Juventus captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon claims there is no reason get frightened by the sold-out Celtic Park in tonight’s Champions League bout against the Celtic. The Celtic Park with its capacity of 60,000 accommodates nearly 21,000 more football fans than the Juventus Stadium.
Gianluigi Buffon admits it will be tough to play against the Celtic crowd. The 35-year-old Italy international recalls a night from October 2001, when Juventus had to face 4-3 defeat at the hands of Celtic at Parkhead in a Champions League qualifying match.
Wednesday night won’t be the first time Gianluigi Buffon steps on the field surrounded by football fans from Glasgow. Back when Gianluigi Buffon was with Parma, the Italian shot-stopper played twice against the Rangers.
The Celtic Park crowd are often hailed as the 12th man, but Gianluigi Buffon refuses to accept such clichés. Nonetheless, Gianluigi Buffon has asked his side to brace themselves for a tough European night.
“I have played here [Glasgow] two or three times with Parma and Juventus although the last time, ten years ago, I was on the bench. It was the last match in the group and we had already qualified,” Gianluigi Buffon said.
“The atmosphere is very British in many ways but as far as I can remember, no fan has ever scored a goal. Certainly the crowd can help Celtic, but only to a certain point. The opponents can’t get carried away with this and must focus on their own game.
“The most hostile atmospheres I have ever played in, I would probably have to say is Turkey, at Fenerbahce and Galatasaray.
“Of course, here, at both Celtic and Rangers, they have stadiums that when full have an excellent atmosphere, we already know this and we respect this very much.”
Gianluigi Buffon believes Juventus will have to do more than just a clean sheet against the Celtic for a clear route to the quarter-finals. The world class goalkeeper has asked his men to stay on their toes throughout the battle.
“If I don’t concede a goal tomorrow night then we can be sure that we will at least get a draw, which will be something that would be very good to build on for the second-leg –but only to a certain extent,” Gianluigi Buffon added.
“It’s not a case of us going out to attack and Celtic going out to defend, both teams will play to their strengths to try to win the game. It wouldn’t be categorical that we would be going through if I don’t concede a goal tomorrow, but it would certainly be a good start.”