Turin, July 17: Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo said that joining record Serie A champions Juventus after a successful nine-year spell at reigning European champions Real Madrid meant moving forward.
The Portugal captain signed a four-year contract with Juventus for an Italian record transfer fee of 112 million euros ($131 million), and will earn a net salary of 31 million euros ($36.3 million) per season, reports Efe news.
“I would not say it’s a backward step, always is forward. (Juventus) is a team to win, has won most recent seven Italian league titles, recently it has been in two UEFA Champions League finals. I hope to carry Juventus to the highest level,” Ronaldo said on Monday during his presentation as a new Juventus signing here.
“It was an easy decision to join Juventus. They’re the greatest club in Italy and one of the best in the world. I feel honoured and grateful that Juve thought of me. I want to make my mark in the history of Juventus.”
Ronaldo’s mother, girlfriend and son, and his agent, Jorge Mendes, attended the event at Gianni and Umberto Agnelli Hall at Allianz Stadium.
The former Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United star sarcastically said that Juventus was the only offer he had, adding that the standing ovation he was given by the Italian club’s fans after scoring a bicycle kick goal in the Champions League quarter-finals was “a special moment”.
The 33-year-old five-time Ballon d’Or winner said he was eager to give his best with the new club.
“I am well focused and motivated to be able to show the Italian (public) that I am a top player. I think I have nothing to prove to anyone because numbers do not fool, but I have ambition and I love the challenges.
“I’m an ambitious player. I don’t like to stay in my comfort zone or to sit down and look back at past achievements. I’m looking forwards and I’m very concentrated and focused. I’m going to work hard in my training and prove that I’m a top player again.”
Juventus are yet to win the UEFA Champions League title since winning it for the last time in 1996. Since then they have featured in five finals in 1997, 1998, 2003, 2015 and 2017. And they will be boosted by the signing of ronaldo, who has won it five times and is the continental competition’s record goal-scorer (120 in 153 games).
To date, Ronaldo has won in total, five league titles, five domestic cups, five Champions Leagues, four Club World Cups, two European Super Cups, two domestic Supercups, in addition to winning the Balon d’Or five times.
“I know that the Champions League is a trophy that every club would like to win and Juventus is no different and they’ve come extremely close in recent seasons. It’s a difficult competition to win, but I will be doing my best to help this team be successful. I hope that I can be the lucky star for the club,” he said. IANS