"Anyone can beat anyone else," says the Juventus winger as his team prepare to meet last-eight upstarts Ajax.
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Cristiano Ronaldo hit a hat-trick when Juventus overturned a 2-0 away loss with a 3-0 win in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Atlético, but the striker received invaluable support from winger Federico Bernardeschi; "I am well aware how good he is," said coach Massimiliano Allegri.
As Juve now prepare to face Ajax for a place in the semi-finals, the 25-year-old – signed from Fiorentina in 2017 – spoke about the ecstasy of eliminating Atlético and how bigger nights lie ahead with La Vecchia Signora.
On Juventus's quarter-final opponents ...
Obviously, Ajax are a young team, full of talent, and they're a team that plays football. They're really strong, they're great athletes, so we have to pay attention to all these qualities that they have. It's the Champions League; no side gives you anything, so we need to put in two great performances to get the result we want. What they managed to do in Madrid surprised everyone, but this is the Champions League and anyone can beat anyone else. There are no rules. Every game is a battle.
It would be a great feeling for everyone involved [if we could win the competition] but it's a great feeling, a real source of pride and an honour first and foremost, to be in the quarter-finals. After that, who knows? We might go all the way, but I believe you have to take it one game at a time. You can't afford to get too far ahead of yourself.
On recovering from a 2-0 loss to beat Atlético in the last 16 ...
We raised the bar every day in terms of tension and awareness. We took a good look at ourselves. We knew we could overturn that result. You could see what we put into that game. What stood out was the solidarity we showed. That was critical on the night. Everyone, and I mean everyone, gave their all. It really was a perfect evening, just extraordinary. I'm proud to have been part of it and to have written a small piece of history for Juventus that night, but I think we have plenty more history left to write.
We're up against Ajax in the quarter-finals now, which is going to be a real challenge. We certainly know it is doable, so we'll try to have another night like [the Atlético game], for the fans and for the club. Those are the nights you remember.
On playing for Juventus ...
It's truly something wonderful and exciting. There certainly is pressure, but it's positive; I think that pressure helps bring out the best in you. Being part of such a big club, such a big team, which has had so many great players down the years, is a privilege, an honour and something to be proud of.
I've always said that my real strong point is my mental strength, more than my technical or physical attributes. It gives me that little edge when it comes to reaching my goals. I've got a lot of years in front of me, so there are a lot of things I'm hoping to achieve. I want to win the Champions League, for sure.