Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini says he likes having the record-breaking striker as a team-mate opposed to an enemy and is delighted to be lining up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
In the summer of 2018, Ronaldo joined Juve after nine trophy-laden years with Real Madrid, including no less than four crowns in the Champions League.
So far, after eight consecutive terms reaching more than 40 for the Merengue, he has struggled to match his dizzy Madrid scoring record with the Italians, netting 28 goals in all the competitions during his debut season and 25 to date in 2019-20.
But Chiellini, who found himself on the wrong end of a 4-1 battering that included two Ronaldo strikes in the final of the 2016-17 Champions League, could not be happier to count on his services in Turin.
The center-back explained on Instagram, “He scored a lot against us, unfortunately. Luckily he’s a mine teammate now. He’s on a different stage, you can see that and I think it’s fair to admit that. He has given Juve a lot. It’s a shame when you have such a champion if you’re not making the most of him.”
Chiellini also had warm praise for Gianluigi Buffon, a long-time colleague who is still going strong between the Bianconeri posts at 42.
“He’s an older brother, he’s the guy I’ve seen the most on earth in the last 15 years. He’s a person who always succeeds in bringing out the right words in decisive moments to change a season’s fate. He’s a beautiful person who has taught me a lot. We ‘re different but he’s been able to come up with words in the decisive moments,” he said.
After the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Ronaldo missed a penalty in Juventus’ first game back, in Thursday’s Coppa Italia semi-final second leg against Milan.
The clash eventually ended 0-0, sending the Old Lady through to the final against Napoli on Wednesday under away goals having tied the opening leg 1-1 back in February at San Siro.
Juve’s attention will return to Series A After the final. Juve’s are currently in top spot just one point ahead of Lazio on June 22 going to Bologna in their first match.