Inter Milan were the last Serie A club to win the prestigious competition in 2010 under current Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.
"To compete with the great teams in Europe, you have to invest money," ESPN quotes him as saying. "There is no other way to reach that kind of level.
"You could see it with Juventus against Bayern. Juventus are a great team, but when you compete with a team like Bayern you can see the difference. They need at least two or three more great players."
Maldino also claimed that Italian clubs need to take a different approach to merchandising and must build new stadiums.
"If you go outside the San Siro, you can see people selling fake merchandising," he said. "It was like that when I started to play and it is still like that now. You can't allow this.
"Then you have old stadiums. San Siro is a historic stadium. It's nice, but it doesn't offer comfort. We have to improve it.
"Above all, we need to learn from leagues that make money from sports rather than lose money. Everyone is losing money in Italian football. It's crazy."
Juventus were the only Italian team in the Champions League quarter-finals this season, but they lost 4-0 on aggregate to Bayern Munich.