Juventus coach Antonio Conte has thanked his bosses for the three signings he believes will help the club to a third straight Scudetto, having already brought a taste of the glory days back to the Serie A side.
Fernando Llorente, Carlos Tevez and Angelo Ogbonna have all arrived as part of Juve’s summer transfer dealings, which Conte has defined as “extraordinary” in terms of the strength of players signed, but also for the price his club have paid.
The two forwards arrived for a combined total of €9 million, while little over €12 million was spent on the defender, giving the Bianconeri even more strength in depth for the 2013-14 season.
“We didn’t just fish at random,” Conte said at a press conference. “We’d been following Llorente for more than a year and Tevez fits in perfectly with our philosophy of football.
“I was immediately impressed by the Argentinean’s hunger, his vicious competitiveness and his determination. I only needed to meet him once and I said to myself: ‘this is the right man for us’, and we got him.”
Negotiations for Ogbonna were a little more protracted, but Conte was equally convinced that he was the right man to strengthen an all-Italian defence, alongside Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli.
“He’s a talented young player,” Conte said. “If he works with dedication, he has the potential to become one of the strongest defenders in the world.”
Juve may still be a long way from becoming one of the strongest sides in the Europe again, however, and Conte acknowledges the current financial climate makes it difficult for any Serie A side to be competitive on the continent.
The Old Lady, though, had at least regained its former identity, according to the Juve boss, who won the 1996 Champions League as a player for the club.
“Let’s just say that in these two years, Juventus have got back to what we were, writing important chapters and winning,” he said. “We’ve regained the image which was always ours in Italy and throughout the world. But anybody who knows me will know that I never look back.
“We’ve got to build on what we’ve done so far, which is certainly a lot, but I will never tolerate any drop in tension. You don’t get anywhere without sacrifice, without hard work and without exceeding yourself day after day.
“We are aiming for a third Scudetto and we can aim for something historic because we have got what it takes to achieve it. Only between 1930 and 1933 did Juventus have a similar record. I’m sure everybody here really wants to impress.”