News Live Scores

Bonucci: I wouldn't trade Serie A titles to taste Champions League glory with Juve

3:15 AM GMT+4 18/09/2019
Leonardo Bonucci Juventus 2019-20
The experienced Italy defender has lost in two European finals with the Turin side, but says he wouldn't swap any of his titles to win in Europe

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci says he wouldn’t trade his Serie A titles to lift the Champions League, but warned the Italian champions will go into every European game trying to win it.

Bonucci, 32, has won seven Italian titles in Turin but his European exploits have been characterised by disappointment.

Juve haven’t lifted the Champions League since 1996, with Bonucci playing 90 minutes on both occasions as they lost in the final in 2015 and 2017.

They travel to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday in the opening match to Group D, but Bonucci holds his titles too tightly to consider trading one of them for a taste of European glory.

“I value those I’ve won very highly,” Bonucci said in his pre-match press conference.

“At Juve you always have to go onto the field ready to give your best. I wouldn’t trade any of the championships I’ve won for anything.”

It was suggested to Bonucci that, against Diego Simeone’s new-look Atletico side, a point away from home would represent a good result.

Juve struggled in their most recent game , a 0-0 draw at Fiorentina, but for the Italy veteran, such an attitude is close to unthinkable.

“It is not in the DNA of Juventus to think of a draw,” he stated.

“We will go onto the pitch with the desire to prove that the path taken by the coach was the right one, and to gain useful points to go forwards in the Champions League. It will be a battle.

“It will be a difficult test like all Champions League games. We go there with enthusiasm and energy because playing in this tournament is a dream.

“We didn’t have a great game in Florence, but the Champions League is another competition. Atletico are always ready for battle and we will have to play at a competitive level.”

The two sides met in the last 16 last season, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick helping the Turin side overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg in Madrid.

Two of the main protagonists from those clashes, experienced defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Diego Godin, are missing this time around. Chiellini is expected to miss a significant portion of the season with a knee injury, while Godin left Atletico in the summer to join Bonucci’s former side Inter .

“They are two leaders within their teams and they have shown great personality,” Bonucci said of the pair.

“Giorgio’s loss for us is important both on the pitch and in the dressing room, but I also have a lot of respect for Godin. Without him, Atletico have lost something but they have been able to make up for his loss. We will try to make sure Giorgio’s absence isn’t felt.”