Juventus will treat Madrid match 'like a final'

April 03, 2018
Real's Cristiano Ronaldo (left) takes the ball past Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon before scoring his side's first goal during a Group B UEFA Champions League match between Real Madrid and Juventus at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday October 23, 2013.

MILAN, Italy (AP):

Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado believes his team will treat today's UEFA Champions League first leg against Real Madrid "like a final".

"They're a fantastic side but we need to focus on our own game: we'll play as if it were a final," Cuadrado said ahead of the last-eight meeting.

Juventus were beaten in its two previous finals against Real Madrid, including a 4-1 defeat in Cardiff last year in the Champions League, but between those two clashes it won all three of its two-legged knockout matches against the Spanish giants.

"Let's hope everything will be different (from Cardiff)," Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon told the Spanish sports daily Marca.

"We win the matches which last 180 minutes but lose those that last 90. Maybe we should play the finals over 180 minutes."

 

HUNT FOR TREBLE

 

Juventus are again in the hunt for a treble. They beat AC Milan 3-1 on Saturday to move four points clear of Napoli at the top of Serie A and is also in the Italian Cup final.

Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia and midfielder Miralem Pjanic are banned after being booked in the last-16 victory over Tottenham.

All of the Madrid players have travelled to Turin, although defender Nacho could miss out with a thigh injury.

Gareth Bale scored twice against Las Palmas on Saturday but could be left out today, just as he was in the round of 16 against Paris Saint-Germain.

Buffon is clear who he fears the most.

"I have endless admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo," the goalkeeper said. "He's managed to get better with time. He's changed position, expending less energy than before but he's really lethal.

"I have never seen anyone with the same assassin's instinct as Ronaldo ... I had the fortune to play against the Brazilian Ronaldo, with and against (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, but Cristiano Ronaldo is picking up record after record."

Ronaldo has scored seven goals in the five matches he has played against Juventus.

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