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AFP
July 17, 2018
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Soccer star Ronaldo sparks Champions League dreams

Sports

AFP
July 17, 2018

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ROME: Juventus are dreaming of Champions League glory ahead of the official unveiling Monday of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Serie A champions’ superstar summer signing from European kings Real Madrid.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner will be presented to the world media at a press conference scheduled for 6:30 pm (1630 GMT). Juventus fans gave the 33-year-old a rousing welcome during a brief appearance ahead of his medical Monday morning.

Hundreds of fans gathered outside the Allianz Stadium in Turin from early morning singing “Ronaldo, bring us the Champions (League)” as the European competition’s most lethal striker of all time emerged from the club’s medical centre to sign autographs and shake hands amid raucous chants. Juventus later published a video of Ronaldo chanting “Juve, Juve” as he went back inside to undergo tests. After passing his medical he met club directors, coach Massimiliano Allegri and his new teammates, saving a warm hug for Italian international defender Giorgio Chiellini, a scene filmed in official club footage. Ronaldo fever hit Turin after the announcement last week of his 100 million-euro ($117 million) transfer from European champions Real Madrid. Italian media reports the attacker will earn 30 million euros a season and the deal will cost Juve a total of 350 million euros.

Many of the youngsters who came out to greet their new hero were wearing Juventus shirts emblazoned with “Ronaldo” and the number 7, which have been selling quickly in Turin. Others wore t-shirts with the message “Bem-vindo” — “welcome” in Portuguese — which 5,000 shopkeepers put up posters ahead of Ronaldo’s arrival late Sunday.

One local ice-cream parlour has even created a “CR7” cone, featuring a Portuguese cherry liquor and chocolate shavings.The mood of joy was not universal. The costly signing upset leaders of one minority union at an automobile plant in southern Italy owned by Fiat-Chrysler — in turn owned by the same holding company as Juventus. They called a protest strike for Monday but only five of the plant’s 1,700 workers turned out at a protest in support of the action dismissed as a “stunt” by bigger unions representing the workers in Melfi, in the Basilicata region.Juventus fans are hoping that Ronaldo’s arrival will push them to a coveted Champions League title, the continent’s holy grail.

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