Juventus will face Ajax in Champions League quarterfinals and would square off against either Tottenham or Manchester City if they advanced to the semifinals. The first leg will take place on April 9th in Netherlands, the return one a week later.
Ajax will try to keep up the giant killing theme going after eliminating Real Madrid, while they bested Benfica and Aek Athens in the group stage, where they remained undefeated and finished two points behind Bayern Munich. They equalized twice with the German giants.
The Bianconeri beat Ajax on penalty kicks in Rome to bring home their second and last Champions League back in 1996. The two teams squared off six times after that, with the Old Lady prevailing in all but one contest. The last encounters date back to 2010, when Amauri and company eliminated the Lancers in the Europa League’s round of 32 by toppling them 2-1 on the road and completing the job with a nil-nil in Turin.
Juventus vice-president attended the ceremony and commented to Sky Sport: “I am neither content or dissatisfied wither the outcome. The two games will be great and they knocked out Real Madrid, proving to be deserving of this stage. They are dangerous. We earned our way here and this is fantastic for us and the fans.”
Some recent reports suggest that Cristiano Ronaldo could be suspended for mimicking Diego Simeone’s obscene celebration, but in front of the Colchoneros fans: “We are not worried, it was a gesture that was part of what happens on the pitch, he vented after being insulted especially in Madrid. I do not anticipate any sanction for him.” UEFA has yet to officially open an investigation on the accident.
“The Stadium effect will be there in the return leg, our fans put a lot on enthusiasm and heart into the Atletico Madrid game. It is must a party every time we play in Turin. We had a regular game in Madrid, without doing much and without displaying our true self, but we atoned at home and the lads were very focused. I was serene before the match, I knew something special was about to go down.”
On the future of Massimiliano Allegri: “The president recently met with him and they postponed the decision to June. We are satisfied with his work, we have an 18-point lead over Napoli and we reached this round in Europe. We could not have asked for more.”
He added some more thoughts to Tuttomercatoweb: “It will not be easy, we are not looking ahead at Tottenham or Manchester City. Ajax are in great shape”.
While the president Andrea Agnelli simply called Ajax a virtous example, Leonardo Bonucci elaborated to Sky Sport’s microphones: “We will face a talented, dynamic and in-form opponent that eliminated Real Madrid. It think that is enough to describe them properly. We are ready to compete in these two big games with great humility and the confidence that after prevailing in that manner in the round of 16 we can allow our fans to experience two more great nights. The matches will be very intense, but we proved that we can hang at those rhythms.”
“We will need to replicate our performance from the return leg against Atleti. This must be our ambition in order to be perfect from here on out. We can not look ahead, we must focus on Ajax and to approach the game correctly we have to prepare well the four Serie A fixtures that are in between.”
Are you a Serie A expert? Can you defeat the top Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you think so, play www.fantasyseriea.com now!