I mean it in a purely footballing sense of course. Juventus are a relentless machine these days but it’s a long time since they had a genuine superstar in their team.
Despite Ronaldo’s 33 years he doesn’t show any signs of easing up. Many footballers at that age are thinking about retirement and transitioning to an easier league or settling for a high salary in USA or China with little pressure on their shoulders. Ronaldo on the other hand doesn’t shy away and seems to thrive on the pressure of playing for a top team.
Of course he has bad sides to his persona, like his tantrums, his vanity and his multi-coloured boots that can infuriate football fans but one side of his persona that I admire is his professionalism and dedication to his job. He is a superfit athlete and although he’s not the same marauding winger he started out as all them years ago, he’s transitioned to a powerful and deadly centre forward.
His mere presence in that Juventus squad should give all the players a boost, the professional and impressionable ones at least, which seems to be most of the team. They should want to keep up with him and prove that he’s not the only superstar in the team.
Ronaldo has helped Real Madrid win the Champions League in 4 of the last 5 years. In 2 of those 5 years Juventus were the loosing finalists so even before Ronaldo they clearly have the European pedigree to compete with the other top teams but what they’ve been lacking all those years was a superstar player. Now with Ronaldo in their team it surely gives them an edge over most teams in Europe and they are my favourites to win the Champions League this year.
Real Madrid look a lot weaker without Ronaldo and with no superstar replacement it’s hard to see them winning it.
Bayern Munich are also struggling in their own league and without any noticeable major signings they don’t look like they have a chance.
Barcelona have also not strengthened much but they have their own superstar in Messi therefore are one of the favourites.
The last of the big boys is Man City and with Guadiola’s experience and City’s relentless pace in the PL they are also one of the favourites but with the Ronaldo effect my money is still on Juventus.