Pavel Nedved is not taking anything for granted despite Juventus being handed what looks like a reasonable slate of opponents in Group D of this season’s Champions League.
The club vice-president was speaking soon after the draw was completed, and the assembled executives and players saw Virgil van Dijk named as men’s player of the year ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
“Maybe I expected Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award, but we accept everything.”
On the topic of Juve’s opponents in Group D: Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow.
“It’s a tough group for me, not easy at all, but it’s the Champions League and there are no easy groups.
“The objective is to get past the group phase, that is the first step. We changed a lot, I believe we improved, have a new Coach and players, so I believe we are ready for a great season.
“We know Atletico Madrid, we already faced them in pre-season and it is always tough against Cholo Simeone. Leverkusen are very tough, especially on their travels.
“Lokomotiv Moscow have a lot of foreign players and it’s a long trip to get there. We’ve got a lot of issues to deal with, but we are confident.”
Maurizio Sarri was expected to miss the first two games of the season with pneumonia, but rumour has it that he will return for the visit of his former side Napoli.
There are reports Maurizio Sarri will be on the touchline this Saturday for the Serie A game with Napoli, as he is recovering well from pneumonia.
“We announced it is best for him to stay out for two games. I think we’ll see him straight after the break for international duty. Pneumonia is nothing to be sniffed at, it’s best he takes time to fully recover.”
With the transfer window still open for a couple more days, the future of Paulo Dybala remains up for speculation.
“I think as long as the market is open, we work both looking in and out. Anything can happen, every team is working to bring players in and move players out. We are no different.”