CR7—The missing piece in Juventus’s desperate search for Champions League glory?
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Cristiano Ronaldo makes his Champions League debut for Juventus against Valencia on Wednesday, but can the five-time Ballon d'Or winner inspire the Italian giants to finally get their hands back on the coveted trophy?
The fee set a record for the highest amount ever paid for a player over the age of 30 – a record that will likely stand for a long time yet.
But the sum will seem like spare change to Juve chiefs if the 33-year-old striker proves to be the missing piece of the jigsaw to help secure the club’s first Champions League trophy since 1996.
For all their successes domestically – seven consecutive Serie A titles and counting – fans of the Italian giants have been left heartbroken by the team’s agonising series of near-misses in Europe.
Five losses in their last five Champions League final appearances have left a sour taste in the mouth and ending the unfortunate streak has now been installed as a top priority.
The recruitment of Ronaldo could prove a masterstroke in their quest to win the coveted trophy, bringing a guarantee of goals to complement the team’s famed defensive rigidity.
In 101 Champions League games for Real Madrid, the Portuguese captain scored 105 times, becoming the leading scorer in the history of the competition during his nine-year stay in the Spanish capital with 120 in total.
His incredible strike rate meant he was responsible for almost 40% of Real Madrid’s 264 total Champions League goals during his tenure with Los Blancos – a figure that includes Ronaldo’s jaw dropping overhead kick scored against Juventus at the Allianz Stadium.
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