Danilo spoke to TNT Brasil, his words:
Without a doubt this is the best moment in my carreer. I think that after my departure from Porto, this is the moment in which I am having more continuity. And that's what I've always been looking for. Maybe for my career I needed to have continuity. I always said I was a player that the more I played, the better I felt. Many times, there are some players who after five or six games in a row feel tired, not me. On the contrary, I need to play more games to have more continuity, to feel better and better. So now I am very satisfied. First of all, I am very happy to play all these consecutive games. Then I'm happy for this personal moment, which is certainly one of the best of my career, and then to be able to live it at Juventus because it's a club where I identified from the beginning, where I was treated very well and I think it's fair to repay with my best performances, with my best qualities. So I'm very happy, not only for my personal moment, but to be able to repay the trust that the club has placed in me.
I've always been a player who has played in different positions. From the first contact, not only with the coach but also with all the staff, we already understood each other very quickly. Here you think about football in a different way, how to occupy space better, move at the right moment, and I like that a lot. I also like to admire and observe a lot. I think a player who can observe well, can also play well. He can also have an understanding of all positions. Obviously I can't play as a number 9, can I? But in the defensive department, where I have always played, I can play in any position because I feel very comfortable. From the moment the coach and his staff told me what my role in the team would be, I felt very satisfied because it was a role I felt good in. It's a role I'm more used to, where I felt really comfortable, so we got on very quickly, both with the coach and the staff. The type of training, the way they spoke to me, both to me and to the team, helped to make me a versatile player who plays consistently.
I think Pirlo reflects a lot of what he was as a player. It's no wonder that whoever watches from the outside really perceives Pirlo always focused. That he speaks less than other coaches, that he expresses himself less, but he has already shown as a player, always very calm, with few words but who could make very well with the ball. He always had clear ideas as a coach, as a team commander. And this I think was an important point to win over the group, to be able to make the team follow his ideas. This I think is the most important thing for the work of a coach, obviously also the decisions on who to play and who not to play or the changes during the game, this is also important. But making the team follow you, making 20 players follow your idea of work, your idea of football, is the most difficult thing. He managed to implement it and get the team to follow him quickly. Of course, it's not very easy to adapt after a job that is very different from what we had before, so it takes time, even for newcomers. But what the coach has most to offer is being able to get the team to follow his footballing ideas faithfully.
In a dressing room where there are Buffon, Chiellini, Bonucci, Alex, Paulo, Cuadrado, who have been here for so many years, I try to be who I am in my daily life, with my family. I'm someone who tries to take all the moments of my daily life at the club very seriously. The preparation for the games, the time of the game and after the game, I think you must always have serenity and seriousness in these moments. I gladly accept this responsibility and I think every player should have his role as a leader. I accept my role well and I have great respect for all those I mentioned before, because they have done extraordinary things within the club, I have great admiration for them, but I accept my role to be able to help the team off the field as well. As well as the game, I believe this is also fundamental to directing the work well in order to win.
I have already seen and experienced even more complicated situations than this one, in terms of points distance, and at the end of the season things turned around and I ended up winning the title. We have shown that we are on the right track on some occasions. One of these was definitely the Milan game, then also the win in Barcelona. These are games that show that we are on the right path, that we are competitive and that we can fight for everything. In other games it's natural that you feel the change in work, the different way we play, the inclusion of new players. In other leagues too, the big teams have had a lot of difficulty in maintaining regularity, also because of the situation of playing every three days, the little rest and the lack of players due to Covid or injuries. There are a number of factors that do not allow us to have a regular performance. But as I said, we've shown that we're on the right track and that we're doing a job that can bear important fruit. I also believe that Juve are signing a lot of new players. I think the work has been done very well, but obviously a lot of people judge the results, the distance from first, second or third. Among us there is great confidence in the work we are doing and that there are the conditions to continue fighting for all the competitions we play in.
I am very happy to be in Serie A at the moment. Last year, for example, we won one round from the end, but it was a fight with changes of position until the very end, this year it's the same. Milan are doing a good job, it must be acknowledged, Inter have also strengthened and are very solid. Then you also have teams like Atalanta, Lazio and Sassuolo who play very good football. So I think there's no doubt that Serie A has grown a lot in recent years. It has become a very competitive league and it's very difficult to play against because, as well as the physical component and the intensity, I think it has always been a very strategic, tactical league. So I think it's a mix of everything. For us as players it's very nice this kind of game and also for those watching from home.
When the draw came out, I confess it was a bit of a strange feeling and I think it will be until kick-off. I had a very nice story with Porto. It was four years and I identified a lot with the club, with the city. I also have a house there, so it will be a strange feeling. Speaking of football, Porto is a team with tradition in Europe and when I was there I wanted this kind of game, I wanted to face the biggest clubs in the world, I wanted to be able to make their life difficult and I'm sure that's what they think now. We still have some time before the game, but it will definitely be very difficult because they have tradition, good players and in these big games there is a strange mystique that makes the players run more, makes them give everything, so it will be difficult for us. Of course we are working, trying to evolve every day. I'm sure that when the game comes we will be better in terms of the game and the development of the team. We will need to be at our best to be able to pass the round.
It's a complicated question, but I think because of the names of the players, because of the size of the investment, I think that should be recognised. However, the ball is round, and as I said, when I was at Porto, I went crazy for these games because I wanted to win in every way and show myself more to the football world and to make my fans happy. So it's complicated to talk about being favourites. The moment the game starts, you have 50% of winning for both. If you are not at your best, you don't pass.
I think Juve have always had a very great spirit of sacrifice and unity, as well as a very high quality of players. Both from the outside and from the inside, I have always recognised that it is a very strong club in general, a great spirit of unity, spirit of sacrifice and this I think helps to come here and win. I think the arrival of the new coach with new ideas and different ambitions, the arrival of new players with a different energy, I think it can be a good mix to think about winning the Champions League. Of course we have to think step by step. We still have a lot to do, but I think the goal is to reach the final because there is no other choice for a big club like Juve.
When I analyse football, I try to do it in a practical way, in terms of play, schemes, who can develop better football. I would always put Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Liverpool at the forefront, because they are the teams that have more established football ideas, with players who are used to the systems of play, they feel comfortable. This I think is a point that differentiates these teams. This is my way of analysing football, but we know that everything can change and therefore it is impossible to exclude teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona. It is impossible to exclude them from the race to win because they have tradition and that will make the difference. There is PSG with players like Neymar, Mbappe who can decide games in an incredible way. In my opinion, the first three I mentioned are more solid teams.
I have a good relationship with him, even speaking personally. We already had a good relationship at Real and here we met again. I try to enjoy the moment with this type of player, with this type of person, because he is immense. I won't have other opportunities, so I try to enjoy the moments I have with him. I try to learn as much as I can. I try to be a motivation for him because he can help us a lot. As a football fan, I always want to see him do great things because for me it's a pride to be able to watch everything he does, clap my hands and be his partner. That kind of thing with Ronaldo is a cliché. He is a guy who to stay at the top for so many years has to do something different all the time. For example, during games it has happened that he would make a takle or a stolen ball a little more abruptly and ask me: "Did you like it?". I replied: "Be careful, you'll get hurt, you're not used to it. Leave it to us at the back. He's making a great contribution, sacrifice and that's something you learn.