Juventus coach Marcello Lippi said that Italian football deserves respect after watching his team overcome holders Real Madrid 3-1 in their Champions League semi-final second leg.

The victory sets up the first-ever all-Italian European Cup final against Milan.

“Right from the start of this season Italian football has had the desire to show it was not as bad as critics were saying. All four of our teams got through the first phase then three made it to the last eight and all of them went on to semi-finals. Now here we are with two Italian teams in the final,” said Lippi.

‘That shows that Italian football is to be respected. I don’t know if it is the prettiest but it is football that should be respected.

“We play good football, it’s not as those outside of Italy would have you believe,” he added.

“We knew that we needed a great Juve and we got a great Juve,” he said.

“To be honest, I didn’t know if even a great Juve was going to be enough to beat the strongest squad of them all but we saw the best characteristics of Juventus out there.

“Tonight was a great, great satisfaction. it’s particularly satisfying to get to the final after beating such a phenomenal competitor in Real.

“Don’t forget in recent months they have produced some extraordinary performances and everyone said that we had no chance against them. But after the first game we had the feeling we could do it by playing this sort of game against them.

“We showed a great capacity to defend with almost all our players against a team who you need to do that against. Then there was the speed with which we moved forward and also the great qualities of certain individuals which allowed us to create and take the goals as we did.

“This final comes after a couple of years in which Juventus have won a lot, but just when you think you’ve had access to all the treasures in the safe, then along comes another opportunity that’s even greater,” he said.