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Paratici: “Juventus felt pressure long before Ronaldo arrived”

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Sporting director Fabio Paratici insists they are under no extra pressure to win the Champions League following their €112m signing of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Bianconeri pulled off one of the biggest transfer coups ever in signing five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo from Real Madrid last summer.

The Portuguese forward called time on a goal and trophy-laden nine years at Los Blancos in favour of a new challenge in Italy at Juventus, where he hopes to end their 23-year wait for another Champions League title.

But Juventus’ hopes of doing so were handed a major blow on Wednesday after losing the first leg of their last-16 tie to Atletico Madrid.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis later suggested on Saturday that the Old Lady were wrong to fork out so much money on Ronaldo in order to challenge for more glory.

However, Paratici is certain that Juventus are not feeling any extra pressure to bring the Champions League trophy back to Turin after investing heavily.

“When you work for Juve or any other big club, there is always pressure,” Paratici told Sky Sport Italia.

“We’re used to it and we felt it long before Ronaldo arrived.”

The Italian, who was speaking before Juventus’ Serie A game against Bologna today, also refuted claims that they have become complacent due to not being challenged enough in Italy.

Currently, Juventus hold a 13-point lead over Napoli at the top of the Serie A standings in their bid to win an unprecedented eighth league crown in a row.

“I really have doubts when people say Juventus aren’t tested enough in Serie A, because whenever a player comes here from abroad, they struggle to adapt and say Serie A is nothing like the Premier League or other tournaments. Both can’t be right,” said Paratici.

“Facing a Champions League match is not the same thing as any domestic tie, it’s always going to be more difficult and more complicated.”

MADRID, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 20: (EDITOR´S NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white using digital filters) Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus reacts as he fail to score during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Juventus at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on February 20, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)