Leonardo Bonucci admits Juventus are still acclimatising to Maurizio Sarri’s tactics as they visit Atletico Madrid. “It’s the opposite of what we’re used to.”
Their Champions League campaign kicks off at the Wanda Metropolitano at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT).
“It’ll be an important test and the start of a great journey, one we begin with enthusiasm and energy,” assured the defender in his Press conference.
“Playing the Champions League is always a dream. Atletico are sure to provide a battle, as that is one of their main characteristics, but we’ll try to take control from the first minute.”
Considering Juve lost here 2-0 last season, but turned it around with a 3-0 victory in Turin, would a draw at the Wanda Metropolitano be a bad result?
“That is not in our DNA to play for a draw. We’ll try to prove we’re on the right track and also take home the points we need to continue in the Champions League.”
Compared to that Round of 16 tie last season, Diego Godin has left Atleti for Inter, while Giorgio Chiellini is out for at least six months after anterior cruciate ligament surgery, replaced by Matthijs de Ligt.
“They are two leaders. Giorgio is a big loss for us, both on the field and in the dressing room. Godin is an excellent defender and I really admire his qualities. Atletico have lost an important player, but they have moved on and we will try to ensure Giorgio’s absence isn’t felt.
“De Ligt is going through an acclimatisation period, as am I to be honest, because the Coach asks us to do more or less the opposite of what we were used to doing in defence.
“It might actually be simpler for us in the Champions League, as we’ll be against teams who come out and play rather than sit back and defend. We want to put Sarri’s ideas into practice and enjoy our time on the ball.”
Bonucci was asked if he’d give up the Scudetto in order to finally win the Champions League this season.
“I keep the titles I’ve won close to my heart and wouldn’t let them go for anything. We have a great squad this year and can compete for every objective.
“When you wear the Juventus jersey, you cannot give something up in exchange for another trophy. You have to go out there looking for the win in every game.
“There will be ups and downs over the course of a season, but I’d never trade one result for another.”