Conte: Juventus belong in the Champions League

The former Italy international believes the Serie A champions are back at the level they belong and, is revelling in the opportunity to play against the European title defenders
Antonio Conte has voiced his delight with Juventus' return to the Champions League and is relishing the prospect of taking on holders Chelsea.

The Serie A champions will also have to deal with Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk and Danish outfit Nordsjaelland in Group E and Conte, who was recently banned for 10 months by the Italian football federation for failing to report two instances of match-fixing, expects anything but easy games.

"First of all, I was very happy to see Juventus back in the Champions League draw," Conte told the official club website.

"This is the right place for a club that, for tradition and results, has made and continues to make history in Italian football and beyond," 

"We’ll be up against current holders Chelsea. They will be two fascinating, tough encounters. Playing in England always has a certain appeal and we’ll step into an electric atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.

"The games against Shakhtar and Nordsjaelland will also be anything but straightforward. Ukrainian football has been an important European reality for years, confirmed by the fact that Dynamo and Shakhtar were both in the second pot.

"The games against the Danish side will be physical encounters that mustn’t be underestimated. Whenever you play in Europe every team is of a high level."

Juventus kick start their Champions League campaign with an away match versus Chelsea on September 19.