Antonio Conte has insisted that Juventus will be fully motivated ahead of this year’s Champions League campaign.
But before reacting to this afternoon’s group draw from Monaco, the 43-year-old expressed his delight at seeing the club return to Europe’s top competition following a three-year hiatus.
“First of all, I was very happy to see Juventus back in the Champions League draw,” said Conte. “This is the right place for a club that, for tradition and results, has made and continues to make history in Italian football and beyond.”
Conte then moved on to consider the opposition drawn alongside the Bianconeri in Group E.
“We’ll be up against current holders Chelsea. They will be two fascinating, tough encounters. Playing in England always has a certain appeal and we’ll step into an electric atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.
“The games against Shakhtar and Nordsjaelland will also be anything but straightforward. Ukrainian football has been an important European reality for years, confirmed by the fact that Dynamo and Shakhtar were both in the second pot. The games against the Danish side will be physical encounters that mustn’t be underestimated. Whenever you play in Europe every team is of a high level.”
The former club captain worked wonders in lifting Juventus back to the summit of Serie A – but believes the Champions League represents a different prospect altogether.
“Last year we won the Italian title after a triumphant run which saw us go the whole season unbeaten. It will be even tougher in the Champions League, but there’s great motivation from our part.”
Fino alla Fine Forza JUVENTUS