Dream Maker

Giorgio Chiellini admits ‘I didn’t believe’ Cristiano Ronaldo would join Juventus at first but believes his arrival has let them ‘target’ the Champions League. Ronaldo’s transfer to Juve from Real Madrid shook the football world last summer, and Chiellini confessed he was similarly taken aback by the deal. “Cristiano scored many, many, many times against us and he broke my dreams many times – in Cardiff, in Madrid, in Turin,” the defender told BBC Sport. “Before, the Champions League was a dream. Now it is a target because Cristiano is the best player in the world and we need him to make the last step. “It’s the personality of Cristiano. He has fantastic skills in the field but out of the field, his attitude – how he works, how he prepares for the match, how he lives every day of his life – can help us. The team has changed. “We started in the first three months nearly in perfection but we know the most important period is from spring. “I think that we are one of the four or five teams who are favourites – Barcelona, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich. But also PSG and Atletico can reach the victory and we are so far away from the key matches still.” “I was curious to see some particular attitude far from the field. His work in the gym, and his concentration, is something I try to take. He’s helped me because I would like every day to improve myself. “I didn’t believe it at the beginning. But after some days of rumours I talked with [President] Andrea [Agnelli] and I was surprised. I think that for many fans and also the players it was not so normal. The 34-year-old then made it clear the rape allegations levelled against the No 7 had not affected the Bianconeri dressing room. “Surely not. We never talk about it in our dressing room and Cristiano has been very able to think about only football,” he concluded.

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