Wednesday January 2 2019
Boban: ‘Juventus are CL favourites’

Milan legend Zvonimir Boban sees Juventus as Champions League favourites, but “we have to see how they’ll play against the very big teams”.

The Bianconeri have won Serie A for the past seven seasons in a row, but haven’t won the Champions League since 1996, losing in two finals in recent years.

To address that they signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in the summer, smashing the Italian transfer record.

“I think the sporting aspect was the biggest part of the deal,” Boban said at the Globe Soccer event in Dubai.

“Ronaldo is Ronaldo, if after that he also brings marketing appeal then that’s just an extra.

“I think given what they’ve shown they’re the favourites [for the Champions League], then we have to see how they’ll play against the very big teams.

“Obviously with Ronaldo the team is better than last year. It’s difficult to put a figure on it, but he certainly makes them 15 per cent stronger.

“He always scores, he’s incredibly consistent and has the knack of being in the right place at the right time.

“I expected him to adapt to Italian football, because it’s not what it was in the 80s and 90s.”

Boban is a Croat, and he also discussed his nation’s run to the World Cup final.

“We showed our talent and courage to the whole world, and I’m proud we showed these qualities at the World Cup.

“[Luka] Modric is an exceptional player, and what he does is unique. [Miralem] Pjanic has similar skills and builds the play, but there aren’t many players like that now.

“In the past there was [Andres] Iniesta, but there are talents who will come through in the future.”

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