Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé believes “it’s strange” Juventus aren’t considered among the Champions League favourites.
The youngster faced the Bianconeri with Monaco in last season’s semi-finals, before making a loan move to PSG, with a €180m obligation to buy.
“It’s strange, because we always talk about Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich as the main favourites,” Mbappé mused in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.
“There’s not much talk about Juve who are always up there, they’ve been finalists twice in the past three years. Playing against them is difficult, a real block.
“To score against Juve you have to be perfect, and that’s what Real managed to do in the final last year. Juve, in my opinion, remain among the candidates to lift the trophy.
“Scoring against Buffon? Buffon is awesome. For players like me, who are at the start of their career, playing against players of his level is a dream come true.
“I scored against him, that’s true, but he also saved a lot of my shots. In just two games against him I learned a lot.
“I hope I can face him again, in football you always want to challenge yourself against the best.”
Mbappé was also asked for his opinions on Italian football, and singled out a PSG teammate for particular praise.
“There are players I appreciate in Italy. It starts with [Marco] Verratti and Buffon, but there’s also [Leonardo] Bonucci and [Lorenzo] Insigne. Then there’s [Paulo] Dybala who’s really strong, and Keita [Baldé Diao] who went to Monaco.
“Verratti is an incredible player, he does some incredible things with the ball. Critics can’t touch great players like him.
“If he goes through a less brilliant time he’ll overcome it, showing everyone that he’s important to PSG and the national team.”