Fernando Llorente reveals why he chose Serie A above the Premier League, as “it’s a dream for me to be playing” for Juventus.
The striker arrived on a free transfer after his contract with Athletic Bilbao expired on Sunday and was presented to the media in Turin with a conference streamed online.
“I like the number 14 and I think that I can play very well with this number. I chose Juventus because they are a great club and it’s a dream for me to be playing here,” he said in his Press conference.
“Juventus is the team that was most interested in me and pushed hardest to sign me. I preferred Serie A to the Premier League because it is a beautiful League and it has Juventus.”
Llorente arrives just days after Carlos Tevez joined from Manchester City, so they can form a brand new striking partnership.
“It’s not just two of us in the team, as there are six strikers and all of us can do well. Who starts is down to Antonio Conte. I think that I can play alongside any of the strikers who are in the squad. They are all great players and I am very happy to be working with them.”
Like Tevez, the hitman was mobbed at his arrival at the airport.
“It was incredible, spectacular and very surprising to be greeted by so many fans. I thank all of them and want to say I’m very happy to be here, to be able to wear such a prestigious jersey as the one of Juventus.
“I do like the nickname Re Leone – Lion King – and I’m happy the fans in Italy call me that. I know Italian football is difficult, but I think I can do very well here. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens over the year.
“I am not worried about the number of goals I’ll score, as the important thing is to help the team win and contribute to a third consecutive Scudetto. That is something Juventus haven’t managed since 1935, so it would be wonderful to break that drought.
“With regards to the Champions League, it is a very difficult tournament, so we have to take it one step at a time. Many top teams play in this competition and we mustn’t feel too much pressure. We need to relax and approach it slowly.
“I was able to talk to Conte a few times. He seemed nice and I am very happy to be able to work with him. They deserved to win the title last season and hopefully we can do it again together.
“I am in great shape, as I worked for two years with Marcelo Bielsa, who is a very tough Coach in training. I also trained during the summer vacation to be ready for this experience.”
Llorente has barely played in the last six months, as his rapport with Athletic Bilbao deteriorated after he refused to sign a contract extension.
“Unfortunately talks did not go well and the Press contributed to creating a negative image, which consequently turned the fans against me too. It wasn’t the way I wanted it to go and I’ll always be grateful to Atleti.
“At this moment I am living the dream of growing as a player and have come to the best club to achieve that.
“It was a complicated season for me with the situation at Athletic Bilbao, as I was unable to play or contribute to my team. Unfortunately that also made it impossible for me to play for my country, so I hope Juventus can help me get back into the Spain squad.
“Did Inter try to bring me to Italy? No, it’s not true.”
The tall centre-forward was asked about his aerial prowess at a club that traditionally does not net many headers, while he has been compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“Juventus are already set up to help me score many goals with headers. I believe that I can help Juve in every way. I hope to gain my confidence and do better every time. Spanish players can do very well in Italy and I have to prove that this season. Ibrahimovic? Yes, I suppose we do have similar qualities.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.