Los Blancos won the 2013-14 Champions League but they have suffered a dramatic dip in form since the turn of the year
Juventus director Pavel Nedved says that Barcelona and Bayern Munich are the best teams in Europe, claiming that Real Madrid are not as strong as they were last season.
Madrid won the 2013-14 Champions League, defeating Bayern 5-0 on aggregate in the last four before beating city rivals Atletico 4-1 in the final.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men embarked upon a 22-winning streak in all competitions this term but their form has dipped dramatically since the turn of the year, with Los Blancos losing top spot in La Liga to Barca and only scraping into the quarter-finals of the Champions League by edging out Schalke 5-4 on aggregate after a shock second-leg loss at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Consequently, when it comes to weighing up the respective merits of those involved in the race for this season’s European Cup, Nedved feels that there are two obvious frontrunners.
“It’s good [for Juve] to have avoided Barcelona and Bayern Munich, who are the best teams in Europe at the moment,” the former Ballon d’Or winner told El Mundo Deportivo.
“Real Madrid are not at the level of last year. But everything can change very quickly.”
Juve will face Monaco in the last eight after the Ligue 1 outfit sneaked into the quarter-finals thanks to a victory on away goals over Arsenal, whose 2-0 success in the principality nearly overturned a 3-1 first-leg deficit.
However, Nedved says he saw enough during the principality club’s win at the Emirates to suggest that they can cause the Bianconeri problems.
“Obviously there were more famous possible opponents we could have drawn, but we must not underestimate Monaco,” the Czech added.
“They went dangerously close to being knocked out at home, but they impressed me against Arsenal in London.”