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Llorente feels he is joining one of Europe's true elite in Juventus

Llorente: Juventus is as big as Real Madrid and Barcelona

Llorente feels he is joining one of Europe's true elite in Juventus

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The Spain international is flattered to be playing for the Serie A champion next season after an acrimonious departure from Athletic Bilbao

Fernando Llorente is relishing the prospect of playing for Juventus next season, insisting it is a club to rival Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The outgoing Athletic Bilbao striker, who will leave his boyhood club once his contract runs out this summer, is enthused by the prospect of playing under Antonio Conte's leadership at one of Europe's elite sides.

"It's one of the best teams in Europe and the best in Italy," the 28-year-old told Marca. "Juventus has impressed me ever since it expressed an interest.

"It's a really big club, comparable to Real Madrid and Barcelona. I'm lucky to be able to play for a team like that. It's as though I've always known it was my team."

Despite excited at his imminent move to Italy, the Basque forward admitted he has been saddened by the acrimonious nature of his departure from his boyhood club, with coach Marcelo Bielsa restricting him to just four starts in last season's La Liga.

"I've always attempted to choose the best option for both Athletic and me. I tried to get the best deal but I came up against a brick wall," he concluded.

"I didn't want to go for free. Neither did I want to have the year I've had. I'll never go through that again if I can do anything to avoid it."