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Bonucci keen to take on Madrid

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has revealed that he wants to face Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Serie A outfit only needed a point from their trip to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday to secure progression from Group E, and Sebastian Giovinco’s goal in the second half confirmed their place in the knockout stages.

Juventus could face one of Madrid, Porto, Arsenal, Valencia, Celtic or Galatasaray in the next round of the tournament after being seeded and Bonucci has set his sights on a trip to the Santiago Bernabeu.

“Looking at the seeds, they are the most prestigious teams,” he told reporters after the match.

“Only Real Madrid stand out in the second pot, but when you reach this level they are all difficult. I want Real Madrid in the next round as I have never played at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“We have grown over the course of the competition, proving we have grown in confidence, belief and that we study our opponents carefully.

“We came here to play our game and we said we would not be playing for a draw.”

Bonucci’s team-mate Stephan Lichtsteiner, meanwhile, named Celtic as his preferred opponent, and explained the inspiration behind his celebration in the aftermath of Giovinco’s winner.

“I celebrated by doing the ‘Pinocchio’ gesture of a long nose because Giovinco said he scored when I clearly saw (Oleksandr) Kucher’s deflection,” he said.

“I have to praise the team, as we all played a great game. It isn’t easy for anyone to win here, so it must be seen as a real achievement.

“We feel like ourselves again after an ugly performance against AC Milan, and now we want to continue like this.

“They are all wonderful games to go into and complicated opponents. I would like to play Celtic.”

Thu 6 Dec, 2012
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