Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football European

Gianluigi Buffon hails Barcelona and vows Juventus will bounce back

By Alex Martin

Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon has praised his team after they were beaten by 'the best team in the world' in the Champions League final.

Although his side may not find much comfort in his words after they lost 3-1 to Barcelona on Saturday night, the Juve stalwart is confident that the Italian club will bounce back next year.

"We didn't manage to win, but not because we didn't try. We gave everything we had," said Buffon.

"Barcelona are the best team in the world in my opinion, but we have proved that we could compete.

"We conceded early on, but we were always in the game."

Juve missed out on a third European crown as Luis Suarez put Barca ahead - Alvaro Morata had equalised - in the second-half after a goal from Ivan Rakitic.

Neymar added insult to injury with the last kick of the game by scoring Barca's third.

The Italy international made a string of superb saves to keep Juve in contention, but his men just could not keep the star-studded Barca line-up at bay in Berlin.

The 37-year-old goalkeeper said: "We can make sure we stay at this level next season and, within the next two or three years, who knows? Maybe I'll manage to make some other dreams come true.

"This performance gives us hope and confidence."

After the game, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri reflected optimistically on his team's performance.

He said: "We had an extraordinary season, a great final and in our best moment of the game conceded a silly goal.

"There were the chances to equalise, but Barcelona have three amazing players in attack and you have to take your opportunities."

Allegri also rued some missed opportunities to equalise late on, and hinted that Paul Pogba should have been awarded a penalty for a push just before the second goal.

"We had numerous opportunities and luck wasn't on our side, as the deflection off a shoulder went over the bar, there was a push on Pogba," he said.

"The final scoreline flattered Barcelona as Neymar scored on another counter-attack with the final kick of the game.

"The goal for 3-1 was when the game was practically over."

He added: "I think it's another part of the growth process, as when you feel that the match is in hand, you need to be more careful."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph