Juventus’ outstanding display to knock Barcelona out of the Champions League will have the rest of Europe running scared of the Old Lady, defender Leonardo Bonucci said on Wednesday.
Juve served Barca a two-year-old dish of revenge for defeat in the 2015 Champions League final with a comprehensive 3-0 beating last week in Turin and followed it up by holding the Catalans to a goalless draw at the Nou Camp to reach the European Cup semi-finals for a 12th time.
“It’s not about who we don’t want to face because none of the other teams want to face us. Juventus provoke fear in everyone else and now our objective is to reach the final,” Bonucci told reporters after helping shut out Barca’s usually prolific attack for a second game running.
“We showed great unity and solidarity. We have belief in ourselves, because scoring three goals against Barcelona and keeping a clean sheet at the Nou Camp shows we are a great team. Now there are another two steps to go.
“This side deserves praise for how we approaches every game, whether we’re playing Barcelona or Pescara,” added the Italy defender, whose side have conceded two goals in 10 games in the Champions League this campaign.
“This is another step for our growth and now every opponent will worry about facing Juventus.”
Juve have monopolised their domestic league since 2011-12 and are on course for a sixth consecutive Serie A crown this season although they have a comparatively poor record in continental competitions, winning Europe’s biggest prize twice, in 1985 and 1996.
Captain Gianluigi Buffon hopes the comprehensive win over five-times European champions Barcelona is a sign his side are ready to take the next step.
“We started growing a few years ago and we need to continue on it,” added the goalkeeper.
“It can’t just stop or plateau after this victory. It’s down to us now, our destiny is in our own hands.
Then it comes down to who wins the trophy, fate has a hand in that too.”