In Cristiano Ronaldo, Leonardo Bonucci, Juventus did best transfer business
Continuing their dominance in Europe, on May 26 Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win their third consecutive Champions League title. The team created history by winning its 13th European title and to highlight the legacy, Real Madrid have won more European titles than the closest two clubs combined. Even as players and fans celebrated, Madrid’s ‘main man’ Cristiano Ronaldo indirectly expressed that his run in Spain may be over.
Speaking to BeIN Sports after the match, the Portuguese said, “Right now we need to enjoy ourselves but in the next few days I’ll give an answer to the fans who have always been by my side. It was beautiful to be at Real Madrid.” He further said, “I don’t have any doubts, it’s not important, I have to rest now, go and meet up with the Portugal team and in the next few weeks, I’ll make an announcement.”
Although Ronaldo was yet to make any declaration regarding his future, the words by the five-time Ballon d’Or created quite a flutter. It was a time of uncertainity and the only clubs loaded with heavy cash that was expected to present a humungous deal were Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain.
However, the suitors were revealed on July 10 when Serie A giants Juventus announced that they have acquired the services of the Portugal international for the next four years. A 100 million euros agreement with Real Madrid to sign Cristiano Ronaldo was a clear indication that the Bianconeri had its eyes on attaining European glory.
The five-time Champions League winner, Ronaldo, like Real Madrid, finds that extra edge when it comes to Champions League. Holding the record of scoring the maximum number of goals in the competition, Ronaldo has netted 123 goals in 161 appearances, with an average of 111 minutes 54 seconds per goal. On being asked if he was disappointed on failing to register his name on the scoresheet in the final at Kiev, Ronaldo reacted sharply saying UEFA should consider changing the name of Champions League to CR7 Champions League.
“Who’s disappointed? Perhaps they need to change the name of the Champions League to the CR7 Champions League. Who has the most titles and who has the most goals?” And he has a point.
Ronaldo’s arrival in Turin can be labelled as the best transfer deal in the summer, taking Juventus from being contenders to become the favourites to win the Champions League title this season. His inclusion in the team not just adds depth in the attack on the field but also on opponent’s mind. With every goal conceded or scored counting as very crucial in Champions League, a combination of Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa, and Ronaldo helps Juventus generate extra pace, which enhances their counter-attacking abilities.Juventus said on Thursday that the 31-year-old Leonardo Bonucci, who has reportedly taken a pay cut to move back to Juventus, has signed a five-year deal. (AP Photo/File)
The defence, on the other hand, looks rock solid with Leonardo Bonucci rejoining the club after spending a season at Milan. Juventus’ version of BBC (Barzagli, Bonucci, and Chiellini) has been one of the key elements in teams’ past success both in Champions League and Serie A. Bonucci’s absence was immensely felt in last season of the Champions League, as the team conceded 12 goals compared to 7 in the previous season before being eliminated in the quarter-finals by who else but Real Madrid and who else but Ronaldo the decisive element.
Apart from witnessing if Ronaldo can help Juventus to make it to Champions League glory, it would also be interesting to see how the former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny steps into Buffon’s shoes after the 40-year old joined the Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.
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