Galatasaray enter their winner take all matchday six showdown with Juventus fill of confidence according to former Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo.
Real Madrid have already sewn up top spot in UEFA Champions League Group B and Tuesday’s high-stakes encounter in Istanbul will decide who joins the Spanish outfit in progressing. With Juve two points ahead of Cimbom, Melo and Co know nothing less than victory will suffice, though the Brazilian international feels his team have already defied expectations.
“When the draw happened, many people said Real Madrid and Juventus would qualify,” said the 30-year-old. “But we, with our feet on the ground, have done our work. It is in our hands to qualify. So we will go out and look to get it done, showing respect for our opponents who are strong but also knowing that we can achieve it.”
Melo first left Turin for Galatasaray on loan in 2011 and signed a permanent deal this summer, going on to play a key role in the 2-2 draw between the sides on 2 October.
“The emotional thing for me was the love from the fans,” he said. “I was at Juventus for two years, and in those two years I played almost all the matches. The fans recognised that I was always a warrior on the pitch; I always fought. The love of the fans really surprised me and left me emotional.”
A win would give Galatasaray the chance to match last season’s run to the quarter-finals, something Melo believes is a distinct possibility.
“Last season we had a great campaign, with a lot of respect and a lot of confidence. We will try to repeat that and try to improve and go further than last year.”