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Llorente: Juventus as big as Barca and Madrid

The striker insists that Serie A is as strong as La Liga and the Premier League, while praising strike partner Carlos Tevez and coach Antonio Conte

Fernando Llorente has defended Juventus' reputation by insisting that his new side is as big as the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The striker left La Liga for the Bianconeri this summer on a Bosman transfer from Athletic Bilbao and the Spaniard is adamant that Serie A has a depth of quality to match any other top European league.

"I chose Juventus because I think this is a great team and I know that I can improve here," Llorente, 28, told reporters at a press conference on Saturday.

"Many sides have strengthened over the summer in Italy, but I’d say it is still too early to predict who our main rivals will be.

"The team is no worse in quality than Barcelona and Real Madrid. I would say Serie A is on the same level as La Liga and the Premier League."

Another summer signing from coach Antonio Conte has been Carlos Tevez from Manchester City - whom Llorente is thrilled to be playing alongside in Turin - and the Spain international is confident the Old Lady can challenge in the Champions League following their summer investment.

"I’m very happy to be playing alongside Tevez, but I get along with all the other strikers too," the forward added. "Our most important objective for this season is a third consecutive Scudetto.

"As for the Champions League, we need to take each game as it comes. We know that anything can happen, but I believe we have a very strong side. Antonio Conte’s methods are excellent and I’m very happy to work alongside him.

"I’ve never seen anything like the welcome I got from the Juventus fans. They are magnificent. We are working hard at the moment, which is tough, but that’s the way it needs to be. I’m very happy right now, as it was a tough year in Bilbao, but now I am working to be in the best possible shape."

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