Juventus
    28.07.2017 20:00 - in: Tour - Field S

    Bernardeschi with big goals

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    Juve's latest signing talks to the media for the first time on Friday afternoon in Boston

    Federico Bernardeschi is only 23 years old but you couldn't tell judging by the maturity and self-awareness he showed at his unveiling in Boston. In front of the cameras and journalists at Babson College, where the Bianconeri are based at this stage of their US tour, the new arrival oozed a confidence beyond his years.

    One of the first questions on many people's lips was what squad number he would wear for the coming season.

    The youngster smiled as he revealed the number 33 shirt, chosen because of his religious beliefs.

    “I made the decision together with the club,” he said, adding: “I like the number 10 shirt, I have a huge amount of respect for it and I have to show the coach, my team-mates and the fans that I deserve to wear it.”

    EXCITEMENT

    “Juventus have their place in world football history. Playing them as an opponent over the years, I’ve always been struck by the mentality they’ve been able to maintain,” Bernardeschi commented.

    “It doesn’t get any better than coming here as a player. You’re welcomed by people that have made history here. It’s a feeling like no other and I want to make the most of it.”

    As for the welcome the new signing received when first arriving in Turin, as hundreds of fans waited for him at J|Medical, he said: “That welcome got me hugely excited – I’m really grateful and hope to repay the fans out on the pitch.”

    PERSONALITY

    There’s no doubt there is something striking about the young man’s personality, though he is keen to underline: “It’s not arrogance, but humility. I’d call it conscious humility.

    “It’s natural in football that when a youngster makes a move like this, it grabs all the attention, but a player needs to assume the responsibility that it entails.

    “I was involved in the negotiations – it was really exciting but by no means easy. Thanks to the faith Juve have shown in me, and to my agent and the people close to me, we managed to get it done.

    “I’d also like to thank Fiorentina, for having helped me grow and become a man.”

    His move to Juventus attracted a negative reaction from the Viola faithful, especially on social media, but his response has been exemplary.

    “I think it’s a nasty part of society, where people wish harm or death on others. I don’t want to feed that in any way. On the contrary, I thank those fans who wished me luck, despite saying they won’t necessarily be keeping tabs on what I’m doing.

    “That’s a more pleasant side of society; let’s forget the other side. When people start having a go at us fortunate individuals, it’s not such a big deal. When it’s focused on those less fortunate then it’s a problem.”

    TEAM-MATES

    “They are all top players and it will be nice to play with each one of them,” Bernardeschi continued.

    “When you’re part of such a big club, it’s enjoyable to be out on the pitch. Competition is positive – it’s a stimulus, for myself and my team-mates. You need that if you’re going to win things.

    “[Gianluigi] Buffon is an example to everyone. When you have such a great leader in your team, you’re even more driven to follow him.”

    AIMS

    “I’m here to help the squad continue on the path they’ve been on over the last six years,” he concluded.

    “Repeating this kind of success is very difficult and they’ve been phenomenal. Now we need to try and win the seventh Scudetto.”

    As for the Bianconeri’s chances of going the distance in the Champions League, Bernardeschi said: “It’s really tough. There are so many different facets to the competition, but we’ll aim to reach the semi-finals at least.”

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