Monday July 29 2013
Buffon: A stronger Juve, but…

Gigi Buffon believes he is now part of an even more competitive Juventus, but he expects a real fight for the Scudetto in 2013-14.

Although the Old Lady will likely start the campaign as favourites to win their third consecutive championship, the 35-year-old is keeping his feet on the ground.

“I’ve come back to a stronger Juventus side,” the Italian international noted. “Now we’ve got additional elements of excellent quality. We’ve taken a genuine step forward.

“However, it won’t be easy to reclaim our title. In fact, this year will be even harder than the previous two.

“Milan are competitive even without making big statements in the transfer market, because they’ve already got players that allow them to be amongst the front runners.

“Inter’s best signing has been their Coach and they already have a foundation of six or seven young and important players. They’ll soon be able to get back to winning ways.

“Napoli have bolstered their squad and recruited a winner as their Coach – Rafa Benitez. He’s someone I have a great deal of respect for, a great professional who knows what’s required in order to win.

“Fiorentina also have the signing of Beppe Rossi, who if he clicks with Mario Gomez will form part of an international level strike-force.

“But the fact that our rivals are strengthening, coupled with Antonio Conte’s unrelenting approach, will only help us to remain on the ball.”

The Bianconeri have completed some significant work on the transfer market with the captures of Fernando Llorente, Angelo Ogbonna and Carlos Tevez.

“The acquisition of Tevez was a real statement of intent from the club,” the former Parma No 1 continued.

“Carlos is one of those who can tip the balance and the fact that a champion like him has considered Juve is also a point of pride for us players.

“Evidently, his decision to come here means that we’ve also done something important on a European level.

“The new arrivals have already blended in well with the group and don’t hold back when there’s work to be done. They’ve got an excellent attitude.”

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