Fernando Llorente has explained the reasons behind his initial lack of game time at Juventus following his summer move.
The striker joined the club from Athletic Bilbao on a Bosman, but he has struggled to win a regular starting shirt in the plans of boss Antonio Conte.
Speaking to AS on Tuesday, the international noted that he has had to get to grips with new training methods and the intricate tactical side of the Serie A game.
“We work on strength very differently,” he noted. “I have never done that, used machines I did not know about. And there are other workouts that leave you exhausted.
“The training is more demanding. It’s barbaric, the workouts are brutal, but it has an upside – you are left in better shape.
“As for the tactics, they require an adaptation. This team has been playing together for three years. Everyone knows how to play and to produce that game you also have to train a lot.
“It is a football that is highly mechanised. You cannot do whatever you want nor just have the ball. Each movement is studied.
“The play ends as it has to end, and there are a lot of plays…”
A reason given for his lack of use at the start of the season was the fact that he was mainly left on the bench in Bilbao last term after he decided to let his contract run down.
“Even today I do not understand why. Athletic is a club based on their youth team and they cannot sell their best players. That’s the explanation I was given.
“But I also think they wanted to show me, I believe, as an example to other players so that they would not opt to leave the club.”
Llorente is back in his homeland today as the Old Lady prepare to play Real Madrid – an outfit who had shown an interest in him.
“How many times have they tried to sign me? A few times, but in the end there was no agreement and nothing came out of it.
“When? The last was when I had a year to go on my contract, after the good year in the Europa League.
“Then, later on [with six months on his contract] Madrid did not come in for me and Juve did and gave me more confidence.”
Juventus will go into the game tomorrow night on the back of a nightmare 4-2 loss at Fiorentina – a game they were leading 2-0.
“We will arrive in Madrid good and strong despite what happened in Florence,” the 28-year-old added.
“We have not started too well in the Champions League with two draws against Copenhagen and Galatasaray, so we are hungry to get points and need to get points in these two matches against Madrid.”