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FIGC chief calls on Italian clubs to improve

21 March 2014 21:36

The president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has called for better performances in Europe from Serie A clubs.

Juventus are Italy's sole representative in European competition after the line-ups for the last eight of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League were confirmed this week.

Antonio Conte's side face French side Lyon in the Europa League quarter-finals and FIGC president Giancarlo Abete has acknowledged the need for Juve to prosper given the recent performances by Italian clubs in continental tournaments.

The final of this season's Europa League takes place at Juventus Stadium, something Abete hopes the Turin outfit can capitalise on.

"Needless to say, Italian teams need to do better in Europe," Abete told reporters.

"There is a problem of competitiveness on our part. We have improved our (UEFA coefficient) ranking, but not enough.

"It's been a long time since one of our teams has been in the semi-finals of a European competition (the last occasion coming when Inter won the Champions League in 2010).

"But I am confident that Juventus can do it this season. I think the final in Turin will urge them on.

"This is an opportunity they can't miss."

Both Juve and Napoli found themselves in the Europa League after finishing third in their respective Champions League groups.

Napoli were subsequently knocked out by Porto on Thursday, while Milan's Champions League journey came to an end last week with a 5-1 aggregate defeat to Atletico Madrid.

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