Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has admitted he ‘didn’t believe’ initial speculation regarding Cristiano Ronaldo’s eventual move to the club this summer.
The Turin side parted with £105m prior to the start of the season to sign the 33-year-old from Real Madrid, who has since scored 15 goals in 25 appearances for his new club in all competitions.
While Chiellini was sceptical regarding the Old Lady’s move for Ronaldo, the 34-year-old is delighted the club signed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, even suggesting he’s learning from the Portuguese forward every day.
Speaking to BBC Sport, the Italian 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.
“I was curious to see some particular attitude far from the field. 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.”
Juventus are currently nine points ahead of second placed Napoli in Serie A, as the club look to win an eighth consecutive league title, while the club are also into the last 16 of the Champions League, although have been handed a tough draw against Atletico Madrid.
After recent defeats in the final in both 2015 and 2017, Chiellini now believes that the addition of Ronaldo this season makes winning the Champions League a realistic target for Juventus, who haven’t won the tournament since 1996.
The veteran defender added: “Cristiano scored many, many, many times against us and he broke my dreams many times – in Cardiff, in Madrid, in Turin,” said the defender.
“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.”