Juventus’ pre-season training camp has now officially got underway after the players completed a testing training session overseen by manager Antonio Conte.
As the players emerged onto the pristine surface of the Stadio Brunod for the first time, they were given a heroes’ welcome by the many fans who had gathered to see their idols in action.
New signings Carlos Tévez, Fernando Llorente and Angelo Ogbonna were instantly made to feel at home, particularly by the now legendary cymbal player who has been a regular fixture on pre-season for some years.
The session began with stretching exercises and short passing drills, after manager Antonio Conte had split the players into two groups.
Anyone who thought Conte might have eased his players into the new 2013/14 season was quickly proved wrong as the players were subsequently put through a grueling bleep test that pushed them to the absolute maximum.
The exercise, which forces the participants to do sprints of ever increasing speed, was a test of the Bianconeri’s fitness that they rose to impressively with their boss urging them on.
Arturo Vidal put in an extraordinary performance in the test. Paolo de Ceglie matched him nearly all the way, but Arturo lived up to his ‘King’ nickname by coming out on top. There was an enormous cheer from the crowd as he emerged victorious, and the fan-favourite rewarded their support by heading over to sign autographs.
In the other group, Llorente proved his assertions on arriving at the club that he had been training hard in preparation for joining Juve when he was one of the strongest runners in the test.
Simone Pepe, meanwhile, followed a separate routine of sprints and rapid changes of direction as he continues his rehabilitation from injury, with every turn accompanied by rapturous applause from the fans.
The session ended with another testing fitness exercise that involved the players running multiple laps around the pitch.
The Bianconeri will build on their efforts this morning when they resume training this afternoon at 5pm (CET).