Rio Ferdinand names the two players responsible for Barcelona's Champions League exit
Rio Ferdinand picks out two players, and even the most passionate Barca fans have to agree.
What’s the story?
Rio Ferdinand speaking after Juventus’ 3-0 aggregate win against Barcelona paid tribute to the center back duo of Georgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. The defensive duo along with Alex Sandro and Dani Alves shut out the mighty Barcelona over two legs.
“Yeah (they deserved it). This is a game where the defence came out on top. They were dogged, they showed their experience and desire to defend,” he said.
“They were enjoying it, the confidence they had coming into this game just showed. Chiellini for me has been the star, putting his body on the line,” the former Manchester United man continued.
“Him and Bonucci together were tremendous and speaking as a former centre-back, you thrive on clean sheets. To go to the Nou Camp and get a clean sheet against that front three, deserves immense praise,” the former Champions League winner concluded.
In case you didn’t know..
Juventus beat Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, on a 3-0 aggregate. Juventus won the game at Juventus Stadium 3-0 and kept the famous Blaugrana from scoring over both legs.
The success that Barcelona have had over the past decade or so, and given they have one of the most feared front lines in world football is quite a feat. To do it for 180 minutes is quite the achievement.
The heart of the matter
The duo of Georgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci’s talents have gone under the radar to a certain extent. Mainly due to the fact that Juventus didn’t reach the higher echelons of European football as frequently as their domestic form suggests.
But, in the past three seasons, the duo have been brilliant even in European football. Juventus are undoubtedly one of the best defensive teams in Europe (Atletico Madrid deserve a mention), and the credit must go to the talents of Chiellini and Bonucci.
The semi-finals of the Champions League will see a heterogeneous mix of clubs, with France, Spain and Italy represented. Monaco are undoubtedly the dark horses, a team in-form, and one everyone would like to avoid.
Juventus and holders Real Madrid though, are clear favourites. The Champions League draw will be an interesting one.
There is no doubting the acumen of Bonucci and Chiellini. Stopping the likes of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi individually is in itself a huge task, to stop all three together over two legs is insane to the even the sanest of brains.
Take a bow.