On Tuesday night, Danilo will be in the stands, watching his current club battling it out against his former employers.
The former Juventus man received a yellow card in the first leg, and will therefore be serving a one-match suspension during the second leg against Porto in the Champions League round of 16.
Whilst the combative defender is undoubtedly ruing his luck for having to miss out on such a decisive encounter for his side, he will surely be cheering his teammates from up-close as possible.
The Brazilian had a rough patch after leaving Portugal in 2015, as he failed to prove his worth with Real Madrid and Manchester City.
However, the arrival of Andrea Pirlo has reignited his career, as he became a key player for the Italian manager.
Naturally, Danilo holds his manager in high esteem, as proven by his latest interview with Marca (via Calciomercato), where he compared him to one of the greats of the game.
” We weren’t at our best in the first half, and the result left us very sad. But we play the second leg at home and the 2-1 result gives us the chance to qualify to the quarterfinals.
” Porto, historically, puts you in difficulties. I played there for four years, I know the mentality in which they face these matches with, but we have the conditions to recover.
” You are seeing the best Danilo in recent years. Before I lacked continuity. I needed matches to be able to give my best, and thankfully I succeeded this season,” added Danilo
” I can’t play as a center forward” laughs the Brazilian, ” but I have no problem adapting to the central midfielder role. The important thing is to play.
” I really enjoy participating in the play build-up, and Pirlo gives me a lot of freedom to help the team in moving the ball forward. He wants me to keep moving and touch the ball repeatedly”.
When asked if Pirlo is considered similar to Pep Guardiola in this regard, the defender was able to find some similarities between the two.
” He looks quite similar to Guardiola. Pep and his staff have an idea of football which is very similar to that of Pirlo. They think about football based on the occupation of space, and analyze how to anticipate the opponent’s movements.
” I was teammates with Ronaldo for two years in Madrid and now at Juventus. Many follow him from afar whilst I have the honor of being a part of his history. Seeing him work every day, scoring goals… it’s incredible.” concluded the Brazilian.