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Parkhead won't ruffle Buffon

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon insists he will not be intimidated by a 60,000 sell-out Celtic Park on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: 11/02/13 at 23:17 Post Comment

Gianluigi Buffon: Won't be intimidated by Celtic fans

Gianluigi Buffon: Won't be intimidated by Celtic fans

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The 35-year-old Italian international was on the bench in October 2001, when Juventus lost 4-3 to the Hoops at Parkhead in a dramatic Champions League qualifier.

That was not his first experience of a Glasgow football crowd, having played for Parma against Rangers in a UEFA Cup match at Ibrox in 1998, which ended in a 1-1 draw, and again in a Champions League qualifier the following year when the Light Blues won 2-0.

However, while Celtic Park gears up for another great European night when the Old Lady of Italy visits for the first leg of the Champions League last-16 clash, Buffon refused to buy into the cliché of the crowd being the 12th man.

He said: "I have played here (Glasgow) two or three times with Parma and Juventus although the last time 10 years ago I was on the bench.

"It was the last match in the group and we had already qualified.

"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."

Buffon, though, does not believe that keeping a clean sheet will guarantee a Juventus a safe passage into the quarter-finals.

He said: "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.

"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."

Manager Antonio Conte admits he was bemused by the commotion surrounding Juventus' decision to train at Rangers' Murray Park training complex this morning.

"It was only really through the Italian press that I learned that there was such surprise and astonishment here in Scotland that we had used Rangers training pitch," he said.

"I have to say I found some of the criticisms rather strange. The choice was a purely technical one.

"The clubs were able to reach this agreement. We needed a training pitch with two goalposts and as far as I'm concerned that's it."

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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