Maurizio Sarri believes Italian football is more professional than the English game but admits the financial disparity between the two countries makes it tough for Serie A sides to challenge in Europe.
Sarri’s Juventus continued their quest for a first Champions League crown since 1996 with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday.
The other Italian team in action on the same day, Atalanta, lost 5-1 to Premier League champions Manchester City despite going ahead at the Etihad Stadium.
Meanwhile, Juve’s nearest title rivals, Inter, are bottom of Group F ahead of Wednesday’s game against Borussia Dortmund.
A report from Deloitte released in January 2019 placed six Premier League clubs in Europe’s top 10 for revenue, with Juve ranked 11th.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 22, 2019
Now back in his homeland following a season in charge of Chelsea, Bianconeri boss Sarri views the level of riches of English football as a difficult obstacle to overcome.
“I think we are at the same level of the other European teams, even if we are behind English football right now from an economic point of view,” Sarri said after the victory over Lokomotiv.
“Their strength is the money coming into the game. They earn four times what our clubs earn and this is a benefit for all the clubs. I think we are better as professionals but now this is not enough.
“I don’t know if our football can be competitive in Europe but I feel that the wind is changing.
“Not long ago a 3-0 scoreline in Serie A would mean game over, but today the teams have an English mentality, they try to equalise and turn the result around.
“I think this is good and I hope our team will continue [with this attitude] throughout the season.”
Paulo Dybala’s late brace sealed Juve’s home win over the Russian visitors and maintained the club’s place atop Group D, which also includes Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen.
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