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Mar 5, 2013

Pirlo motivated by Istanbul disappointment

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo has urged his side to avoid complacency ahead of their Champions League tie against Celtic on Wednesday, using AC Milan's Champions League final defeat to Liverpool in 2005 as added motivation to remain clinical.

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Pirlo, 33, was part of Milan's squad as Liverpool clawed back a three goal deficit to claim the Champions League title in Istanbul and he is eager to avoid similar disappointment this season.

Juve host Celtic in Turin with a comfortable 3-0 lead from the first-leg, but Pirlo insists the bianconeri will not be resting on their advantage.

"I will never forget the game against Liverpool in Istanbul - for all the wrong reasons," Pirlo told the Scottish Sun. "And it is a game I will be reminding myself of before Celtic.

"We are in a very strong position and expect to progress after the result in Glasgow - but we can't think all we need to do is turn up. Celtic for a start will be wounded.

"They are a very proud football club and have a very proud set of fans. It will have hurt them to see the way they were beaten at their home - and if we are complacent, then that is when they could have their revenge.

"If we stay professional and concentrate then I am confident we can progress. We respect our rivals but to fail against the Scots in Turin would be one of the biggest disasters in the history of this club."

Pirlo recently spoke about his fear of drawing Manchester United or Real Madrid in the next round of the Champions League and believes Juventus will have to prove a lot of doubters wrong if they are to be crowned European champions.

"We have to be realistic, we know we are not favourites for the Champions League. People will look at Bayern, Real Madrid, Manchester United and even after their defeat, Barcelona," he said.

"The most important thing we can do is stay focused against Celtic in Turin - and then we can see what the draw brings after that."

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