WHEN I BLOCK A SHOT, I FEEL AN ADRENALINE RUSH
I like Ibrahimovic a lot, we respect each other. He has to find a rival to give his best. We were teammates in my first year at Juve, but as an opponent, I was never afraid to face him. And I've never taken a step back in front of him. When he went to Inter he became the absolute enemy, then a simple rival at AC Milan or the national team.
I'm happy when I win a duel with an opponent, and when I block a shot or save a goal I feel a rush of adrenaline. It's a different sensation compared to scoring, but I still feel like I'm the one who saves the big matches. The goal scored in the Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona gave me less emotion than stopping Kane from scoring in the 89th minute in the match against Tottenham. It was a hard-fought game and in the end, there was a big hug between me, Buffon, and Barzagli.
To win the duels with the attackers, if you are a 'normal' player like Barzagli and me, you have to be pessimistic and predict the worst. Andrea was a very good defender, but we don't have the qualities that Sergio Ramos or van Dijk can have. It's as if I have a split personality: shy and reserved off the field, but willing to do anything to win when I play. Without fans, it's not football because we lack emotions, but unfortunately, we have to adapt.
The Super League? Five years ago I told Agnelli that I hoped to play every week against opponents like Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, and all the other big names in Europe. For a top player that's the maximum, I hope to see important changes, maybe with a new format of the Champions League. The football product must be improved, because of Covid we are going through a delicate moment in which uncertainty has taken the place of growth.