GLASGOW: Juventus goalkeeping great Gianluigi Buffon (pic) insists the Italian champions will not be intimidated by the frenzied atmosphere at Celtic in the Champions League last 16 first leg on Tuesday.
Buffon and his Juve team-mates are expecting a hostile reception from the 60,000 sellout crowd in Glasgow.
The 35-year-old knows how vociferous Celtic fans can be after his previous visit to Parkhead in October 2001 when Juventus lost 4-3 to the Hoops in a Champions League qualifier.
Even a team of Barcelona’s quality crumbled in a defeat at Celtic earlier this season, but Italy international Buffon – a World Cup winner in 2006 – is confident Juve will be able to cope with the experience.
“I have played in Glasgow two or three times with Parma and Juventus,” Buffon said. “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.”
Meanwhile, Juve manager Antonio Conte admits he is bemused by the commotion surrounding the Italians club’s decision to train at Rangers’ Murray Park training complex on Monday.
Rangers are Celtic’s arch-rivals and the move has angered some at Parkhead.
“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.” -AFP
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