Ranieri: Juventus need star quality
© AFP

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri admitted that his side needed some bigger stars after they were sent crashing out of the UEFA Champions League by Chelsea.

Juve held last season's finalists to a 2-2 home draw but that was not enough to see them into the quarter-finals as they went down 3-2 on aggregate following a 1-0 defeat in the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

"We lost this tie at Stamford Bridge because we didn't score and in this competition it's important to get an away goal, but we didn't manage it," said Ranieri. "I think if we had gone through it wouldn't have been a scandal. They're a great team of course and if you think of what Chelsea did last year, reaching the final and the great economic investment which has made this team really strong."

And it is exactly that economic investment which Ranieri believes his team needs to challenge the best teams on the continent. His team topped their qualifying group thanks in no small part to home and away successes against Real Madrid but, when it came to the crunch, Chelsea proved just too strong.

If you look at our results you can see that the squad is competitive but we need to start signing big players who each year can take us up a level,
Claudio Ranieri on Juventus.

"If you look at our results you can see that the squad is competitive but we need to start signing big players who each year can take us up a level," he said. "We'll see what Chelsea do now and the we can make comparisons. I dont think we mucked up in this Champions League campaign, we played some great games. We've come a long way in the last two years but we can't settle for that."

In 2006 Juve were relegation to Serie B and stripped of their last two Serie A crowns for their part in a match-fixing scandal. Even worse was to follow as they faced an exodus by a host of their top stars - the very type of players they need to make the difference in tight games.

However, while the Champions League has gone for another year, they do at least have domestic trophies to play for. "I hope it won't affect the rest of season. I always try to look at the positives and now we will finally have some time to train," he said.

"There's still a lot to play for. There's the Italian Cup and the championship so there's lots to do. Now we have to starting thinking about our next match against Bologna."