Mandzukic: I Didn’t Want To Play Against Juventus Again

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Mario Mandzukic has said that the reason he joined Italian champions, Juventus is because he doesn’t want to face them again.

The Croatian forward faced the bianconeri twice in the champions league last summer, before joining Juventus for a fee that is expected to climb up to €19 million.

The former Atletico player has said that Buffon played a major part in his decision to join Juventus.

“Before coming here, I spoke with Buffon and I told him that he was my idol since I was a kid,” the 29-year-old told reporters on Thursday.

“But Juventus are the best team in Serie A. They are used to winning and lifting trophies. I hope I am able to do my bit to help maintain this tradition.

“My reason for joining Juve was simple: they’re a great team and it was an easy decision to make.

“It’s always difficult to play against Juve. The games against have been the most difficult in my career.

“My decision was also borne of this: I no longer wanted to have to play against them!”

Juve have lost two men who played a key role in last season’s run to the final of the Champions League, with Andrea Pirlo moving to MLS side New York City and Carlos Tevez returning to boyhood club Boca Juniors.

However, Mandzukic believes the duo will be adequately replaced by the Bianconeri, who have already brought in Simone Zaza, Paulo Dybala and Sami Khedira.

“Pirlo and Tevez are extraordinary players and any squad would miss them,” the ex-Bayern Munich man added.

“But as some leave, others will arrive. Juve think always of the future. There are already new reinforcements. I wish and hope that we remain as strong as last season.”

Arturo Vidal is another expected departure, with Bayern Munich believed to be close to securing a €40m deal for the Chilean midfielder.



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