Emre Can described his new life at Juventus, getting used to punishing training sessions, Cristiano Ronaldo and illness. “I am stronger now.”
The former Liverpool midfielder sat down with Tuttosport to discuss his first few months in Turin. You can read the rest of his interview here.
“This is a real family club. It doesn’t feel like just a series of champions put together. Individuality means a lot less than the group dynamic.
“For example, we’ve got Cristiano Ronaldo here, the best in the world, but in the dressing room he behaves exactly the same as anyone else. We are all on the same level, there are no privileges, we work hard and also joke around, play pranks even with the staff.
“It means we step on to the field for training with the right state of mind and good mood. I think the funniest teammate is Mario Mandzukic. He knows how to rein you in with just a glance, but is also a big joker. He has a rather unique sense of humour, but is great fun.
“My family and friends are always asking me what Cristiano Ronaldo is like. He’s an amazing player, but his attitude off the field is wonderful. He’s extremely humble, not at all arrogant, and I was really surprised by how friendly he is.”
The move to Serie A has been tough on Emre Can, who admits there is a different approach to fitness.
“The training regime is so tough, it’s crazy. I’d been told it was like that, but now I’ve experienced it for myself. I thought that in Germany, or even at Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp, I had seen it all, but if you compare that training method with Juventus, you understand it’s very different here.
“I do think my body struggled to get accustomed to it at the beginning. I felt my legs were so heavy, but then Giorgio Chiellini told me: ‘Emre, the first few months are going to be really hard on you, but then you’ll start to soar.’ I must admit, he was right.
“Allegri is as emotional as Klopp in his reactions on the field, but very different to Klopp in other ways. I like that he takes it one game at a time, working on the details and tactics for each individual situation.
“He’s an excellent Coach, the best that Juventus could have, as confirmed by his results.”
The German international’s progress at Juve was stalled by a thyroid nodule, needing surgery that kept him out from the end of October to mid-December.
“I learned a lot about myself. Those were difficult moments, but I now feel stronger and more self-confident. I appreciate the small details more and got some of my life’s priorities in order.
“I must thank the Juventus medical staff, as they were fantastic, and obviously my family and friends who stood by me. Now I am a stronger Emre Can.”