Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri is expecting big things from captain Alessandro del Piero this season - and is confident new contract talks aren't affecting him.

"Alex is very intelligent and that is a valuable asset for those who become champions," said Ranieri.

"I expect a great deal from him, not only on the field, but also as a captain, soul and symbol of this side. He must set an example for others to follow. I don't think the contract issue is troubling him at all, he seems very relaxed."