Juventus’ Chiellini rips Tottenham, gives touching Astori tribute


March 8 (UPI) — Defender Giorgio Chiellini didn’t hold back when talking about Tottenham’s performance in the Champions League.

He said the Spurs historically blow many chances at success after his Juventus squad won its second leg matchup 2-1 Wednesday at Wembley Stadium in London.

“It’s the history of Tottenham, they always create many chances and score so much but at the end they miss always something to arrive in the end,” Chiellini told BT Sport. “We believe in the history. I think also yesterday in the game between Real and Paris, the history is important.”

Real Madrid knocked Paris Saint-Germain out of the competition with a 2-1 victory on Tuesday at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.

Juventus trailed 1-0 at halftime after Spurs got a goal from Heugn-min Son in the 39th minute. Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala added scores for the road squad in the second half.

“This was the game that we had in mind,” Chiellini told reporters in his postgame comments, according to Juventus.com. “We struggled in the first half but that was to be expected. Then we kept on believing — we were still in the game and knew we’d get chances to go ahead.”

“We did well and showed our experience; six years ago we would not have had the same confidence to manage nights like this. Tonight, we showed we have a great deal.”

“We’re keeping the dream alive: it’ll be tough but we’re still here and we’ll be tough to beat.”

Chiellini also mourned his friend Davide Astori during his postgame interviews. The 31-year-old Fiorentina defender was found dead Sunday in a hotel room in Udine. The likely cause of death was cardiac arrest.

“We dedicate him, not only this match but every mind in this day,” Chiellini told BT Sport. “I cry anytime because I always believe him. Because he’s a fantastic player. It’s very difficult. We are doing our best because we have to think about the game…about the opponent. It isn’t easy, but he’s always in our heart. Tomorrow we go to give the last ciao together with our teammates.”

“It’s difficult, but we have to continue our lives and I think for us it’s important with the national team, in our heart, to always bring his positive emotion and smile…It’s important in the group more than his appearance.”

Chiellini and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon were among the mourners Thursday at Astori’s funeral at Santa Croce church in Florence.

Juventus finds out its quarterfinals opponent on Friday.


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