Juventus have lost seven Champions League finals, more than any other side in history, most recently in 2015 and 2017 to Barcelona and Ronaldo’s Real Madrid respectively, and last won the trophy with a penalty-shootout win over Ajax in Rome. But the 34-year-old, who arrived in Italy last summer on the back of three consecutive Champions League crowns with Real Madrid, believes that the agonising wait will be over by 2021.
“It’s always the year of Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona, but in a competition like the Champions League only one team eventually wins,” Ronaldo told Marca as he picked up their Leyenda (legend) award ‘for his successful career as a professional footballer’.
“Take Barcelona as an example: they invested a lot of money on players in the last five years but they didn’t win the Champions League. It doesn’t work like this. Juve strengthened up very well, they are a team that will fight to win as always, but it will depend on many factors: the draws, the groups, the form, the injuries, the luck…
“But as I always say, we can’t be obsessed by the Champions League. Juve will win it – if not this year, then hopefully yes, it will be the next one. Within the next two years, for the way we’re working and how we’re planning it, we deserve it. We have everything it takes to win it.”
The Portugal captain scored 28 goals in all competitions last season, 21 of those coming in Serie A, where he finished behind Sampdoria’s Fabio Quagliarella, Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata and AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek. Last season, Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage by Ajax after suffering a 2-1 home defeat, with the winner scored by new signing Matthijs De Ligt.