Juventus forward Carlos Tevez says he has not worked so hard on the training pitch for almost a decade.
Tevez, 29, who joined the Old Lady from Manchester City earlier in the summer, has not trained as much as he has been doing in pre-season since his Boca Juniors days.
But while he was out to impress Europe’s top clubs with his work ethic a decade ago, he is now putting in just as much effort to leave a lasting impression with the Italian champions and coach Antonio Conte.
“I’m working very intensively and it’s normal that I’m a bit tired,” he told Juve's official website after they were beaten 3-1 by Los Angeles Galaxy in a pre-season friendly. “It’s not since my Boca Juniors times that I’ve trained as much as this.
“The aim is to be ready for the Supercoppa on August 18 [against Lazio] and games like this against LA Galaxy are useful to prepare ourselves well.
“Conte works very hard on the tactics and he’s a very well-prepared coach. I try to work attentively on the systems and put into practice what Conte is asking on the pitch.”
The image may be one of a transformed Tevez after several years of divergences and run-ins with his former clubs. The thought of the Argentina international being praised for his diligence, as he was by Conte last week, may seem alien to Manchester United and Manchester City fans.
However, Tevez believes such supporters, like some of the Italian media who have focused on his less savoury headlines, will eventually be proven wrong.
“I’m a good person,” he said. “I believe that in the long term, the truth about how a person is comes out.”
Conte hopes to see that sooner rather than later, and not just from Tevez.
“We need more hunger and it’s time to change the tune,” he said after the weekend’s defeat.
“[Gianluigi] Buffon said that he was worried we may be satiated after our two titles, and you just have to see the two goals we conceded to see that danger is there.
“We need to raise our concentration levels. We’ve not won a single game [in pre-season] yet and it’s time that changed.”