Juventus in Berlin.
Juventus, who last time won the European crown in the 1995-96 season, have been trying to ensure that they return to being an elite club in the continent.
“Since 2015 we have more belief, we are more at ease with the ball and with certain environments, whereas in the past we were almost a little nervous against some teams,” he said.
“One thing’s for sure: we’re not afraid of playing on the biggest European stages,” Buffon thundered.
Buffon also heaped praises on Dybala, saying the 23-year-old is one of the best players in the world. “Paulo has improved enormously over the last two years. He could well be up there among the top five players in the world,” the veteran captain said.
Ace Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini also echoded Buffon’s opinions: “We approached the game the right way and tried to press them high up the pitch so that we could gain a few yards. Obviously you’re never going to keep superstars like that lot completely quiet but fortunately we had Super Buffon in goal to save the day.
“We’re pleased tonight but we know there’s still a long way to go. It will be a different game at Camp Nou (stadium in Barcelona). Mind you, if someone had offered me this result yesterday, I think I’d have ripped his arm off.”