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'It is gratifying to face Juventus superstar Ronaldo' - Torino defender Djidji

goal.com, 2 June 2020, 15:07
The Ivorian centre-back narrates the feeling of coming up against the Portuguese maestro

Torino centre-back Koffi Djidji has described coming up against Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as "gratifying".

The 27-year-old Ivorian joined the Maroons permanently from Nantes last summer, having spent the previous season on loan there.

He has played 14 times in all competitions this season, totalling 854 minutes on the pitch.

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Torino and Juventus are not on the same pedestal as per silverware, accolades and calibre of players. However, by virtue of being in the same city they are fierce rivals with the Derby della Mole often a tight affair.

In the most recent encounter, Juve claimed a 1-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico on November 2, 2019, courtesy of Matthijs de Ligt's 70th-minute goal.

Djidji was an unused substitute that night while Ronaldo played the entire 90 minutes.

"Ronaldo is a crazy player, it is gratifying to face him however when you take the field against Juventus, you first think not to make a fool, also because it is a very important challenge," Djidji told La Tribune Nantaise as reported by TuttoMercato.

Serie A had been suspended since March because of lockdown restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic which hit Italy particularly hard.

Government has however paved way for a return with fixtures set to resume on June 20, with Torino's home tie with Parma the first to kick off behind closed doors.

Djidji provided details of how he and his teammates have been keeping in shape in training for the return to the pitch.

"Everything is fine here, I work normally even if it is hot, it is hard," he continued.

"The first week we did everything individually, also as regards the movements, everyone arrived at the training field with his own machine.

"Then we went to groups of four on two different terrains, slowly we increased again: from four to eight and then with the collective training. Always everything however separated as regards displacements."

Torino are in 15th place on the Serie A log after 25 games, just two points ahead of the relegation zone.

They have won just eight of those matches, drawing thrice and losing 14 times.

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