In the span of about 36 hours, Juventus have hopped off a plain they spent half a day on, then traveled to a training ground they're going to spend the better part of the next week at, had a relatively intense training session, and then checked into their fancy hotel rooms (and sending out some instagrams along the way).
To say Antonio Conte's squad has been quite busy since they arrived in California would probably be an accurate assessment. It seems like ever since the moment they touched down in San Francisco, they've been on the move in one way or another. I'm serious, they haven't just been walking around town with fancy sunglasses on and signing a bunch of autographs for people.
Just ask Giorgio Chiellini about their time on the campus of Stanford University thus far.
"The facilities are incredible, especially considering that it's a university. In addition the climate is ideal in which to work hard and we'll do just that. After our holidays, we were eager to reunite as a group and get going again."
Even though I am a person who was taught to strongly dislike Stanford as I grew up, it's hard to disagree with him. And Chiellini's comments are just an echo of what fellow defender Leonardo Bonucci said after their first training session at Stanford's soccer complex — which is really, really nice. (Then again, so is the whole damn campus because it costs about a bazillion dollars a year to attend. But that's another discussion for another time.)
There were more important things to discuss, of course. Juventus are not just prepping for Wednesday's opening game of the Guinness International Champions Cup against Everton — who beat Blackburn Rovers 3-1 on Saturday in their final tune-up match before the tournament begins — but have the Supercoppa waiting for them just a couple of days after they arrive back on Italian soil.
"Our first target is the Super Cup and the upcoming games will be useful to regain our condition and perfect the movements we haven't run through for a month or so. Games against sides from other countries help increase your awareness, even though your physical condition still isn't at its peak."
"Ogbonna's a new arrival at Juventus, but we already knew each other from both playing in the international side and living in Turin, so he certainly won't have any problems in settling in. The same goes for Llorente and Tevez, who already speak the language. They both have enthusiasm and desire, which are fundamental ingredients for the new season."
Hey, for a guy to like what he sees from both Tevez and Llorente after just a couple of training sessions (remember Chiellini and the other internationals joined up with the team right before the squad left for the U.S.), then that has to be a good thing, right? I know Chiellini isn't going to tell the official website something like "Yeah, they look like total crap and I have no idea why Marotta went out and signed them!" or anything like that, but it's nice to see that one of Juve's most important players thinks that the two biggest additions to the squad are settling in nicely after just a couple of weeks.
I mean, it's almost the beginning of August and everybody is optimistic at this point — especially for a club like Juventus which has quite a number of objectives for the upcoming season. But sometimes you just like to hear those things — I know I do. I guess I'm a sucker for those things, so sue me.