In Depth

Cristiano Ronaldo arrives at Juventus: what we learned

Portuguese superstar talks China, Messi and the Champions League as he is unveiled in Italy

Cristiano Ronaldo has officially been unveiled as a Juventus player following his £99m move from Real Madrid.

Hundreds of journalists and thousands more fans turned out in Turin to greet the 33-year-old superstar, whose arrival is set to galvanise Italian football.

Although he slipped into Turin quietly on Sunday and was not officially paraded in front of the fans, he was feted by supporters at the Allianz Stadium as he emerged after taking his medical on Monday. He then appeared before the media later that day.

Here’s what we learned:

Ronaldo is still the star turn

There are few players who could elicit a response like that seen in Turin on his arrival. There had been some disquiet over his transfer, with Fiat workers going on strike in protest over the amount of money spent on the player, but his reception proved that the signing has gone down well with most fans.

“This transfer was all that people here could talk about and yet, with no single event on which to concentrate their enthusiasm, you could also have walked through the centre of Turin on Monday and missed it all,” says Paolo Bandini in The Guardian. “At least until you stopped at a pedestrian crossing and heard an eighty-something couple arguing about what the signing meant for Gonzalo Higuain or passed the window of the gelateria offering CR7-flavour ice cream.”

He is far from finished

“Players of my age go to China or Qatar, so coming to such an important club at this stage in my career makes me very happy,” announced Ronaldo at his unveiling. “I am different from all the others, all the other players who think their career is over at my age. I really want to show I am not like all the others. I am different.”

Ronaldo says he wants to play into his forties, and clearly still believes he can make a difference at the top level.

Juventus have their sights set on winning the Champions League. “I do know that the Champions League is a trophy every club would like to win,” he said. “This is an option. We are going to fight not only for the Champions League but for the Serie A title.

“I hope I can help Juventus win it. I hope I can be the lucky star of this club, but we will see what happens.”

There were no other offers

Rumours about Ronaldo’s departure from Real Madrid began back in May and it was claimed that Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain were also interested. But the Portuguese confirmed that Juventus were the only club in the running.

“Juventus’s offer was the only offer I received,” Ronaldo said.

He has ‘no rivalry’ with Messi

After arriving in Italy Ronaldo was asked about his rivalry with Lionel Messi in Spain.

“The two superstars have bounced off one another for the past nine years, with Ronaldo stealing the show at Real Madrid and Messi doing the same at Barcelona,” says the Daily Mirror

“The pair have pretty much taken it in turns winning the Ballon d’Or, and have continually gone head to head for domestic and European supremacy.

“In leaving Real Madrid, Ronaldo’s legendary rivalry with Messi has now come to an end.”

But Ronaldo claimed there was never any competition between the two players. “I do not see other players as rivals, that’s not who I am,” he explained.

“It was a good challenge with Messi. All of you liked it and it was interesting. But I never saw it as a rivalry. You always want to give it your all for your team.”

Serie A back in the big time

The signing of Ronaldo has given all of Italian football a boost, and could have a major impact on Italian football.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who managed Ronaldo at Real Madrid, said the move made football “three dimensional”.

“Everyone will look to Italy for Cristiano, to Spain for Messi and England for the Premier League.

“Serie A has become one of the most important championships in the world. Everything can change in football, the prospects of teams like Inter, Milan and Roma now change, and now Juve is much stronger with Cristiano.”

Juventus already enjoying a boost

“When you sign Ronaldo, you are not acquiring a player, you are effectively merging with another global corporation,” says Gabriele Marcotti in The Times

And the deal is already paying dividends for Juventus.

“That was evident as the club shop, dominated by Ronaldo merchandise, teemed with fans,” reports the BBC. “The club reportedly sold 520,000 shirts in the first day after announcing his signing, and gained four million followers on their social media channels.”


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