Pirlo: Tevez has proven himself an 'extraordinary' talent

The playmaker has saluted the Argentine for the way in which he has lived up to his reputation as a world-class forward by storming to the top of Serie A's top goalscorers' chart
Andrea Pirlo has paid tribute to Carlos Tevez for himself a player of "extraordinary capabilities" since joining Juventus last summer.

AC Milan appeared the Italian side most likely to sign the Argentine from former club Manchester City but a proposed move to San Siro during the 2013 January transfer window collapsed because of the two parties' inability to agree a deal.

The Rossoneri's loss proved Juve's gain, as Tevez has enjoyed a stunning debut campaign in Italy following a €14 million move to Turin, having netted 18 times in 19 Serie A appearances.

“He’s a truly great player with extraordinary capabilities," Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia. "Everyone knew it already because he had won a lot in England, but as soon as he got here he showed his value.”

Tevez's goals have put Juve within touching distance of a third successive Scudetto, with Antonio Conte's men currently 14 points clear of second-placed Roma.

Pirlo, though, is taking nothing for granted, particularly as Juve face a trick trip to the San Paolo on Sunday to face Napoli, who sit third in the standings.

“We’ve played a great season so far, but we haven’t won anything yet," the midfielder pointed out.

"Napoli are a strong side, and out there on the field the points difference will count for nothing on Sunday."

Indeed, Pirlo insists that in spite of their advantageous position in the league, there will be no letting up in closing weeks of the season as Juve look to pull off a Serie A and Europa League double.

“I always play to win, always with the big objectives in mind," the Italy international declared. "This year it’s the Italian championship and the Europa League.

“The formation and the style of play might have changed in these three years [at Juve], but the desire has always been a constant.”

Pirlo joined Juve on a free transfer in 2011, after a decade with AC Milan.