Juventus were already flying high before the acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer, but by signing the superstar forward they may be on their way to becoming the best side in Europe.
The Old Lady have won Serie A for the last seven seasons on the trot, but the Champions League has eluded them for some time now. Could the addition of Ronaldo be the spark that Juve need to top the pile in the ultimate competition, and be crowned kings of Europe?
It came as a shock to many when Ronaldo announced that he would be leaving Real Madrid to join Juventus last summer. The Portuguese ace was a mainstay with the Spanish giants and appeared to be set to play out the rest of his career at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, after nearly ten years and 311 league goals with the club, the player decided it was time for a change and moved to Serie A for €100 million. It now appears that Ronaldo was right to move away from Madrid, as the club has entered a rocky patch surrounded by uncertainty.
Despite being 33 years old and in the latter stages of his career, Ronaldo represented a serious coup even for a club of Juve’s stature. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner guarantees goals wherever he goes, and has claimed the European Golden Shoe on five occasions. He generally thrives in the Champions League, and has scored 43 goals in the competition over the last three seasons. Not even Ronaldo’s long-term rival Lionel Messi can match this output, and the Argentine has been some way off the Portuguese in this regard.
Few would bet against Juventus winning the Italian top flight this term, and they can be found at 1/5 in the Serie A betting to go all the way. But it’s Ronaldo’s Champions League experience which will be most vital to the Italian giants. The former Manchester United man has won the competition five times with two different clubs. After having claimed the trophy for the last three consecutive seasons, the Euro 2016 winner has constantly proven his unstoppable desire to add more silverware to his brimming cabinet.
Juventus already had a pretty incredible squad of players even before they managed to persuade Ronaldo to make the switch. Paulo Dybala has emerged as one of the hottest prospects in Europe over the last few years, and the youngster is set to improve further under Ronaldo’s guidance. The Turin side also have one of the most resolute defences in the division with Georgio Chiellini and Medhi Benatia forming a formidable partnership at the back.
It remains to be seen whether Juventus can finally add to their two Champions League trophies this term. But with Ronaldo’s star power added to an already incredible team, it would be unwise to bet against Massimiliano Allegri’s charges sending a message to the rest of Europe.