Qatar? China? Ronaldo only has eyes for glory at Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo claims it was an easy decision for him to join Juventus from Real Madrid and took a thinly veiled swipe at his contemporaries who chase final paydays away from elite leagues.
The 33-year-old completed his stunning €105million move from Madrid to Juve last week and was greeted but a joyous band of supporters in Turin ahead of his medical and unveiling on Monday.
Speaking at a news conference, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner insisted it was the challenge of performing for another European heavyweight that persuaded him to end nine years at the Santiago Bernabeu – a more attractive prospect than heading for the Chinese Super League or Qatar.
"It was straightforward due to the power and the size of the club," said Ronaldo, who stated Juventus' offer was the only one on the table for him this close-season.
"I'm not sad. I'm here because it's a brand new challenge for my career. It's a big club and normally players of my age go to Qatar or China, with all due respect.
"Coming to such a great club at this stage of my career makes me very happy.
"Form Sporting CP to Manchester United, to Madrid and then Juventus. It is a dream career – I couldn't really have thought of this and wining so many titles when I started.
"That's a part of my life, challenges are part of my life and I think this new challenge will be as good as the others.
"Of course, I want to have new successes with Juventus. I'm not here on holiday. I want to mark the history of Juventus."
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) July 16, 2018
The challenge for Juventus is to convert their dominance of Serie A into a third Champions League title, having last reached the summit of European football in 1996.
Ronaldo has been a major factor in frustrating their ambitions in that regard over recent years, scoring twice in a 4-1 win for Madrid over Juve in the 2017 final before netting three over the course of last season's quarter-final – including a spectacular overhead kick in Turin and a decisive stoppage-time penalty in the second leg.
"I do know that Champions League title is a trophy that every club would like to win," he added. "We are going to fight, not only for the Champions League also for Serie A and all the other titles.
"I know that competition will be harsh but we must be very calm and concentrate. The Champions League title is not so easily won and I hope I will give my help.
"Juventus were a step from it. They couldn't win it because even when you get to the final nothing is written down."