Buffon eager for 'special' Europa League run

The veteran Juventus goalkeeper, who won the Uefa Cup back in 1999 with Parma, urges his team-mates to go for the jugular against Fiorentina on Thursday as they chase glory
Juventus skipper Gianluigi Buffon has called on his side to keep their "special" Europa League run going and beat Fiorentina on Thursday.

The two Serie A sides played out a 1-1 draw in Turin in the first leg of their last-16 tie and will try to book a quarter-final place at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Buffon, who saved a penalty in the 1-0 win over Genoa on Sunday, wants his team-mates to make the fans proud and is eyeing a second triumph in the tournament following his Uefa Cup success with Parma in 1999.

"Let's make it to the quarter-finals and other special nights," he told Tuttosport.

"Winning helps you win. We spent a lot of energy in the match against Genoa but, in one fell swoop, we got closer to the Scudetto and winning will help us recover in time for Fiorentina.

"The club and the fans should be proud of this Juventus once more. We've got the same chance of going through as Fiorentina. The tie is at 50-50. The first leg was in their favour, we'll see with the return game.

"I'd love to go all the way again. All we want for this is to prepare for a great match but we are aware that Fiorentina are a good team - the only one to beat us in Italy.

"We win about 80 to 85 per cent of matches so it's logical that a draw like last Thursday's felt like a loss but it's important to analyse everything with common sense."

Buffon also hailed the influence of coach Antonio Conte, who has transformed Juventus's fortunes since arriving at the club in the summer of 2011.

"Juve play very good football and we have to thank our coach for this," he enthused. "Conte has transferred his spirit and tactical knowledge to us and we always impose our game."