16.07.2015 18:30 - in: The team S

    Mandzukic: “Juve the perfect fit”

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    The Croatian is confident he has made a winning choice by picking Juventus: “This has been a straightforward decision. The side boasts many excellent players and they are the best team in Italy”

    Mario Mandzukic has revealed his delight at teaming up with the Bianconeri after he was officially unveiled at Juventus Stadium this afternoon following June’s transfer from Atletico Madrid.

    Speaking to the media in Turin, the Croatian forward began: “Juventus is a fantastic club that I have long admired for their track record of winning titles, so this has been a straightforward decision. The side boasts many excellent players and they are the best team in Italy.”

    The 29-year-old’s transfer to Turin marks the third time in his career that he joins a beaten Champions League finalist from the previous season. With Bayern Munich, however, he helped the German outfit to the 2013 European crown, remedying the disappointment of losing the 2012 final.

    He harbours hopes of repeating this feat with the black and stripes of Juventus, following defeat to Barcelona last month in Berlin.

    “Nobody expected Juventus to reach the final and doing so was a demonstration of a job well done by the manager and players. They were unfortunate to lose in the end, but it represents a good omen for this season, as we bid to regroup and finally lift the trophy.”

    The Bianconeri and Mandzukic are no strangers to one another, having already crossed paths on several occasions over the last three seasons – in 2013’s Champions League quarter-finals with Bayern Munich and last term’s group stage against Atletico Madrid.

    These recent head-to-heads have left him under no illusions of the strength possessed by his new team, whom he regards as one of the toughest adversaries he has faced in his career.

    “Juventus is an awkward side to play against. Previous matches count amongst the most difficult I have ever played. I am delighted now to be a part of this team and to not have to face them again!”

    Goals come naturally to Mandzukic. With 143 strikes in 310 club appearances, and 19 for the Croatian national side, the statistics certainly work in the striker’s favour. He admitted, however, that he would aim to help the Bianconeri cause in other aspects of the game.

    “I hope to continue to score goals from inside the box, but I am aware that there’s more to football than just hitting the target, so I hope to offer an all-round contribution to the side.”

    The Croatian, who will sport the number 17 formerly worn by David Trezeguet, added that he would be happy to partner any one of the strikers at Massimiliano Allegri’s disposal for the forthcoming campaign.

    “I have never held a preference with regards to which other strikers I would play with. I believe this to be the best approach. I hope that we can be a family. We’re here to help the team move onwards and upwards.”

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