One of the more fascinating parts of the UEFA Champions League — and any sporting competition that pits different national cultures against each other — is observing how massive clubs describe the tasks ahead of them.
Olivier Giroud says Arsenal needs to take their tie to Barcelona. Ivan Rakitic doesn’t want to hear that Barca is heavily favored. And over at the Juve-Bayern match-up, German defender Philipp Lahm is just hoping to “avoid defeat and also score a goal“.
As for the Italian side, Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon is talking with the class and grace you’d expect from “The Most Interesting Goalkeeper in the World”.
“Our job tomorrow night is to win and to take a lead into the second leg. If we ensure that the game is tight and well-matched then we can be pleased with our efforts. Given the reputation and standing of both teams, this tie has more of a semi-final feel to it.
“It takes a number of things to win a game as important as this and composure is just one of them. That said, you still need that measured aggression and desire to carry you to any victory.”
He doesn’t always play in Champions League matches, but when he does, he prefers measured aggression.
Juventus has a solid chance to shut down Bayern at Juventus Stadium on Tuesday, and has the midfield capabilities to cause chaos for the Bavarian side.