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The former Italy captain has put talk of the Turin side winning the Champions League upon their return to European football's top table next season into perspective

Fabio Cannavaro has played down Juventus' prospects of winning the Champions League next season, claiming that his former club still lack the means to challenge the continent's greats on an even footing.

The Old Lady were crowned Italian champions last season and will return to Europe's premier club competition following a two-year hiatus.

Despite the Turin giants enjoying a strong summer on the transfer front thus far, Cannavaro still believes that Antonio Conte's side will need more time before they can bring European success.

"Even with the new acquisitions, Juventus still are a level below Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid," the World Cup winner lamented to Tuttosport.

"Their return next season will coincide with getting a taste of European action again, before they can realistically think about becoming champions there."

The likes of Conte, Leonardo Bonucci and Simone Pepe currently face the prospect of bans after becoming implicated in investigations surrounding a domestic betting scandal, but Cannavaro is confident that Juventus will be able to cope all the same.

"Conte's absence will be heavy, but the group at Juventus have been tested before. Thanks to the experience of his men, I am sure he will not be missed," the Italy legend continued.

"[Salvatore] Bocchetti will be an excellent replacement for Bonucci. He has enjoyed an excellent spell in Russia, and could make an excellent signing for the club."

Cannavaro, 38, enjoyed two spells playing in the Bianconeri's colours, before retiring from football while at UAE side Al Ahli in 2010.