Conte admits to financial inferiority but says Juve can compete on pitch.
Juventus boss Antonio Conte believes that his team can compete with the best sides in Europe, but admits they still fall short financially.
The Bianconeri booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 5-0 aggregate win over Celtic, and will find out on 15 March who they will face next.
Conte won the competition when he was a player with the club but has admitted much has since changed at the Turin Stadium.
The Serie A giants are well behind the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid in financial terms, but Conte says that is no reason why his men can’t be competitive on the pitch.
“For a lot of reasons, especially economic, sides such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are clearly superior,” he told the media as reported by Football-italia.net.
“We have to be humble enough to understand that we have just begun on a path, a path that through hard work should lead us to bridge the economic gap that no one at this time can fill.
“The money that these clubs can spend, we can not. At this moment in time, we are three or four steps below those teams.
“But that does not mean anything, because there is a football field, there are 11 players, 11 of us, there is the referee, the goals, there are two matches, home and away to deal with.”
Conte’s side are currently in search of back-to-back Serie A titles, having gone the whole of last season unbeaten.
Their return to Europe’s top table had some suggesting that they would struggle to cope with the heavy fixture list, but that hasn’t effected the Old Lady as of yet, as they sit six points clear of Napoli at the top of the table.
Having enjoyed his first taste of Champions League football as a coach, Conte is confident that his team can give the other European giants a tough game.
“Should we meet these teams next then we certainly won’t start the tie as beaten.
“We’ll certainly give it a go, knowing where our work so far has brought us. And we certainly want to grow over the next few years,” he concluded.
Perhaps not considered the favourites for this year’s competition, the Italians have gone almost 500 minutes without conceding in the Champions League, and will want to be avoided by most.