Ronaldo commits future to Juve, says my spirit, ambition are as high as ever - GulfToday

Ronaldo commits future to Juve, says my spirit, ambition are as high as ever


Cristiano Ronaldo. File

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo said on Thursday that his “spirit and ambition were as high as ever” as he strives to “break records and conquer the world” next season.

The Portuguese forward won his second ‘Scudetto’ with Juventus, but despite his double against Lyon the Italian giants exited the Champions League to the French club in the last 16.

“As I’m getting ready for my third season as a ‘Bianconero’, my spirit and ambition are as high as ever,” the 35-year-old wrote on Instagram.

“Goals. Victories. Commitment. Dedication. Professionalism.

“With all my strength and with the precious help from my team-mates and all of the Juventus staff, we work once again to conquer Italy, Europe and the World! Breaking records.”

Former Italy and Juventus star Andrea Pirlo replaced Maurizio Sarri as coach with the team targeting a tenth consecutive league title in 2021.

But the team’s failure in the Champions League, which they last lifted in 1996, was a low point for five-time winner Ronaldo, who signed from Real Madrid for 100 million euros in 2018 to help win the trophy.

“Overcoming obstacles,” continued Ronaldo of his ambitions for next season which starts on Sept.19.

“Winning titles and achieving personal goals. To do more and better once and again.

“To reach higher and to succeed in all challenges that may come our way.”

“We are Juventus! We are the Champions! We are back and stronger than ever! We are counting on you! All together! Fino Alla Fine!”

Ronaldo achieved some landmarks last term becoming the first player to score 10 or more Champions League goals for three different clubs.

He was also the first player to score 50 or more goals in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A, and the first to score 30 or more in a single season in three of Europe’s top five leagues.

Ronaldo matched another Serie A mark when he scored in 11 consecutive Serie A games, equalling the record of Gabriel Batistuta and Fabio Quagliarella.

In total he scored 37 goals in all competitions, a record for a Juventus player in a single campaign.

But he fell short in the Serie A scorers’ chart with his 31 goals trailing Lazio’s Ciro Immobile’s 36.

Meanwhile, Paulo Dybala will remain at Juventus but fellow Argentinian Gonzalo Higuain will not, new coach Pirlo revealed recently, as he vowed to bring joy back to the Italian champions’ game.

Despite his lack of coaching experience 41-year-old Pirlo warned: “I think I’m in the right place at the right time.

“I want to bring back to Juventus some of that enthusiasm that has been lacking recently.”

Dybala, 26, will remain at the heart of the Juventus attack alongside Ronaldo, but 32-year-old Higuain’s time in Turin is over.

“He was a great champion, a great player but the cycle is over,” Pirlo said.

“We looked each other in the eyes, we talked and we made this decision. I admire him a lot, but we have decided that the paths will separate.”

Higuain joined Juventus in 2016 from Napoli and had two loan spells at AC Milan and Chelsea before returning to Turin last season.

Pirlo continued: “Dybala has never been on the market. For me he is an important player. As soon as he returns, he will be part of the project.

“We have already chatted with Ronaldo. And we will have time to talk about tactics and roles.”

Sarri, 61, took over on a three-year contract last summer, but was often criticised for his difficulty communicating his vision to the team.

Juventus won a ninth consecutive Serie A title, but with just a one-point margin on Inter Milan, and they lost the Italian Cup and Italian SuperCup finals.

Pirlo was promoted to the top job in Turin just a week after having being appointed coach of their U23 side, in the wake of their Champions League exit.

“I didn’t have time to think,” admitted Pirlo.

“It was all very fast, I threw myself into it, but if I made this choice it is because I am convinced that I am in the right place at the right time.”

The former Italian midfielder knows Juventus and its players well after an impressive four-year spell from 2011 to 2015.

He also won two Champions Leagues and two league titles with AC Milan.

“If I was destined for the job will depend on the results,” he continued.

“I was told as a footballer and it came true, I hope it can also happen as a coach.

Agence France-Presse

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