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Jul, 31, 2013

Conte impressed by Carlos Tevez

Juventus coach Antonio Conte has labelled Carlos Tevez a "great professional" after being impressed by the striker’s start to life in Turin.

Carlos Tevez arrived at Juventus from Manchester City this summer.
Carlos Tevez arrived at Juventus from Manchester City this summer.

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Tevez’s attitude was questioned during his time at Manchester United and Manchester City, with former team-mate Rio Ferdinand once claiming the Argentina international took it easy in training.

But Conte had nothing but praise for the work ethic of his new recruit when asked about Tevez in an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He’s extraordinary,” Conte said. “He’s a great professional, a splendid person and always willing. He’s working exceptionally well.”

Tevez will lead Juve’s assault on a third successive Serie A title alongside fellow new signing Fernando Llorente, who also received Conte’s compliments on the eve of their first serious test of pre-season - a friendly against Everton in San Francisco.

"He’s a model athlete," Conte said of Llorente. "He has the right mentality and it’s a pleasure to see him training. "I’ve been impressed by all the new signings, but I’m also expecting a lot from our historic group too. It’s always a risk that you feel satisfied, but all we’ve got to think about is winning games.

"Nobody has an excuse, and I’ve got to be good at sending the right messages to my team like two years ago when we opened this cycle."

Juve go into the season, which for them starts with an away game at Sampdoria on the weekend of August 24, as overwhelming favourites for a third straight Scudetto and Conte feels his side are ready for the challenge.

With the arrivals of Tevez, Llorente and Angelo Ogbonna, together with "the explosion of [Paul] Pogba", he believes he has an even stronger team than a year ago.

"We tried to understand how we could improve our team and I think we’ve done it," Conte said. "We needed to increase the competition for places and we’ve achieved our goal. Compared to Europe’s big clubs, we’re still catching up and I hope we can catch them.

"Nevertheless, when I arrived at Juve, the plan was to challenge for the title in our third year so we’re a bit ahead."

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