Andrea Pirlo has conceded that his Juventus side are probably not good enough to win the Champions League.
Although the Old Lady have one foot in the last eight after a 3-0 first leg win at Celtic, Pirlo has admitted that there are still some fine teams left in the competition.
“We’re not ready to win the Champions League, even if we are still in there and giving it a go,” he told La Repubblica. “There are sides in the competition who are a lot stronger than us.
“Real Madrid and Manchester United? They are not that far away, but they are strong, stronger than us. They have champions all over the place, while we don’t. This is just the beginning for us.”
The Turin giants won the Scudetto last season and regaining that crown has always been the target.
“We started the season with the objective of winning again and, after spending last season together, there was the belief that we could do that.”
Pirlo continues to be a key figure for the Turin giants following his Bosman free signing from Milan in 2011.
“The years pass for everyone, but I feel up to the level of last season which was one of my best,” the Italian added.
“It makes me proud that people man-mark me, seeing as that used to be treatment reserved for a No 10. It means that there is a certain amount of consideration for me.
“I was told by someone that I was wanted in the summer. It was pleasing given my age, but I chose to stay. I still have a year to go on my contract and then we’ll see.
“I’ll continue playing for as long as I feel like it,” the 33-year-old noted. “I’ve got no plan. I just think about objectives – to win again with Juventus and target the World Cup for Italy.”
The playmaker was also asked to comment on the suggestion that Antonio Conte will one day work abroad.
“Conte is a great Coach, but if he went abroad then he’d have to learn the language well so that he can be understood – because communication is very important for him.
“However, it is clear that he could impose himself anywhere even if Juventus is his natural habitat.”