Juventus may have lifted their second successive Serie A title on Saturday, but captain Gianluigi Buffon freely admits that the Bianconeri still have much to do if they are challenge for the Champions League, arguing that Bayern Munich are currently "two steps ahead of the rest".
The Italian champions were dumped out of Europe's premier cup competition by their German counterparts, losing 4-0 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, with the Bavarians going on to reach the final by routing Barcelona 7-0 over two surprisingly one-sided legs.
Consequently, while Buffon is enthused by the progress that Juve have made over the past two years, he knows that there is still much work to be done if they are to win the Champions League.
"To do that, both us and other European sides need to improve in order to catch up with Bayern Munich, who are currently two steps ahead of the rest," the veteran goalkeeper is quoted as saying by his club's official website.
"What’s more, if they win the Champions League this season, they’ll strengthen the team even further, so it will be a difficult task.
"Having said that, winning competitions like the Champions League can depend on luck: one fewer mistake, an extra save or a more favourable draw."
Buffon has played a key role in the Bianconeri's recent resurgence but he insists that their back-to-back title triumphs have been a real team effort.
"I’m happy, because it takes a long time to become captain of a team, but winning two years in a row means the squad has many leaders," he reasoned.
"I’m referring to [Giorgio] Chiellini, [Claudio] Marchisio, [Andrea] Pirlo, [Arturo] Vidal and [Leonardo] Bonucci."
Buffon lifted the title after Saturday's 1-1 draw with Cagliari in Turin.