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Spinazzola: Juventus one of the top clubs in the world

Returning Juve defender had his introductory press conference earlier today

Italy Training And Press Conference Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Juventus are strengthening the squad all around while looking to reduce the average age of the team. One of the big moves of the offseason has been finally bringing back defender Leonardo Spinazzola, who has been out on loans since 2012.

Speaking at his introductory press conference earlier today, Spinazzola was beaming with joy -

“First of all, I have to thank you that there are so many people here, I thought it would just be my agents asking me questions! It would have been hugely emotional even without Cristiano Ronaldo, being here is a dream.

“I wanted to come back last year, but you know how the transfer market goes. Last year I felt it was a train I couldn’t miss, but Atalanta told me I had to stay. I ended up being happy because we had a great league season, a great Europa League campaign, and it was good for me and the team.”

Spinazzola went on to express his gratitude to the Bergamo side where he was for two seasons.

“I want to thank everyone at Atalanta: Coach Gian Piero Gasperini, all the staff and my teammates. They were two beautiful years, and were it not for them I might not be here. I also thank Juventus, who waited for me over these six years. I’m very happy and excited.

“The first few loan spells were difficult because I couldn’t play and do my best, then I got moved into a role which I feel better playing in and had more awareness of what I could do. Those two years in Bergamo gave me so much.”

The youngster spoke about what was different on his return to the Bianconeri six years on.

“The difference is Cristiano Ronaldo. When I left six years ago, a signing like that was unthinkable.

“That means the club has done a great job and does it every day, you can see that from the new training ground which is wonderful. Now this is one of the top clubs in the world.”

The defender has been assigned the #37 jersey, and he added why he picked the number.

“It’s the number I took in my first year in Bergamo and it brought me good luck.

“There are plenty of reasons why 7 is my favourite number but it was already taken!

“[Juan] Cuadrado had it, now it’s changed and I left it alone! I like both three and seven, so I chose this number.”

Spinazzola underwent meniscus surgery in his knee and is still in physical rehabilitation.

“My condition is a bit more positive now, I’ve been running for a week and I went to see [surgeon Pierpaolo] Mariani last week and he said it was fine.

“Now all I can do is work, be patient, and wait.

“I think I’ll be back in mid-October or early November. I think you should always be calm with these kind of injuries, because it’s pointless coming back in four months only to feel bad for three months.

“So it’s better for me to let the doctors get me in shape, then when the Coach says I’m ready I’ll train.”