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Del Piero fired up to face Bremen

Published: Tuesday 7 March 2006, 5.22CET
Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero insists there is no way his team have taken the challenge of Werder Bremen lightly, despite trailing in the tie.
by Richard Aikman
from Turin
Published: Tuesday 7 March 2006, 5.22CET

Del Piero fired up to face Bremen

Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero insists there is no way his team have taken the challenge of Werder Bremen lightly, despite trailing in the tie.

Alessandro Del Piero says Juventus need no motivation ahead of Tuesday's make-or-break UEFA Champions League tie against Werder Bremen. The captain may be one of only two survivors from the Juventus side that won this competition ten years ago, but he has no fears about his team-mates' desire to overturn the 3-2 first knockout round first-leg defeat in Germany.

'Fired up'
"The squad is filled with players who have international and European experience, so the fact I am one of the only players to have won it before makes absolutely no difference," the 31-year-old Italy forward said. "These players are in no need of any motivation whatsoever. We all know how very special this tournament is, and how much we want to go through to the next round, so we will be very fired up when we get on the pitch."

Looking forward
The Bianconeri were accused of taking Liverpool FC too lightly last season as the English Premiership team beat them in the quarter-finals en route to becoming European champions, and the same accusation was made of Juventus after the reverse in Bremen. However, 'Pinturicchio' was quick to deny any such suggestion. "We didn't consider the Liverpool game an easy one, and nor do we think that about Werder Bremen," he said. "The fact is there's no point dwelling on the past. We must look to the future, starting tomorrow."

Italy goal
Del Piero helped ease the pain of the Bremen loss by scoring in Italy's 4-1 victory over Germany last week, but the No10 said it was difficult to draw parallels between that match and the visit of Thomas Schaaf's men. "I hope this game pans out in exactly the same way. But you can't really compare the two because they are two different sides. What I can say is that my team-mates have reacted well since coming back from international duty. It's not easy when you're playing matches every three days. We only had two and a half days to prepare for Saturday's game at UC Sampdoria [a 1-0 win] but I've been very impressed with the professionalism of the squad. We only started thinking about Bremen on Sunday."

Uncertain starter
With David Trezeguet back in the starting lineup and Zlatan Ibrahimović hoping to pass a late fitness test, Del Piero is uncertain about whether he will feature from the start. He appeared as a substitute in the first leg and made a telling contribution by having a hand in both Juventus goals. However, under coach Fabio Capello, that is no guarantee of first-choice status. "I really want to start but that's not up to me. Whoever does play knows what is required. We're 3-2 down, we need to win and the only way we can do that is by scoring."

Last updated: 08/03/06 0.23CET

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