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 By Ben Gladwell

Lichtsteiner: Blame us for Euro failures

Stephan Lichtsteiner made 27 league appearances as Juventus cruised to the 2013-14 Serie A title.

Juventus full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner has admitted he and his teammates were to blame for their struggles in Europe last season.

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The Bianconeri cruised practically unchallenged to a third straight Serie A title, setting a new points record and appearing to be in a league of their own at times.

The Champions League was another proposition, though, as they failed to make it through the group stage after being edged out by Galatasaray, and were then knocked out of the Europa League semifinals by Benfica.

"We're largely responsible for that failure," Lichsteiner told "We perform with more focus and confidence in the league, while in Europe, small details play a bigger role and we haven't been able to work them in our favour.

"We failed to get out of the Champions League group stage despite having a reasonably friendly draw. We had a chance to make amends in the Europa League and didn't deliver then either. We had the potential to do better."

After going as far as possible with Switzerland at the World Cup -- Lichtsteiner says Ottmar Hitzfeld's men "can give any big team a tough game" -- the former Lille and Lazio defender will be ready to help Juve perform better in Europe next season.

"We made too many individual errors this year, but I'm convinced we won't repeat them next season," asserted Lichtsteiner, who does not see the precarious financial situation shrouding Italian football as an obstacle.

"Financially speaking, clearly the top Italian clubs, including Juve, can't keep up with the big boys in Spain, England and France. However, we can't use that as an excuse," he added.

"Dortmund reached the Champions League final last year, Sevilla captured the Europa League this season, Atletico Madrid won the Liga title and qualified for the Champions League final, and none of these clubs have the sort of budget the big Italian sides do. If success has smiled on them, why shouldn't it smile on us?"


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