EXCLUSIVE: Celtic star Mikael Lustig wants Juventus in Champions League

Mikael Lustig today set his sights on gunning down Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League.

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Mikael Lustig grew up supporting Juventus…now he wants to face the Italian giants in the Champions League

The Swedish internationalist grew up as a fan of the Italian side when they were one of the major forces in European football, and he would love the chance to travel to Turin with Celtic.

Having feasted on the accomplishments of the likes of strike star Alessandro Del Piero through the years, full-back Lustig would relish the chance to come up against modern stars like Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo.

"I have always been a big Juventus fan and I would love the chance to travel to Italy," he said. "They still have some fantastic players there and they are a real name in European football. Everybody knows what they have achieved throughout the years and they have a fabulous pedigree in European football.

"Del Piero has obviously moved on, but as a youngster he is someone I always admired. He was a fabulous talent and he is someone I loved watching. To play against Juventus would be a dream for me, but like everyone else here at Celtic I am just thrilled we are in the last 16. It is difficult to overstate just how massive an achievement it is for us.

"It would be brilliant to get the chance to go to Italy and play a team like that, but we will have to wait and see what the draw on December 20 brings." It remains to be seen whether or not Celtic can pull off a further shock and go even further in the competition. The odds will be heavily stacked against them no matter who they are paired with, but Lustig, like his manager Neil Lennon, believes Celtic should aim high. "I don't know how far we can go," he said. "We have been underdogs for every game here and we will be huge underdogs in the next round, whoever we get. But that won't bother us.

"The only time we didn't play our own game would be when we were away from home to Benfica. Other than that I think we have played very well against excellent teams. It is nice to be here and be in it, but we won't think we are just there to make up the numbers." And Lustig also heaped praise on manager Lennon and his style of management.

"When he is mad, he is really mad and when he is happy he is really happy," he smiled. "He always gets the best out of you because you want to play for him. He is a brilliant manager and I think he got his reward by getting through into the last 16."

The Old Lady of Italian football infamously crossed paths with Celtic before in the competition when the Hoops came up against them in their first-ever game in the Champions League in 2001.

A contentious last-minute Nicola Amoruso penalty saw Celtic lose, although they took some revenge with a 4-3 victory over the Italians in Glasgow.


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