It was the first day of the new adventure in Cristiano Ronaldo’s illustrious career. The 33-year old’s debut for Juventus was eventful, of course with a win and mixed feelings.
After nine fruitful years in Spain, Cristiano Ronaldo is plying his trade in another clime, this time in the colours of Juventus in Italy.
Of course, his debut ended on a winning note, Juve need to fight back from 2-1 down to win 3-2 against a spirited Chievo even after leading by a goal earlier in the game.
No, Ronaldo didn’t score any of the goals, but his impact and presence were felt from start to finish, going close four times, only to be denied by the goalkeeper.
Juventus opener came from Sami Khedira as early as the third minute while Chievo equalised through Mariusz Stepinski’s header before halftime. Chievo led in the second half courtesy of an Emanuele Giaccherini penalty but Leonardo Bonnuci on his return levelled up matters for Juventus while a late goal by substitute Federico Bernardesci stole the three points for Juventus.
In terms of goalscoring, which is Ronaldo’s enjoyable routine on the field, it wasn’t a dream start to life. But from another angle, it was a fulfilling outing for the Portuguese.
His union with his teammates started brightly under the smiling sun. One thing however happened against initial and popular thoughts, the stadium wasn’t fully packed to grace the sight of the five-time ballon d’Or winner.
It was like the ball didn’t want to hit the back of the net for Ronaldo. After shooting narrowly wide in the early stages of the first half, CR7 unleashed his other trademark styles of scoring, using the head, two long-range shots and of course a free kick to threaten Chievo but goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino was up to the task.
At 2-1 in favour of the hosts, it began to look frustrating for him, even after Bonnuci had equalised, the pressure was still on him to deliver an instant impact that could be a match winner.
In that hustle, his stud landed dangerously on goalkeeper Sorrentino, causing the goalie to be stretched off in the heat of Juventus trying to claim a goal from the rebound header of Cheillini. After VAR review, the ref disallowed the goal, much to the frustration of Juventus players. Truth is, if that goal stood, Ronaldo would probably be making a villain entry into the hearts of Italians.
Andrea Seculin, the substitute goalkeeper for Chievo had barely settled into the game before another Juventus’ substitute, Federico Bernardesch grabbed a 90th-minute winner. It dampened the spirit of the home faithful but became a relief for Massimiliano Allegri and Juventus.
If the smiles on the face of Ronaldo at fulltime are anything to go by, the victory was a soothing balm to his aching shoulders.
Welcome to Italy Ronaldo.