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Aug 25, 2013

Conte: Pogba can be world's best

Juventus manager Antonio Conte hailed Paul Pogba as a future great after the midfielder helped the Turin giants claim a 1-0 win over Sampdoria.

• Rzouki:  An important win for the Old Lady
• Paul:  Opening day defeat for Milan

Juventus began their quest for three-straight Serie A titles in the perfect fashion as new recruit Carlos Tevez struck in the second-half to score the only goal of the game.

The win was especially sweet as Sampdoria claimed a perfect record against Juventus in the league last season.

However, it was the performance of young France international Pogba that caught the eye of Conte, the 44-year-old Italian believing his charge had the potential to become the “best in the world”. 

"Pogba is a modern player, as he is strong, fast and has stamina," Conte told reporters after the match.

"He’s also humble, so listens to the advice given by me and by his team-mates. We started working on him a year ago and his progress has been incredible.

"I saw his interviews in which he said he wanted to become the best in the world. I am happy with that, because in my view he can be the best.”

However, Pogba had only praise for his team-mates and the club’s mentality for helping develop as a player.

"I feel like I have improved a lot especially playing with the likes of [Andrea] Pirlo, Arturo [Vidal], [Giorgio] Chiellini and now Tevez,” Pogba said.

"We are strong mentally. We are Juve and we always want to win.”

Meanwhile, goal-scorer Carlos Tevez said to claim victory in his Serie A debut was the ingredients of a ‘perfect’ night.

"I'm really happy here but it's not easy to slot into a new playing system, it takes time,” he said. “Tonight was perfect though: a goal and a win.

"I'm pleased because it was no easy feat coming here and doing that at such a difficult ground.”

Conte said Tevez offered Juventus much more than an outlet for goals and predicted that the Argentine, along with his fellow new recruits, will quickly adapt to the Juventus way.

"A lot has been said about him but he's certainly not afraid of putting in the hard work," the Italian commented shortly after.

"I'm not happy with a striker who's static. Tevez not only offers us quality up front but he helps out defensively too.

"Tevez has scored twice already but he's also made a huge contribution to the team – that's something all my players have always done.

"The more time passes, the more comfortable Carlos, Fernando [Llorente] and Angelo [Ogbonna] will be. They're putting a lot of effort and it's not easy, but these are top players we're talking about."

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