Cristiano Ronaldo had conquered the leagues in England and Spain by the time he signed for Italian Serie A champions Juventus in the summer of 2018.
The English Premier League, the Italian Serie A and the Spanish La Liga are widely regarded as the top three leagues in European football and Ronaldo had already left his mark on both the Premier League and the La Liga before his transfer to Juventus thus leaving him with the Italian Serie A to conquer amongst the top three European leagues.
Juventus paid €100m in transfer fee to lure Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid to the club and the sum was said to include €12m in add-ons and solidarity contributions. Ronaldo is nicknamed Mr. Champions League due to impressive record in the competition and the desire to win it drove the Italians to pay a huge fee to sign the Portuguese player from Real Madrid.
His transfer to Juventus set a new record for the fee paid to sign a player over the age of 30. The superstar footballer was given a four-year deal by Juventus until 2022. The footballing world was stunned by his ‘sudden’ transfer to Juventus and the player had to play down the transfer by saying the need to try a new challenge motivated the move. Ronaldo would later admit that the lack of support from Real Madrid president Florentino Perez prompted the transfer to Italy.
Turin giants Juventus had dominated football on the domestic scene for almost a decade and had not been able to transmit that dominance onto the European stage before the arrival of Mr. Champions League. Cristiano Ronaldo was signed to propel the club to success in the competition (Champions League). However, the player has not been able to deliver the elusive Champions League glory in his three years with the Old Lady till date.
Cristiano Ronaldo didn't have the best of starts at Juventus after he blanked in his first three games for the two-time European champions. The 36-year-old would score his first goals for the club in the 2-1 home win over Sassuolo in the league. The second of the two goals took him to 400 goals in the league. He was then sent off three days later on his Champions League debut for the Old Lady.
The ex-Red star played only 29 minutes of the group stage match with Spanish outfit Valencia before he was sent off for violent conduct. His first sending off after 154 games in the competition. Despite his red card, Juventus were able to win the game after Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic scored two penalties to hand the Italians a 2-0 away win over their Spanish opponents.
Ronaldo had a better second meeting with Valencia as he provided the assist for the winning goal scored by Mario Mandzukic in what was a 1-0 win for Juventus. With the win, the Portuguese national team skipper became the first player to win 100 games in the Champions League.
CR7 hit 10 goals in his 14 games for the Old Lady in the Italian Serie A to become the first Juventus player to achieve the feat since John Charles some 61 years ago (1957). He produced an attacking return of 21 goals and 8 assists in his first season in Italy and was named the inaugural Most Valuable Player in Serie A after he played a big role in another league title for the Old Lady. He could only guide his team to the Champions League quarterfinals before they were surprisingly eliminated by a youthful Ajax Amsterdam side that season.
In his second season at Juventus, the club crashed out in the round of 16 to an impressive Lyon outfit by virtue of the away goals rule. The Old Lady secured the league title again, but the Champions League disappointment overshadowed that title win once again. In total, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 37 goals to break the record of 36 goals in a single season set by Felice Borel during the 1933/34 campaign.
Ronaldo is in his third campaign with Juventus and it has not been a good one for the Portuguese superstar and his team in comparison to his first two seasons in Turin. Juventus secured the league title in those two seasons but a third successive league title for Ronaldo in Italy is highly unlikely due to the form of rivals Inter Milan. At the moment, Juventus trail Inter Milan by ten points ahead of the final ten games of the season.
The forward was heavily criticized after his failure to lead the Old Lady past FC Porto in the first knockout stage of the Champions League. Ronaldo and his Juventus teammates were eliminated at the round of 16 stage once again via the away goals rule.
Ronaldo answered his critics by hitting a 57th hattrick of his career in a 3-1 away victory over Cagliari in the league some days after the Champions League exit at the hands of the Portuguese team.
In his short time at Juventus, Ronaldo has four major trophies under his belt. He has won two league titles and two Italian Super Cup titles with the Turin giants.