Cristiano Ronaldo is certain Juventus will win the Champions League “within the next two seasons,” hails ‘GOAT’ Gigi Buffon and reveals that Matthijs de Ligt message.
The Portugal international returned to Madrid on Monday to pick up the Marca Leyenda award, representing his legendary status in La Liga.
“I left Real Madrid last year because I needed fresh motivation to my career, having won everything here,” he told Marca.
“I needed a change to express my idea of football, because I think I still have a lot to offer to myself, to the fans and to Juventus. I’m sure that will continue and I’m happy to have won three trophies in my first year at Juventus, including the Nations League for Portugal.
“I am not remotely worried that I’m getting older and I don’t think there’s a physical issue, but rather it’s the psychological factor that will decide when I retire. I hope that nothing happens until I turn 40, but if it does, then that’s life. Everything has a beginning and an end, so Cristiano cannot last forever.
“For now, I feel strong and want to continue winning important trophies.”
Things have changed in Turin this summer with the arrival of new Coach Maurizio Sarri, replacing the more defensive Max Allegri, but the target remains the same – ending the Champions League drought.
“Only one team wins the Champions League per year, that doesn’t diminish other achievements. For example, Barcelona invested so much money in the last five years and didn’t win the Champions League.
“Juve have strengthened very well and have a team that will fight to win, as always, but the trophy depends on so many factors, coincidences, draws, groups, injuries and good luck.
“As I always say, we mustn’t be obsessed with the Champions League. Juventus will win it, if not this year, even if I hope we do, then it’ll be the next. Over the next two seasons, considering the way we’re working, we have all the ingredients to win.”
Gianluigi Buffon has returned to Turin after one season at Paris Saint-Germain and finally gets to be teammates with Ronaldo.
“He is a player I really admire, we’ve faced off many times and he told me that he’s happy to be playing with me. I replied exactly the same, because in my opinion he’s the best goalkeeper in the history of football, along with Iker Casillas.
“I was surprised by the Juve group dynamic, as I thought everyone would be out for themselves, but the truth is this is a very united squad and I get along with everyone. Logically, it’s easier with those who speak Portuguese or Spanish.”
Ronaldo was asked who he would sign for Juventus, if he had the power to do so.
“Great champions always end up at big clubs. I won’t name names, as I am very happy with the squad we’ve got. It’s a competitive team.
“I want to clear up that when I told Matthijs de Ligt to come to Juventus after the Nations League Final with the Netherlands, I was joking. I’d never try to influence a Coach or director on who to buy. Having said that, I’m very happy that he has joined us.”
Neymar was rumoured as an option for Juve after demanding a Paris Saint-Germain exit, but Ronaldo remains tight-lipped.
“He is a great player, there were rumours about Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juve… that’s the job of the media, they have to sell papers, but I think he’s staying in Paris.
“If he doesn’t, then I hope he joins a club where he’ll be happy, can express his idea of football and above all has no injuries. That’s what I wish for him.”
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