Juventus’ Buffon craves to win Champions League

Turin, Aug 31 (IANS) The European Champions League trophy is the one glaring omission in Italian champions Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon’s glittering football career and the goalkeeping legend is determined to lift it before he retires.

Buffon captained Juventus to a runners-up finish in the 2014-15 Champions League. They lost to Spanish giants Barcelona in the final at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

“The Champions League is still the one competition that evades me,” Buffon was quoted as saying by mirror.co.uk on Sunday.

“I’m not sure if it’s my destiny to win it, but of course I still want to. We were in the final last year so of course it was a great chance, but I will not say that it was my last chance,” Buffon, who was part of Italy’s 2006 FIFA World Cup-winning team, added.

The 37-year-old first played for club Parma from 1995 to 2001 before moving to his current club, Juventus, which also failed in the final against league rivals AC Milan in the 2002-03 season.

Talking about the 2015-16 season where his club has been placed in a tough group with English team Manchester City, Spanish side Sevilla and German outfit Borussia Moenchengladbach, Buffon added: “I don’t like the name ‘group of death’. it’s the Champions League, there are no easy groups.

“What I will say is that is a very strong group, a group where all four clubs will rightly believe they have a great chance to progress out of it.”

The Italy captain also said City cannot be considered a big club until they win the Champions League.

Buffon felt City are “desperate” to lift the European Cup this season after their 150 million pounds expenditure in the ongoing transfer season.

“You can buy big players, but you can’t buy being a big club, you need to win the Champions League for that,” the 2002-03 European footballer of the year said.

“Even when Juventus were in the second division, they were still Juventus. Even in the time when they were not winning trophies, Real Madrid are always Real Madrid, and Manchester United are always Manchester United.

With all they have spent, Manchester City will want to be thought of in that way, and the only way to achieve that is success in Europe.

“City will be desperate to win the Champions League. They have spent so much on new players they will be expected to challenge for it.”

Juventus face City on September 16 in Manchester in a Champions League match.

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