Buffon: We’ve lost three giants

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Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon admits that the team are weaker without "giants" such as Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez, despite bringing in capable replacements.

The Italy, Chile and Argentina internationals were central players for Juve during their success in recent years, but all three have left since their Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

"We have changed at least half of our team's core structure through a process of renovation and rejuvenation," Buffon said. "It is not an excuse for us but we cannot deny that we can have some problems because of this.

"Players who left were part of the football elite, they were considered giants in this sport for what they have achieved in the past 10 years. They have shown it and also managed their career in the best way."

The Old Lady have replaced their outgoing stars with new signing such as Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Sami Khedira, and Buffon is confident the new arrivals can provide long-term success for the Bianconeri.

"I do not think our process of technical renovation will create a big gap compared to last year," the Italian goalkeeper added.

"We brought in very strong players within a long-term perspective. However, these players will have to get to know each other and this will take some time."