Rodrigo Bentancur admits “when they told me about the possibility of coming to Juventus I panicked”.
The Bianconeri took out an option on the midfielder when they signed Carlos Tevez from Boca Juniors, agreeing a deal in April 2017.
“When they told me about the possibility of coming to Juventus I panicked,” Bentancur admitted, speaking to DAZN.
“I was very happy, but also very scared. I thought: ‘now I have to go to Italy, with only my father, leave my family, learn Italian… how am I going to do it?’.
“In the end I was very happy, but also a bit scared.
“From the first time I entered the Juventus dressing room and saw the faces of my teammates I understood one thing: you win here, and that’s it.”
Bentancur also spoke about his childhood, and the physical changes required for Serie A.
“Everyone calls me Lolo, because when he was young my little brother couldn’t pronounce ‘Rodrigo’. He said ‘Loligo’, so it stayed ‘Lolo’.
“As a child I was much taller than the other children, at least an extra foot, so after every win the fathers of the opposing team would ask me for documents to prove my age.
“Why the number 30? It’s the number I had at Boca Juniors, and I asked for it when I arrived in Turin. It’s the day my mother [who died when Bentancur was young] was born. She watches me and brings me luck from up there.
“Before I came I talked with the Juventus staff, it was like I did an 18 month pre-season. I was very thin when I arrived, now I’ve gained 6kg of muscle mass.”
Bentancur got an even more famous teammate this season, when Cristiano Ronaldo joined from Real Madrid in a €100m deal.
“I met him at the World Cup in Russia,” the Uruguayan recalled.
“We met in the anti-doping centre after Portugal-Uruguay. He recognised me – or so he said – and he called me by name. I couldn’t believe it.
“Then the first time I saw him train here in Turin I thought: ‘he’s an animal!’. The way he trains is exceptional, he always gives 100 per cent.”
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