Ronaldo sparks Champions League dreams at Juve

ROME: Juventus fans gave Cristiano Ronaldo a rousing welcome on Monday as the club prepared to unveil the superstar summer signing they hope will bring the Champions League trophy back to Turin. 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 made a brief appearance ahead of his medical on Monday. The 33-year-old emerged from the club’s medical centre to sign autographs and shake hands amid raucous chants of his name before shooting back inside for further tests.
The five-times Ballon d’Or winner will be officially unveiled to the world’s media at a press conference scheduled for 6:30 pm (1630 GMT), in which he will sign a four-year deal that will earn him a reported 30 million euros a season.
Ronaldo fever hit Turin after the announcement last week of his 100 million-euro ($117 million) transfer from European champions Real Madrid, which Italian media reports 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 like hot cakes in the city.
Others wore t-shirts with the message ‘Bem-vindo’ — ‘welcome’ in Portuguese — which 5,000 shopkeepers put up on posters around the north-western Italian city ahead of Ronaldo’s arrival late on Sunday. One ice-cream parlour in Turin has even invented a ‘CR7’ cone, featuring a Portuguese cherry liquor and chocolate shavings.
Juventus fans are hoping that Ronaldo’s arrival will push them onto Europe’s top table.
Fresh from their seventh Serie A title in as many years and four straight domestic doubles, the Old Lady of Italian football have struggled to turn domestic dominance into European success as they strive for the continent’s holy grail.
“Our hope is to win the Champions League that for now is the only objective that we’ve not been able to conquer,” says Francesco, 38, from the Tuscan city of Pisa. “Ronaldo coming will only bring good things to Juventus… He’ll help others to learn things that only champions like him can do.” — AFP