Chiellini: Ronaldo has made Juventus Champions League contenders

Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini believes Cristiano Ronaldo can make his “dream” of winning the Champions League come true after coming so close in recent seasons

Since their penalty shoot-out win over Ajax in the 1996 final, Juventus haven’t managed to win the competition since then after five defeats in the final.

One of those came in 2017, where Ronaldo scored a brace to help Real Madrid cruise to a 4-1 win over Juventus at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

But, upon the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s €112m arrival at Turin in July, 34-year-old Chiellini’s hopes of winning the Champions League for the first time have never been stronger.

“Cristiano scored many, many, many times against us and he broke my dreams many times – in Cardiff, in Madrid, in Turin,” Chiellini told BBC.

“Before, the Champions League was a dream. Now it is a target because Cristiano is the best player in the world and we need him to make the last step.

“It’s the personality of Cristiano. He has fantastic skills in the field but out of the field, his attitude – how he works, how he prepares for the match, how he lives every day of his life – can help us. The team has changed.”

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Despite being a proven veteran performer, Chiellini admitted that even he’s been learning from Ronaldo and revealed how he reacted when he first learnt of the Portuguese’s move to Juventus.

He added: “I was curious to see some particular attitude far from the field,” he said.

“His work in the gym, and his concentration, is something I try to take. He’s helped me because I would like every day to improve myself.”

On Ronaldo’s move, Chiellini said: “I didn’t believe it at the beginning.

“But after some days of rumours I talked with [Juventus president] Andrea [Agnelli] and I was surprised. I think that for many fans and also the players it was not so normal.”

Juventus will meet Atletico Madrid in the last-16 of the Champions League with the first leg to take place on February 20 at the Wanda Metropolitano in Spain.


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