Friday December 7 2012
Barzagli: Juve not the best but…

Andrea Barzagli has admitted that his Juventus side are not the strongest in the Champions League – but that may not be a hindrance.

The Turin giants booked their place in the last 16 of the competition this week with a 1-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk which saw them top the group.

“As Gigi Buffon says, being the strongest doesn’t always matter,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “Being the best at the right moment does…

“It is right to admit that Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have a bit more than we do, so we therefore hope to avoid Jose Mourinho’s Real in the next round.

“But at that stage of the competition, anything can happen.

“This has been a long personal journey for me as I’ve reached this stage for the first time in my career at the age of 31.”

Barzagli continues to be a key figure for Juventus after his arrival from Wolfsburg in January 2011.

“Winning a place in the Juventus side after Wolfsburg gave me security,” the former Palermo man continued.

“And to become a first teamer for the Italian national side again after a two-year absence was something unique.

“I’m now in better shape than when I was younger.”