Marc-Andre ter Stegen says Barcelona are not looking for revenge in Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Juventus.
The Serie A champions dispatched Barca in ruthless fashion in last season’s quarter-finals, winning the first leg 3-0 before a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou secured their progress to the last four.
The Catalans started the season with a 5-1 aggregate loss to Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana but have shown great improvement in LaLiga, winning all three of their games without conceding, including a 5-0 thrashing of city rivals Espanyol on Saturday.
Ter Stegen feels their form is a good reason to be encouraged ahead of Juve’s trip to Camp Nou but insists that last term’s defeat is not on their minds.
“We’re not looking to avenge anything,” he told a news conference. “Last year is in the past. We have to focus on this year and we want to show what we’re able to do.
“We’ve started quite well in the first few LaLiga games. If you don’t concede and you score nine goals and win three games, of course there are good feelings.
“We have an idea of how we’ll play and we want to win, not look for anything else.
“Of course, we have changed a little through the coach’s idea. We want to occupy different spaces and try to play in another way, but I believe we have a good team to play this system. And we can change it at any moment.”
Juventus prepare to face Barcelona again in the #UCL…
Who will come out on top this time? pic.twitter.com/R319emxhP9
— #UCL (@ChampionsLeague) September 11, 2017
Ousmane Dembele made his debut in the win over Espanyol, the €105million man setting up Luis Suarez to score the fifth goal in second-half injury time.
Ter Stegen says he needs more time to get used to life in LaLiga but has been enthused by what he has seen from Dembele and fellow new signing Nelson Semedo.
“Of course he needs more time to incorporate completely into the team,” he said. “But there are good feelings about his debut and we want to try to make sure he feels comfortable and can show his quality.
“Semedo seems to be doing well, he brings something different. He’s very quick down the wings and we want to make the most of that.
“We have a top-quality player, that’s clear. We need to help him from the start to make him feel good and that will help him to adapt more quickly.”
Tuesday’s match will see Ter Stegen face veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon once more and the Germany international hopes the 39-year-old keeps playing for as long as possible.
“Buffon is a hero for everyone who loves football,” he said of the Juve great, who stated this year that he expects to retire in 2018. “He’s playing really well, despite his advanced age. A lot of people retire at his age but he’s still playing like he was at 30, at the peak of his career.
“I hope to see him for many more years.”
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