Italy great Chiellini admits Juventus let Cristiano Ronaldo down in Champions League failures

Giorgio Chiellini and Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus | Imago

Italy great Chiellini admits Juventus let Cristiano Ronaldo down in Champions League failures

Ayoola Kelechi 23:24 - 02.05.2024

The former Italian defender admitted that Juventus failed Cristiano Ronaldo and not the other way around

Ex-Juventus and Italy star Giorgio Chiellini recently commented on his time playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus, providing light on the Portuguese superstar's impact and the club's Champions League struggles.

Chiellini in awe of Cristiano Ronaldo

Chiellini expressed gratitude for the opportunity to captain Ronaldo while at Juventus, calling it a once-in-a-lifetime event saying, "An honour, being captain of Juventus with him was a unique opportunity. I had the opportunity to appreciate him, who is a multinational player, but he fit well in the group."

Juventus legend Giorgio Chiellini | Imago
Juventus legend Giorgio Chiellini | Imago

The ex-Italy internation further praised Ronaldo's drive for success, while also describing him as polite and committed, continuing, "He is respectful, almost obsessive in his care of his body and in his preparation. He wants to score and wants to win, his personality in difficult matches impressed me."

How Juventus let Ronaldo down in the Champions League

Chiellini regretted Juventus' dismal Champions League quarter-final loss to Ajax in the 2018-19 season, citing injuries to important players such as Khedira, Mandzukic, Dybala, and Douglas Costa, stating his belief that the Old Lady would have won the competition that season if they got past the Dutch side.

The former Juventus captain stated, "We were unlucky with injuries (Khedira, Mandzukic, Dybala, Douglas Costa, etc.) and we lost against Ajax, otherwise I’m convinced we would have got to the end, and he [Ronaldo] would’ve led us to victory."

Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus | Imago
Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus | Imago

Chiellini admitted that, while Ronaldo's presence helped the team, Juventus eventually fell short due to a collective decline in performance.

He acknowledged Ronaldo as the "icing on the cake," but emphasised the need of a collaborative team effort, implying that Ronaldo alone could not solve all of Juventus' Champions League issues, saying, "Then the team’s level dropped a bit, and he couldn’t solve everything alone, he was the icing, and he needed a slightly bigger cake."

Despite their Champions League failures, Chiellini and Ronaldo still enjoyed a successful spell together in Juventus, winning two Serie A titles, two Supercoppa Italiana and one Coppa Italia.

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