Created on 11-04-2013 at 00:00 AM
Juventus coach Antonio Conte had promised Bayern “a big fight" in the build-up to Wednesday evening’s match, but at the end of the day, Mario Mandzukic was the man who best embodied that combative approach and fierce motivation. Still bearing the scars of battle, the striker spoke calmly to reporters afterwards despite the Italians’ always physical and sometimes roughhouse approach.
However, that was no problem at all for the big Croat. “I took a lot of knocks, but that's normal. I can withstand the lot, and I'm happy to do it for the team," said the man who stayed cool in the seething atmosphere at the Juventus Stadium. Mario spent the bulk of his 83 minutes on the field locked in combat with Giorgio Chiellini, an authentic hard man and aggressive stopper. “But I like that, it pushes me on," insisted Mandzukic, full of respect for his marker, “I'm even better against someone as hard as that."