Gianluigi Buffon talked about Juventus’ chances against Monaco ahead of the team’s encounter in the Champions League semi-finals. Buffon has identified one of the reasons for Monaco’s success this season.
The 39-year-old goalkeeper says that Monaco’s policy of encouraging young players has worked out in the club’s advantage. However, he is confident the shared experience of the Juve players can overcome the enthusiasm of youth displayed by Monaco.
Most notably Monaco has promoted 18-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe. The French forward has been one of the team’s best players and is seen by many as one of the most promising talents in European football. Mbappe’s performances have been an important factor in Monaco’s Champions League success. The youngster scored five times in the competition.
Buffon talked about the age factor and about the two teams’ chances. “If Monaco are there it’s because they deserve to be,” Buffon told reporters at the news conference “I think it will be an even match. I think that experience is in our favour but they have a young and vibrant team. They have the insouciance and enthusiasm of youth.
“When you’re young, and I remember this from my career, you feel indestructible. They have got past top teams on their way here. Monaco play with swagger and are very unpredictable. With [Radamel] Falcao and Mbappe they are dangerous.“
Although acknowledging the difference in age, Buffon says that this does not discourage Juventus. The Italian side has dominated the Serie A championship in recent years and is ready to make the next step in their evolution by winning the Champions League.
“If you have the will to win, the age on your identity card doesn’t really mean anything,” he added. “Beyond winning or losing it, I love playing in the Champions League. It brings the best out of me.”
“It might be difficult to believe but, for me, playing in a Champions League final would give me as much pleasure as ever. I was born to play such games. Even if we win the final it won’t change my future. I have a contract through to 2018.”