Gianluigi Buffon admitted that Juventus would have to demonstrate their traditional qualities of hard graft and an unrelenting will to grind out results in order to reach the Champions League knockout stages as Group H winners following today’s draw in Monaco.
Speaking to Jtv, the club captain opened: “We may be favourites on paper to top the group, but we need to show that on the pitch with the requisite determination and endeavour, which will also be fundamental in us being considered among Europe’s elite.
“These are matches which are not to be taken lightly, but at the same time represent challenges that we feel ready for.”
The Italy stopper would acknowledge the strengths of all three of their upcoming opponents: “It’s difficult to say which is the team to be feared most. Dinamo Zagreb are a talented team, Sevilla are a well-established side in Europe and Lyon form part of France’s football elite, even if they have not been at the peak of their powers in the last few years.”
Having raised their game in the Champions League in recent years, Juventus enter this edition of the competition with lofty aims once more, although Buffon stressed that it was important for continental glory to not form an ‘obsession’ in his colleagues’ minds.
“If we want to have a strong impact in this competition, we need to start winning from the off. Further down the line, the objectives obviously increase in tandem with the investments made by the club.
"In the past two years, we’ve reached the final and were eliminated by Bayern Munich, one of the strongest sides in the tournament in a tie where we proved that we were at their level. This all means that we’re aiming big again this time around.
“These tournaments are often decided by the details and also the sheer effort that you put in in order to go the extra mile. We should not be obsessed by the Champions League - even if I’d like to reach the final in Cardiff - because that would be a mistake.”
Helping the Bianconeri cause this year are a number of high-profile signings, all of whom offer notable experience in Europe’s premier club competition – a factor Buffon underlined as one which could boost their chances of putting in a strong showing.
“The new guys that we’ve brought in are proven champions but also great professionals. They’ve shown that already by the way they’ve carried themselves and bedded into this group.
“Among them, we’ve also players like Dani Alves, who have just the kind of experience in this competition to give us a big helping hand this term.”