Platini believes Italian football has 'bad image'

UEFA president Michel Platini believes the “bad image” of Italian football ensures it is “not inviting to champions”.

Italian teams have struggled to compete in Europe this season, with Milan the only one of Serie A's UEFA Champions League representatives to progress beyond the group stage.

Platini, who won two Serie A titles and a European Cup with Juventus during his playing days, is of the opinion that the Italian game is not as appealing to top players.

However, the Frenchman does not believe that Italian teams play a less attractive brand of football than their counterparts in England and Spain.

"Italian football is no less spectacular than Spanish or English," Platini said in an interview with Gazetta dello Sport.

"The image is bad, those stadiums are empty and it is sad, and not inviting to champions."

Juventus have once again dominated Serie A, winning a third consecutive Scudetto with two games still to play.

However, following an early exit from the Champions League, the Turin club missed the chance to play in the UEFA Europa League final at their own stadium, losing in the semi-final to Benfica.

Platini now wants to see Juve making their presence felt on the continent.

"They are physical, aggressive, offensive," Platini added. "Three Scudetti is an obligation for Juve. In Europe, they need quality and good fortune.

"I believe that (president) Andrea (Agnelli) is more attached to the Scudetto because, having to rebuild, he needed a solid foundation. But (Antonio) Conte's Juve has more grit than mine - they now want Europe."


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