Giuseppe Marotta has called on Juventus to reach the last 16 of Europe’s premier competition as an absolute minimum having been drawn alongside Sevilla, Lyon and Dinamo Zagreb in Group H of this season’s Champions League.
Speaking immediately after the group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, Marotta had this to say of the Bianconeri’s rivals, all of which must be approached with caution and absolute focus.
“We must reach the knockout stages as a minimum and get there by winning the group if we can,” he began. “We know all about Sevilla having faced them last season, likewise Lyon a few years ago. Dinamo Zagreb have a reputation for producing excellent young players, one of whom, Marko Pjaca, has recently joined us.”
Entering the campaign as arguably one of the favourites to lift the trophy at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in May, the club’s CEO was quick to highlight the uniqueness of the continent’s premier competition and the notion that winning a tournament of its ilk requires more than just a well-stocked starting XI.
“It’s a unique tournament. Sometimes having the best team isn’t enough like it might be in a domestic league in which you can dip in and out of form and still emerge victorious. Being successful in Europe all comes down to how well you prepare for the big occasion and ensuring that you approach each match in the best possible condition.”
For Marotta, it was with precisely that factor in mind that the Old Lady conducted her transfer business over the summer and the director is confident that the Italian champions are well equipped for what lies ahead.
He concluded: “We are ready to set off on what will be a testing and perhaps even ultimately successful European journey. Our target as ever will be to go as deep as possible into the competition and improve on our showing from last season.
“We’ve made additions to the squad with exactly that in mind. While the majority of our signings have been foreign players we have made sure to keep the Italian spine of the team intact; a key to victory both at home and in the Champions League.”