Platini looking forward to Juventus' return to the Champions League

The Bianconeri legend is relishing the prospect of seeing the Old Lady compete with Europe's elite once again, and reserved special praise for midfielder Andrea Pirlo
Uefa president Michel Platini is looking forward to seeing Juventus play in the Champions League next season.

The Bianconeri legend was in attendance as the Old Lady dismantled Novara 4-0 to keep their three-point lead over second-placed AC Milan in Serie A.

After successive seventh-placed finishes in the league, Juventus are now just two wins away from claiming the Scudetto and Platini insisted that Antonio Conte's men will be a welcome addition to the Champions League.

"Europe has missed Juve, just as the Bianconeri have missed Europe," the Frenchman is quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Platini went on to praise midfielder Andrea Pirlo, who has been instrumental to the Bianconeri's success this season, according to the Uefa president.

"Juve have been much stronger in every department his year, but Pirlo is directing everything."

The Bianconeri legend's sentiments were shared by Parma boss Franco Colomba who also lauded the impact of the former AC Milan man.

"Pirlo is their extra man," the 57-year-old coach told Sky Sport Italia. "He is a player who has allowed the others around him to grow. I think that has made the real difference this season.

"Juventus are now a very strong team mentally - they are aware that they are good physically and technically."