Dejan Kulusevski hailed Cristiano Ronaldo’s relentless attitude after playing alongside the Juventus star for the first time on Sunday.
Andrea Pirlo named Kulusevski as a starter for his Juventus debut upfront alongside Ronaldo in place of the injured Paulo Dybala for Sunday’s Serie A opener against Sampdoria.
The 20-year-old didn’t disappoint either, giving an excellent account of himself in Dybala’s absence. He was excellent throughout his 82 minutes on the pitch, with Ronaldo assisting him for his wonderful goal that broke the deadlock.
Even after Leonardo Bonucci doubled Juve’s lead in the 78th-minute, however, Ronaldo urged Kulusevski to ‘keep pushing’ despite their advantage.
The Portuguese star later scored a deserved goal himself in the dying moments of the game to secure an emphatic 3-0 victory for the reigning Serie A champions.
“He is fantastic,” Kulusevski told Sky Sport Italia on Ronaldo in a post-match interview.
“I learn from him, and this is lucky. Even at 2-0 he asked me to keep pushing.
The Swede was easily among the best players on the pitch in Turin, making some great passes and tracking back well to aid his teammates.
“It was a great night,” said Kulusevski in his debut.
“It wasn’t easy against Sampdoria, but we got three important points. I am happy to have found the goal in the first match… The coach is calm, he believes in us, he lets us play and gives us confidence.”
Ronaldo, meanwhile, posted a brief message on social media to congratulate his teammates on a job well done.