Cristiano Ronaldo has landed in Turin ahead of his official unveiling as Juventus’ superstar summer signing on Monday afternoon, the Serie A champions announced on Sunday.
“Now arriving in Turin: @Cristiano!” the club wrote on its Twitter account, alongside a photo of Ronaldo with his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez in front of the private jet that brought him to Italy at Turin’s Caselle airport.
Juventus then posted a video of the plane landing and the player disembarking with his entourage before being whisked off by club officials in a car with blacked-out windows.
Ronaldo was expected to land in Italy on Monday morning after surprising the world and asking for a 100 million-euro ($116 million) move from European champions Real Madrid, with daily Repubblica reporting that as many as 20,000 fans were expected to greet him at the airport.
However, Ronaldo, who won four of the last five Champions Leagues with his former club, will now head for the Allianz Stadium for medicals on Monday before facing journalists’ questions at a media conference scheduled for 1630 GMT.
There the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will sign a four-year contract worth a reported 30 million euros a season in a deal that Italian media says will cost Juventus a total of 350 million euros.
La Repubblica reports that Ronaldo will meet the team — who have begun pre-season training — on Monday afternoon, but will join them officially later in the month when they begin their summer tour of the United States.
Objective: Champions League
Juventus are hoping that Ronaldo’s arrival will push Juventus into world football’s big league.
Fresh from their seventh Serie A title in as many years and four straight domestic doubles, the “Old Lady” of Italian football has struggled to turn domestic dominance into European success.
Ronaldo meanwhile has scored 120 Champions League goals, more than anyone else in the history of the competition, and won four out of the last five editions with Real.
Juve haven’t won the competition since 1996 but reached the final in 2015 and 2017, where they were bested by Barcelona and Ronaldo’s former club Real Madrid respectively.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side were effectively knocked out of the Champions League by Ronaldo in the last two seasons, with the Portuguese scoring a brace in the 2017 final and slotting home the controversial stoppage-time penalty that thwarted an incredible Juve comeback from three goals down and saw them exit at the quarter-final stage.
That’s without forgetting the double he bagged in the first leg as Madrid ran out 3-0 winners in Turin — which included an incredible scissor kick second that led to the Allianz Stadium rising to its feet in appreciation.
“I say this as a fan, Cristiano Ronaldo is an incredible signing,” Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio said on Instagram on Wednesday.
Analysts Banca IMI claim that “Juventus will benefit from increased ticket sales, which we estimate at an additional 5-7 million euros per season, and in general all brand-related activities”, such as merchandising, marketing and sponsorship on a scale that is difficult to estimate. (AFP)