Juventus fitness coach Julio Tous says Paul Pogba's "extraordinary" athleticism reminds him of nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis.
The midfielder, 20, has impressed in his debut Serie A campaign with a series of powerful displays since arriving from Manchester United last summer, and the Old Lady's fitness coach revealed the club are keen to maximise the France international's physical potential.
"Coaching Paul Pogba is a little like coaching Carl Lewis. I don't know what kind of career [Pogba] will go on to have, but as an athlete he is extraordinary," he told Tuttosport. "I've encouraged Pogba to concentrate on running 400 meters. We are definitely trying to push him in that direction."
Tous' fellow trainer Paolo Bertelli, meanwhile, showered praise on Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Pirlo - the latter of whom has "surprised" the 52-year-old with his work-rate, despite the Italy playmaker's advancing years.
"Last year, we had an extraordinary [Marcelo] Estigarribia, but now - if we talk about sheer power - Giorgio Chiellini is top," he explained. "I was surprised to find out that [Andrea] Pirlo was a guy who never gives up. He never asks to do less and only does the work that is required of him. He is always available.
"Dealing with him is one of the most positive experiences of my adventure at Juventus. I previously worked in Spain, where often a player with his characteristics attempts to do less, thinking that his quality will make up for a lack of commitment in training."
And Constantino Coratti, another member of Juve's fitness staff, concluded that the side's dip in form during January was purely coincidental, while their Champions League elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich could be explained by a longer winter break in Germany.
"In January we were not always winning, but I don't think it was due to a dip in form. I believe it was random because from a physical standpoint, our performance levels have always been high," he said.
"In Germany, the winter championship stops for a month and a half. Besides the Bundesliga only has 18 teams, so there are fewer matches to play and that helps."
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- Sports & Recreation
- Paul Pogba
- Carl Lewis
- Andrea Pirlo
- Giorgio Chiellini
- Manchester United