Cristiano Ronaldo has been quite the thorn in Juventus’ side in recent years. The Portuguese ace has scored 10 times in seven meetings with the Serie A giants, including a Champions League final brace in 2017. But now he’s on their side.
After nine years at Real Madrid, CR7 joined Juve yesterday for the princely sum of £105.3m. But there’s reason to believe he could be worth every penny and more. Here’s why…
Experience of UCL glory
The Old Lady have dominated Italian football in recent years, racking up seven successive titles since 2012. Napoli’s valiant title challenge last year was the first time anyone’s come close in a long time. But one thing has eluded the Turin club.
It’s now 22 years since Juventus got their hands on the Champions League trophy. As for Ronaldo, he’s won five of them since 2008 – scoring in three finals.
Nobody in the present day has more pedigree on Europe’s biggest stage than Ronaldo. If Juve make it to the business end of the tournament again, you’d fancy him to make the difference.
Real and Portugal reunions could bear fruit
Whether or not former Madrid teammate Gonzalo Higuain is still a Juve player when the new season begins, Ronaldo will be still greeted by some familiar faces.
Midfielder Sami Khedira spent five hugely successful years alongside Ronaldo at Santiago Bernabeu. Meanwhile, newly-arrived Juve right-back Joao Cancelo has linked up well with Ronaldo on international duty for Portugal.
While he’d likely hit the ground running at any club on earth, Ronaldo – and his teammates – could all benefit from those reunions in Turin.
He’s the ultimate big-game performer
Ronaldo’s stats on the big occasion speak for themselves. We’ve mentioned his UCL final record above. But it’s far from all.
He’s netted in 16 El Clasicos, five Manchester derbies, a European Championship semi-final and scored four times at this summer’s World Cup.
For a club involved in as many crucial games as Juve, he’s the ideal man. And nobody thrives more under pressure than Ronaldo – as he proved with that stunning hat-trick in the 3-3 draw with Spain in Russia.
This could well be a match made in heaven for Juve and CR7. And it’s 7/1 for Juventus to win the Champions League in 2018-19.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing