clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Juventus press conference recap - Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli extend contracts

Club President Andrea Agnelli announces extensions for both Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Earlier today, Juventus announced that two stalwarts of their backline would be extending their terms at the club through till the summer of 2018. Club captain Gianluigi Buffon and central defender Andrea Barzagli will both remain with the club for another two seasons.

In a joint press conference, President Andrea Agnelli covered a wide range of topics in his introduction, focusing mainly on the Scudetto triumph and the upcoming Coppa Italia final, and also the disappointment of the Champions League exit.

"Something which definitely was a source of bitterness for us this year was the elimination from the Champions League.

"It was a bittersweet-bitterness though, because the game against Bayern Munich confirmed the international scope of this team. It confirmed that last year wasn't a fluke, but that Juventus are truly starting to position ourselves among the European greats.

"We played basically on a par first with Barcelona and then with Bayern, in what we think was the most beautiful tie of the Champions League this year, on par with the Europa League Quarter-Final between Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool.

"We have to give the final signal that our dimension is an international one.

"I've talked with pride about the fifth Scudetto, but I don't think we'll understand the enormity of this result until 10, 15 or 20 years down the line.

"Only when some time has passed will we be fully able to see that we've written a page of history. At the moment we can't take stock of what we've done, because we're absolutely focused on our next objectives.

"When you come to Juventus, you realize that the most important objective isn't the one you just achieved - it's the next one.

"So from that point of view our attentions are focused on the Coppa Italia final on May 21, because it would be the first time an Italian club had done that one-two [retaining the Scudetto and Coppa].

"So we're focused on that, and only after can we draw conclusions from this year.

"They're objectives that we'll be aiming for again next year, and with our world-class Coach [Massimiliano Allegri] we really have the chance to go beyond history and into legend with a sixth Scudetto or really trying to reach an international objective [the Champions League].

"All the lads that are at Juventus now have the knowledge that we can go and play anywhere in Europe. We know it has to be a dream, but it's a dream that is achievable now."

Agnelli then went on to speak highly of the two veterans and the values they have brought to the club.

"The two lads I have next to me leave me a bit emotional, because I'm next to two world champions, two guys who have been champions of Italy five times in a row. Gigi can add another five Scudetti to that, as well as other national cups and trophies.

"It's a real privilege for me to have had Gigi as captain of Juventus over these years, because the captain of Juventus is the captain of Italy. A captain isn't just someone who wears the armband, it's somebody who makes the difference on and off the pitch.

"The last time we were here I hoped that someone like him would be given the highest individual honour, the Ballon d'Or. That didn't work out, so I hope Gigi will never give up and we'll see what happens.

"Also with me is Andrea, with whom I've joked several times that he's my best-ever buy and I can only reiterate that. Andrea is another serious, reserved lad who deserves not 10 times, but 100 times the spotlight that he gets. "I don't think he seeks the spotlight, but he definitely deserves more of it.

"He's one of the best defenders of his era, and when you talk about Thiago Silva, Gerard Pique and John Terry he definitely belongs on that list. The fact we've had him with us for the past five years and will have him for the next two makes us extremely proud.

"We have two more years ahead of us with Andrea and Gigi, we'll walk together until 2018."

Goalkeeper, captain and club legend Buffon then addressed the assembled media -

"I'll be brief and concise. I'm proud of this further act of trust that the club and the world of Juve have placed in me. I want to emphasize the fact that the path we're on together is one of strength, with everyone coming together to try and improve and get to the dream and the objective we're all aiming for [the Champions League].

"I think I can reach it with my teammates and this great club which makes us feel secure. In the end the real truth is that player can only express himself at great levels when working with a group, and when there are people behind the scenes who know their stuff.

"I think everyone knows my history with Juventus, I hope it will end in the best way and with more successes. The last time I was here to celebrate a renewal it was with the President [Andrea Agnelli] and [Giorgio] Chiellini, today I'm with the President and Barzagli. I'm very proud of that, to share something so important with my teammate, because in the end I think there's a bond that unites us both on the pitch and off.

"What interests me though has always been the pitch, and there we have something that is really deep, really special and borne of mutual respect. I think that in every situation you experience, in sport and in life, it's not easy to find that, and we have that esteem between us players and I think with the directors. I'm truly grateful for all that.

"A 10th Scudetto? Honestly, we'll see how these two years go. We'll start next season with great humility. If it goes as I and all the Juve family hope, it would be a great satisfaction, those would be really incredible numbers. It would be my 16th season with Juve, and in those seasons I'd have 10 Scudetti and one title in Serie B. Those are really important numbers, for me but above all for the team."

Having recently won a fifth Scudetto in a row, he was asked what the difference is between Juve and the other teams in Serie A.

"I think what's important is having these lads who are intimately familiar with what Juventus means, what it means to be at Juve, to wear this shirt and to represent the club on and off the pitch.

"I believe in the strength of these lads. Our strength in the dressing room will be there, and then if it's decided on the pitch that we're good we'll see what happens.

"Does it help having a lot of Italians? Like I said at the beginning, it's clear that having a hard-core, a nucleus of people who embody what it means to be Juve, is helpful."

On not being nominated for the Ballon d'Or last year -

"In all honesty I don't feel any sense of injustice about the Ballon d'Or. I know I've had a brilliant career, I know I've come close a few times, and deservedly so, I think.

"But I also know that if I didn't win, it means I didn't do enough. That's the only truth, you can't start looking for bad faith or other things. The fault is only mine, because I should have done better in certain situations."

For his part, Barzagli also commented on his own personal improvement.

"I don't feel like, and I've never felt like the [world's] strongest defender. That's just all the more reason to become that, and to keep improving. It's nice to be thought of that way, though.

Even at this age I feel like I have room to improve, so I always try to stay in top shape so can remain at high levels. I also learn from my teammates, and from my opponents when I watch them on TV. I enjoy it. I think I can continue to grow at this age, and I want to prove it on the pitch."

The defender went on to speak of his pride at extending his contract with the Bianconeri until 2018.

"I'm really proud and excited today, because this is what I wanted. Above all I wanted to play for a prestigious club like Juve, so when I got here five-and-a-half years ago I came with maximum concentration, but also nerves at having to deal with such a big stadium and fanbase.

"Now it's been five years, we've won a lot and we want to continue to do that. I'm very happy with this two year renewal and I can't wait to start again on Sunday, I can't wait for the Coppa Italia final and I can't wait to do it all again next year.

"So I thank the President [Andrea Agnelli] for his beautiful words about me, I thank the club, the directors and everyone who works here."

As with Buffon, the defender was asked about the Italian core in Turin.

"I think it's important to point out that while there's definitely a hard-core, the players who have come in have also started like us, and that's made the difference.

"We Italians understand what it means to wear this shirt, what it means to win in this shirt and what the Scudetto means."